Medically reviewed by
Stephen Jones, MD
McLeod OB/GYN Dillon
Pelvic prolapse is shorthand for the condition that occurs when a woman’s bladder, uterus or vagina drops.
Pelvic organ prolapse can cause problems urinating or loss of control over bowel movements. Some women say they experience pain during intercourse or lower back pain. Still others have symptoms much less intense, such as a feeling of “fullness.”
“It’s important for women to know that prolapse, left alone, seldom improves on its own,” says McLeod Gynecologist Stephen Jones, MD. “The only exception may be a woman who experiences prolapse after the birth of her child. Even then, some nonsurgical treatments can help can improve her condition.”
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO SEEK HELP?
Prolapse can affect your quality of life, but it’s not life-threatening. In the most severe cases, the collapsing organs can block the bladder from emptying. In this case, treatment is considered a requirement.
In most other cases, patients should work with their gynecologists to decide the best course of action.
One study found that most women blamed themselves for a delay in seeking help or treatment for pelvic prolapse. Others says they would have undergone treatment, but their physician asked them to take a “wait and see” approach.
It’s time to seek treatment when symptoms are limiting your quality of life — your ability to enjoy social events or recreation. Is the pain severe? Is it affecting your romantic relationships? Does it cause anxiety when you go out in public?
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
There are steps you can take that may reduce the symptoms of pelvic prolapse. These include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, stopping smoking and avoiding heavy lifting. However, waiting to talk with your physician won’t resolve the problem. Be proactive – sooner, rather than later.
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