Medically reviewed by
Stephen Jones, MD
McLeod OB/GYN Dillon
Pelvic Prolapse is shorthand for the condition when a woman’s bladder, uterus or vagina slip.
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 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. Still others would have undergone treatment but their physician asked them to take a “wait and see” approach.
From your perspective, 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
Want to delay a visit to your doctor? It won’t resolve the actual problem, but you might be able to reduce symptoms by changing some of your lifestyle. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Exercise. Avoid heavy lifting. However, you’ll want to see a physician. So, why not sooner, rather than later.
You may also find these articles useful:
Mid-Urethral Sling: Hallmark Surgical Solution for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Find a Gynecologist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, American Urogynecologic Society, European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Association of Family Physicians, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Women’s College Hospital (Canada)