Question

Female Reproductive System Disorders

What is pelvic organ prolapse?

A Answers (6)

  • Pelvic organ prolapse is the name given to the condition in which the vagina and the surrounding organs lose their support and fall from their normal positions. For many women, prolapse can include descent of the uterus, vagina, bladder and/or rectum resulting in a "bulging" sensation within the vagina. In some cases, protrusion (obvious bulging) of these organs can occur. Pelvic organ prolapse can result in symptoms including urinary leakage, constipation, and difficulty with intercourse.

    Laparoscopic colpopexy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that provides a safe and durable method for reconstruction of the pelvic floor and its contents without the need for a large abdominal incision. The goal of laparoscopic colpopexy is to re-suspend the vagina and pelvic organs through the key-hole incisions. In certain circumstances, a simultaneous hysterectomy, bladder suspension, or rectocele (rectum) repair may be required, all of which can be accomplished through a vaginal approach.

  • AJill Rabin, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered

    Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) may cause the vagina, uterus, urethra, small intestine, and rectum to drop below their normal position, possibly causing stress incontinence. The prolapsed organs are covered with vaginal skin, so they just look like big bulges in any of the five areas mentioned below. If you have POP, you may feel as though you are “sitting on an egg.”

    There are five main areas/types of prolapse, and you may have one or a combination of them:

    • Cystocele - The bladder drops down into the vagina, resulting in
      incomplete emptying of the bladder and a possible urinary tract
      infection. A cystocele may become worse with time.

    • Cystourethrocele - The lower part of the urethra drops down into the
      vagina. This is also usually associated with a cystocoele.

    • Uterine prolapse - The uterus and cervix drop down into the vagina,
      resulting in urinary urgency and frequency. If you have had a
      hysterectomy, your vagina may prolapse, since it is located in the mid
      compartment of your pelvic area above the (now removed) uterus.

    • Enterocele - The small intestine drops from the vagina.

    • Retrocele - The rectum protrudes into the vagina, resulting in
      incomplete rectal emptying.

    There are four different grades of pelvic organ prolapse, depending upon its severity:

    Grade 1: The sagging organ bulges toward the opening of the vagina.

    Grade 2: The sagging organ is halfway down the vaginal canal.

    Grade 3: The sagging organ is at the opening of the vagina.

    Grade 4: The sagging organ drops out of the vagina.

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  • ACeleste Robb-Nicholson, Internal Medicine, answered
    As many as one-third of women at midlife have some kind of pelvic organ prolapse -- a condition in which uterine, bladder, urethral, or rectal tissue protrudes into the vagina. It is one of the most common causes of incontinence.

    The risk of pelvic organ prolapse increases with age, and it's more common in women who've given birth vaginally. Other contributing factors may include family history, excess weight, weak connective tissue, chronic constipation, and an occupation that requires heavy lifting.
  • AHealthwise answered
    Pelvic organ prolapse means that an organ in your lower belly, such as your bladder, has dropped from its normal place and is pushing against your vagina. This can happen when the muscles that support your organs get weak or stretched from childbirth or surgery. It may be painful or uncomfortable. But it usually isn't dangerous.

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  • AKimberly L. Burgess, MD, Urology, answered on behalf of Greenville Health System
    Pelvic organ prolapse or vaginal prolapse occurs in women when the muscles and tissues that hold the pelvic organs in place begin to weaken. Subsequently, the uterus, bladder and rectum may press against the vaginal walls, causing them to protrude into the vagina. Treatment options depend on the type and degree of prolapse and include nonsurgical and surgical therapies. Some women have prolapse that does not cause them any symptoms and may not require treatment.

    The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
  • AKevin Windom, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered

    Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is the condition in which any organs in the pelvis/vagina are "falling". When a patient has bladder prolapse, uterine, or vaginal prolapse, or rectal prolapse it can be considered POP. The downward descent of the pelvic or vaginal organs can cause a significant amount of problems with pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, problems with bladder or bowel emptying, pain with intercourse, and a noted bulging or protrusion of the organs into the vagina. The most common cause of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is child birth. The delivery of a baby through the vagina can cause tearing of the connective tissue surrounding the pelvic organs which would subsequently cause a hernia of the bladder, the bowels, or the rectum into the vagina. These hernias and/or tears in the connective tissue is what causes pelvic organ prolapse. Other causes of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are obesity, chronic straining, weak connective tissue disorders, smoking, or some types of vaginal or gynecologic surgeries. A hysterectomy can increase a patient's risk of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) because the connective tissue is disrupted at the apex of the vagina and if not properly repaired or reapproximated then there can be a weakness of the apex of the vagina causing future pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

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