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Pelvic organ prolapse affects the body in many ways. In this video, Lennox Hoyte, MD, an OB/GYN and urogynecologist at Florida Memorial Hospital of Tampa, explains how the vagina supports the organs around it and how prolapse affects those organs.
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) can cause problems with pelvic pressure, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse or problems with emptying your bowel or bladder. If these problems become more severe, this can cause chronic pain conditions as well as lack of intimacy. Also patient's with chronic constipation can have problems with bloating, abdominal distention, and pain. Lastly patient's with an inability to empty their bladder due to POP can possibly have recurrent bladder infections and/or kidney infections and possibly even kidney failure.
With a pelvic organ prolapse, one or more of a woman's pelvic organs drop or push into her vaginal canal. Sometimes the organ protrudes out of the vagina as well. A prolapse is caused by a failure of weakened or damaged pelvic muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue. The organs and structures that can be affected include the vagina, uterus, cervix, bladder, urethra, rectum, and small intestine. Depending on the severity of the prolapse and the organ affected, the effects on the body can be minor and cause few or no symptoms or they can be severe enough to cause pain, urinary or bowel incontinence, and other complications.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.