Pelvic Organ Prolapse
As we age, a shift in the location of our pelvic organs can occur as a result of pregnancy, childbirth or excessive weight, which can stretch and cause the muscles that support those organs to weaken. A group of muscles and ligaments referred to as “the pelvic floor” supports the bowel, uterus, bladder and colon.
If pelvic floor muscles weaken enough, your organs can drop and extend into the vagina, creating a sensation like something is falling out. You may also experience a feeling of fullness and/or pain. As a result, you may also have difficulty holding your urine or having a successful bowel movement.
Your treatment options will be dependent upon the kind of pelvic organ prolapse you’re suffering from. Your Fresno OB-GYN may initially suggest treating your prolapse using non-surgical methods. However, if the symptoms continue to negatively affect your quality of life, surgery may be the most viable option.
Medications: Menopause usually leads to lower estrogen levels, which tends to weaken the vaginal muscles. Estrogen replacement medications may help to make those muscles stronger.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy in the form of pelvic floor exercises can help make specific muscles of the pelvic floor much stronger.
Surgery: Your Fresno OB-GYN may opt to perform minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery to treat certain types of pelvic organ prolapse.
There are a number of surgical strategies for treating various types of prolapse.
Posterior prolapse, which involves the rectum, is sometimes referred to as a rectocele. Your Fresno OB-GYN will secure the tissue that ties together your vagina and rectum to help the rectum maintain its position.
Anterior prolapse often involves the bladder and is referred to a cystocele. In this case, your OB-GYN will lift your bladder and secure the connective tissue located between your bladder and vagina to help the bladder maintain its position.
Uterine prolapse is typically treated by removing the uterus, if the patient has no plans to have children.
Small bowel prolapse and vaginal vault prolapse is referred to as enterocele. Your OB-GYN may perform corrective surgery through the vagina or abdomen.
Prolapse surgery repairs address the tissue bulge, but if the bulge doesn’t bother you – which is quite common – surgery is not needed.
If you would like more information regarding the treatment of rectal and bladder prolapse and are in need of a caring and experienced OB-GYN Fresno CA residents rely on the professional and caring staff at the office of Dr. Gail Mallard-Warren.
Don’t wait – call us today at (559) 432-4963 to schedule your appointment.Request an Appointment