Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a medical condition that occurs when the pelvic organs, such as the uterus, fall from their normal position and into the vagina or outside of the body. While POP is most common in women who have had children, it can also occur in men and women who have never been pregnant. There are several treatments for POP, depending on the severity of the condition. Pelvic organ prolapse is a severe medical condition that should be treated only by a qualified healthcare provider.
Types of pelvic organ prolapse
The pelvic organ in question determines the many types of pelvic organ prolapse. The following are the most prevalent types:
- Cystocele (or dropped bladder) – It is the most common type of POP that occurs when the bladder drops into or out of the vagina.
- Rectocele – when the rectum falls into or out of the vagina.
- Uterine prolapse (or dropped uterus) – when the uterus descends into or out of the vagina.
Pelvic organ prolapse is caused by various factors, including pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, obesity, and chronic coughing. Pelvic organ prolapse can also result from a pelvic injury or surgery. In some cases, exposure to radiation in the pelvic area, heavy lifting, and hysterectomy also cause a POP.
Pelvic organ prolapse is diagnosed through a physical examination and pelvic imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Pelvic organ prolapse is graded on a scale from I to IV, with grade I being the mildest and grade IV being the most severe.
Pelvic organ prolapse can cause various symptoms, depending on the severity of the condition. So, common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, difficulty having bowel movements, and vaginal discharge. In severe cases, pelvic organ prolapse can cause the organs to protrude from the vagina or outside of the body.
Pelvic organ prolapse is treated with various methods, depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, pelvic organ prolapse can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, avoiding constipation, and avoiding heavy lifting. Pelvic organ prolapse can also be treated with pelvic floor exercises and pessaries. Surgery is usually reserved for severe cases of pelvic organ prolapse.
Studies have found that one can reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse by maintaining healthy body weight through regular exercise, choosing foods rich in fibre and quitting smoking, as it can lead to chronic cough, putting a lot of stress on the pelvic muscles. Pelvic organ prolapse is a severe medical condition that should be treated only by the best gynaecologist. If you think you may have similar symptoms, download SeekMed, the best doctors’ app and find Dr. Aparna Hegde to make an appointment and discuss your symptoms and treatment options. So, Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. Therefore, it is essential to talk to your doctor about your treatment options, including lifestyle changes, pelvic floor exercises, and surgery.