The pelvic organs are supported by the pelvic floor muscle, vagina and endopelvic fascia, which is a sheet of connective tissue that covers the internal organs. Sometimes, when one or more of these integral parts of the support system fail, the pelvic organs can begin to descend. Pelvic Organ Prolapse can occur in women of any age, and some common causes include:
· vaginal childbirth
· estrogen deficiency (menopause/hysterectomy)
· connective tissue or pelvic floor muscle injury
· chronic straining, such as with constipation
What are the most common symptoms of
Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
· feeling of fullness in the pelvis
· low back pain
· urinary/fecal incontinence
· inability to fully empty bowel or bladder
· pain with intercourse
· worsening symptoms through the day
How is Pelvic Organ Prolapse Diagnosed?
Diagnosing and staging the degree of prolapse is done via observation of organ descent as the patient bears down. The amount of descent is observed and graded 0 – 4 based on how far the organ falls.
What Is Treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Patients with pelvic organ prolapse should be closely monitored by a Registered Pelvic Health Phsyiotherapist. Once an initial consult is booked, a treatment plan will be put in place that may include any or all of the following techniques:
· pelvic floor strengthening exercises, to encourage stability and support
· pessary assessment and fitting
· behavioral modifications and eliminations, such as activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure, which may include learning how to contract the pelvic floor muscles properly during lifting, bending and standing
Pessaries, the mainstay of conservative treatment, are supportive devices that are inserted into the vagina, similar to a contraceptive diaphragm, which acts as a sling to elevate and support the prolapsed organ.
Surgery is only necessary for symptomatic cases that are unable to be treated via conservative methods
Did you know: Pelvic Organ Prolapse can be treated by one of our Registered Pelvic Health Physiotherapists VIRTUALLY?
If you think you may be suffering from Pelvic Organ Prolapse, contact one of our Registered Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists for a Virtual Initial Consultation today.