Vaginal Prolapse: Symptoms, treatments and precautions  

The vagina is one of several organs located in the pelvic region. Muscles and other tissue hold these organs in place. These muscles work together to form a structure known as the pelvic floor. This support structure can begin to deteriorate over time. This can happen for a variety of causes, but the end effect is organ sagging. A prolapse occurs when your organs sag or droop from their natural position. When the top of the vagina weakens and collapses into your vaginal canal, this is known as vaginal prolapse. Prolapses can be minor or severe. An incomplete prolapse is a minor prolapse. When your organ has displaced significantly, you will experience a larger prolapse (full prolapse). Your organs may protrude from your vaginal entrance if you have a full prolapse. This is a really severe prolapse. Painful symptoms might result from vaginal prolapse. Surgery may not be necessary for mild to moderate vaginal prolapse. However, more severe cases may need surgical repair.

Your pelvis is made up of your uterus, vagina, rectum, bladder, and urethra. These organs are supported by your pelvic floor muscles, which resemble an upside-down umbrella. The umbrella supports your pelvic organs; however, it might collapse over time or due to other circumstances like vaginal delivery. There are various varieties of prolapse, each with a different name based on where the organ has slipped. The following are some examples of pelvic organ prolapse.

Vaginal prolapse is a rather frequent condition. During their lifespan, more than one-third of women or people assigned female at birth (AFAB) may experience some form of pelvic region prolapse. You’re more prone to have vaginal prolapse later in life, especially if you’ve had numerous vaginal births.

Symptoms

  • Fullness, heaviness, or pain in the pelvic region. This sensation frequently worsens throughout the day or after standing, lifting, or coughing.
  • Back ache in the lower back.
  • Bulging in your uterus.
  • You have the sensation that something is slipping out of your vagina.
  • Pee dripping (urinary incontinence).
  • Infections of the bladder occur on a regular basis.
  • Pooping is difficult.
  • Sexual intercourse problems.
  • Tampon inserting issues.

Causes

A set of muscles and other tissue hold your vagina in place within your pelvis, forming a sort of support framework. This structure holds your pelvic organs in place. This structure may deteriorate with time. When this happens, your vagina may slip down and out of place, resulting in a prolapse. Among the most common causes of vaginal prolapse are:

  • Childbirth: Vaginal delivery is more likely to result in prolapse than a C-section. If you’ve had several vaginal deliveries, had a lengthy labor, or delivered a large baby, your chance of prolapse may be increased (more than 9 pounds)
  • Ageing: As you get older, your chances of prolapse increase.
  • Excessive physical exercise or heavy lifting: Activity-related strain can also weaken your pelvic muscles and cause your organs to sag out of position.
  • Factors of genetic or hereditary origin: Your pelvic support system may be naturally weaker.
  • Prolapse can also be caused by activities or situations that put extra pressure on your abdominal area like:
  • Failure to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Heavy lifting.
  • Struggling to defecate.
  • Having a persistent cough (common in people with asthma or respiratory problems

Treatment

Treatment for vaginal prolapse varies based on the severity of the prolapse. In certain circumstances, your healthcare physician may simply want to monitor it over time to ensure that it does not worsen.

Vaginal prolapses can be treated non- surgically or surgically. A few factors will be considered by the Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital while developing a treatment plan, such as:

  • Overall health, as well as any major medical issues.
  • Age
  • The seriousness of the prolapse.
  • If you desire to have children later on.
  • If you ever want to have penetrative sex.

Dr. Poornima Kinila, Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynecology and Infertility, Aster RV Hospital

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