Uterine Prolapse

1 What is Uterine Prolapse?

Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus moves from its normal position. It can slip into the vagina or birth canal. This happens when associated muscles weaken and are no longer able to provide support for the uterus.

2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of uterine prolapse vary depending on its severity.

Uterine prolapse has different stages of severity. While a mild case of prolapse of the uterus may have no signs or symptoms, a moderate to severe case may give you the following:

  • Sensation of heaviness on the pelvic area
  • Soft tissue protruding from the vagina
  • Urine retention, leakage, and other urinary problems
  • Problem in moving bowels
  • Feeling as if there is something falling out of the vagina
  • Loose vaginal tissue

Typically, the symptoms are less noticeable in the morning, but as the day goes on, they become more bothersome.

3 Causes

The main cause of uterine prolapse is the weakening of the muscles and tissues supporting the uterus.

This may be due to:

  • pregnancy trauma,
  • difficulty in labor and delivery,
  • delivery of a large baby,
  • loss of tone in the muscles,
  • decreased levels of estrogen particularly after the menopause.

4 Treatment

Treatment for uterine polyps may not be needed if you are not experiencing bothersome symptoms. Nevertheless, leaving the problem untreated can make the pelvic floor weaker and looser, hence, a more severe uterine prolapse.

In mild cases, easy self-care measures like doing Kegel exercises can be done to strengthen the pelvic muscles and provide symptom relief. Moreover, a healthy weight can also keep the pressure out of the pelvic muscles.

For a more severe uterine prolapse, the treatment options available are:

  • Pessary.: Pessary is a device inserted into the vagina in order to support the bulging tissue. This device is usually made of silicone, rubber or plastic and comes in various styles and sizes.
  • Surgery:┬áSurgery as treatment for uterine prolapse involves grafting of tissue (your own or from a donor) onto the weakened pelvic structures. Your surgeon may also recommend doing a hysterectomy, a surgical process to remove the uterus.
  • Laparoscopic surgery, a less-invasive type of surgery, may be possible. If you have plans for future pregnancies, surgery is usually not advised.

5 Prevention

While uterine prolapse is not really preventable, the following may help minimize your risk:

  • Kegel exercises. Performing regular Kegels can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Treat and prevent constipation. Increase your fluid intake and eat more fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects. If possible, avoid lifting heavy objects or always lift in a correct manner.
  • Keep coughing under control. Avoid smoking and treat a chronic cough immediately.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Discuss your ideal weight with your doctor and get advice on strategies in losing weight, if needed.

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