All About Uterine Prolapse
Uterine prolapse is often something women don’t hear or know much about until it happens to them. When the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments – which support the uterus – stretch out and grow weaker, the uterus can slip into or protrude out of the vagina. You may not even know you have a mild prolapse, which often doesn’t require treatment, but more pronounced cases can lead to discomfort and require more extensive intervention.
Uterine prolapse can happen to anyone but is most common with women who have had vaginal deliveries (particularly women who have delivered larger babies), those with chronic constipation and in postmenopausal women, since decrease in estrogen can lead to weaker pelvic muscles. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding and increased discharge, issues with intercourse, a heavy feeling in the pelvic, urine leakage or difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation and feeling as if you are sitting on a ball. It is typically diagnosed during an annual pelvic exam.
Non-surgical treatments include Kegel exercises, losing weight to reduce stress on the pelvic, avoiding heavy lifting and a pessary – a device that is inserted into the vagina that helps push up and stabilize the uterus and cervix.
“This is something many women experience as they age, and we are happy to offer diagnosis and treatment options,” said Dr. Deb Krahl. “To work to prevent prolapse, we recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor each day, ample fluids and high-fiber foods to prevent constipation, and a focus on maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.”