Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Let’s Talk About It
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse (‘POP’) is common in women and refers to the prolapse or drooping of any of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, small intestine, or rectum) into or outside of the vaginal canal or anus.
The incidence increases after childbearing and as women increase in age.
What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Some women notice nothing at all (particularly those women with mild prolapse), but others may feel one or more of the following symptoms:
- a feeling of pressure, dragging or fullness in the pelvic area
- lower back pain
- painful intercourse
- a feeling that something is falling out of the vagina
- a visible bulge in the vagina or anus
- stress or urge urinary incontinence
- constipation, and/or
- a feeling of incomplete urination or defaecation
- spotting or bleeding from the vagina.
Symptoms will depend somewhat on which organ is drooping (e.g. bladder, rectum, small intestine, uterus).
What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse can be caused by a broad range of factors, including:
- anything that puts increased pressure in the abdomen, such as: pregnancy, labour and childbirth (the most common causes), chronic constipation and straining, heavy lifting and intense repetitive activity (such as CrossFit)
- pelvic floor injury (e.g. injuries caused during vaginal delivery, surgery, pelvic radiation, or fractures to the back and pelvis caused by falls or accidents)
- respiratory problems with a chronic, long-term cough
- pelvic organ cancers
- nerve and muscle diseases that affect pelvic floor strength, and/or
- genetics (pelvic organ prolapse can be hereditary with connective tissues weaker in some women).
Obese women have a 40% to 75% increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Can Be Treated
While it is estimated that about one-third of all women are affected by pelvic organ prolapse or similar conditions over their lifetime, there are a number of treatment options that can offer successful outcomes.
At the Coregood Institute we offer a full range of non-surgical treatment options, and tailor a treatment plan to suit your particular situation and needs.
Our treatment options include:
- Pelvic floor physiotherapy: involves learning how to recruit your pelvic floor muscles correctly so that they can be strengthened. This ability can then be applied safely and progressively to appropriate daily activities.
- PelviCenter treatment: uses powerful electromagnetic fields to automatically strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, with research showing average improvements in strength remaining even a year after the course of treatment has ended.
As well as treating the existing condition, we can also offer effective natural solutions and nutritional advice to treat and help you better manage some of the underlying chronic conditions that can lead to pelvic dysfunction, including:
- nutritional advice and natural solutions to prevent chronic constipation, reduce inflammation, or lose weight, and
- lifestyle advice to help you avoid activities that stress your pelvic muscles, such as heavy lifting or inappropriate forms of exercise.
In the case of severe pelvic organ prolapse, surgery may be the only option. However, non-surgical treatment (such as the PelviCenter) prior to surgery remains equally important as the pelvic floor plays a vital role in controlling prolapse and protecting your surgical repair.