Prolapse occurs when organs in the pelvic area become loose and drop against the walls of the vagina. This typically happens when muscles weaken during childbirth or surgery, and they’re no longer able to support the weight of the organs above them. The organs, such as the bladder or urethra or uterus, shift from their intended places in the lower belly and push against the vagina resulting in pain and discomfort.
Natural childbirth is perhaps the most common cause of prolapse, as the muscles are stretched and strained while pushing and they don’t always recover. Prolapse can also be attributed to surgery, like a hysterectomy, where certain organs are removed leaving less support for the remaining organs. Being overweight or frequently constipated can also cause the muscles to weaken in your pelvic floor, resulting in prolapse.
The most obvious sign you may be experiencing prolapse is a constant, uncomfortable pressure from your organs pressing against the vaginal wall. Other symptoms may be:
Depending upon the severity of prolapse, treatment may be as simple as developing a routine of Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and vaginal walls. However, if prolapse has reached an advanced stage, you may need surgery.
At Urology of Greater Atlanta, Dr. Alienor Gilchrist is licensed in the most advanced treatment methods for reversing the effects of prolapse. Using robotic surgery for sacrocolpopexy as well as transvaginal sacrospinous colpopexy, Dr. Gilchrist rebuilds your pelvic floor and reestablishes the strength of your vaginal wall, ensuring your organs are supported and encouraged to stay in place.
If you're concerned about prolapse, make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Gilchrist to explore all your available options. Together, you can discuss and implement a treatment plan.