What is a prolapse ? A prolapse occurs when one or more of the organs in the pelvis move down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. There are a number of types of prolapse.
Anterior wall prolapse (Cystocoele) This is a prolapse of the front wall of the vagina where the bladder protrudes into the vagina.
Posterior wall prolapse (Rectocoele) This is when the rectum bulges into the vagina.
Uterine prolapse This is when the uterus (womb) descends down into the vagina.
Vaginal vault prolapse This can happen when you have had a hysterectomy and the top of the vagina (where the cervix and uterus once were) descends down.
Symptoms of prolapse
- Heaviness or ache/sense of drag
- Low back pain
- Difficultly holding a tampon in or inserting
- Feeling of a bulge into the vagina
- Difficulty emptying bowels
- Changes with sexual intercourse
- Urinary or bowel dysfunction.
What causes a prolapse ? The risk factors for prolapse include childbirth, constipation, heavy lifting, the menopause, weight gain, excessive coughing and age.
Treatment for prolapse
- Pelvic floor exercises and core training
- Guidance on pelvic health safe exercises which avoid excessive strain on the pelvic floor
- Education regarding lifting, squatting and domestic tasks, addressing lifestyle factors such a weight gain, diet and nutrition
- Healthy bowel habits to avoid constipation
- Vaginal pessaries
Did you know… It is estimated that approximately 50% of women over 50 have some degree of prolapse.