Women's Health

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

 

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when the tissues that hold the pelvic organs in place become weak or stretched, resulting in the displacement (prolapse) of the organs from their normal position. There are five types, involving different organs:

 

  • Cystocele (bladder)
  • Enterocele (small bowel)
  • Rectocele (rectum)
  • Uterine (uterus)
  • Vaginal vault (when the upper part of the vagina falls into the vaginal canal)

What Causes it?

Prolapse is caused by muscles and ligaments that have been weakened or damaged. The most common causes of prolapse include:1

 

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Previous surgery
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Genetics

Stats

 

1 in 2 women may experience prolapse (based on examination).2

What are the symptoms?

To learn more and determine if you have prolapse, take this symptom quiz and talk to your doctor about your answers. Symptoms include:

 

  • A bulge or lump in the vagina
  • The vagina protruding from the body
  • A pulling or stretching feeling in the groin area
  • Difficult or painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal pain, pressure, irritation, bleeding, or spotting
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Delayed or slow urinary stream

What are the treatment options?

Taking the details of your condition into account, you and your doctor can work together on a treatment plan. It’s important that you understand all the options available, and that you share your thoughts and concerns with your doctor.

Exercise

Special exercises, called Kegel exercises, may help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. For Kegel exercises to be effective, they need to be done daily.

Vaginal Pessary

A pessary is a rubber or plastic device used to support the pelvic floor and maintain support of the prolapsed organ. A health care provider will fit and insert the pessary, which must be

cleaned frequently and removed before sexual intercourse.

Surgery

There are two approaches to surgical treatment for POP1: obliterative (closing the vagina completely) and reconstructive (restoring the anatomy to its normal position). Reconstructive options include sacrocolpopexy, transvaginal mesh repair kits, and vaginal colporrhaphy and apical suspensions using your own tissue.1

See what AMS can do for you.

We offer two options designed to treat POP. Review them and talk to your doctor about what may work for you.

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Connect with a Specialist

Could an AMS treatment option restore your self-confidence and change your life? To find out, start by choosing a specialist to help you through the process.

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Learn more about this condition.

Check out our dedicated POP website for additional information, including frequently asked questions.

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1. Jelovsek JE, Maher C, Barber MD. Pelvic organ prolapse. Lancet. 2007;369(9566):1027-38.

2. Barber MD, Maher C. Epidemiology and outcome assessment of pelvic organ prolapse. Int

Urogynecol J. 2013;24:1783-1790.