Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
As people get older, their bodies start to change. Eyesight can worsen, hearing can diminish and muscles may ache more than usual. However, women in particular may potentially experience another issue: pelvic prolapse.
A pelvic organ prolapse happens when the tissues and muscles around a woman’s bladder, uterus, or anus weaken or loosen. Should this happen, it can cause one of these three organs to drop and if it is severe enough, you may require surgery.
Here are three types of pelvic prolapse and how you can recognize them.
Cystocele Pelvic Prolapse
A cystocele is when the muscles holding up your bladder are stretched or weakened. Regardless of the reason, it causes a woman’s bladder to essentially drop into the vaginal area.
Mild cases involve the bladder dropping only a little bit. Moderate cases are when the bladder falls just below the women’s vaginal opening. If the cystocele is too severe, the bladder will show through the vagina.
Cystoceles can occur for a number of reasons including a past hysterectomy, obesity, constipation, decreased estrogen levels, or a recent vaginal birth. Symptoms that point to a cystocele include having trouble with urinary incontinence, painful intercourse, UTIs, or a full feeling in the pelvic area.
If any of these symptoms persist, see a doctor right away. A minor case may not need treatment, but it should be monitored, just in case. If the case is more severe, your doctor can recommend certain exercises or a device to support the bladder. For serious cases, they may recommend surgery.
Rectocele Pelvic Prolapse
A rectocele is just like a cystocele except it is the rectum that falls. Minor rectoceles are a bit difficult to diagnose as they show almost no symptoms. Moderate and severe rectoceles can show symptoms such as frequent constipation, difficulty making a bowel movement, or pain during bowel movements.
Rectoceles can be treated with physical therapy and bowel training if the case is mild. A vaginal pessary is commonly used to treat more moderate cases and surgery is used if the problem is severe enough.
Enterocele Pelvic Prolapse
An enterocele is when a woman’s small intestines drop into the pelvic area. The small intestines is another part that plays a role in urination and bowel movement.
Basically, an enterocele is a two-in-one condition. Interestingly enough, though, a rectocele is usually considered to be worse than an enterocele. An enterocele can be caused by lifting heavy objects, excessive coughing, or pregnancy.
Common symptoms of an enterocele include pressure in the pelvis, pain or discomfort in the lower back, dyspareunia, difficulty urinating, and uncomfortable bowel movements. The treatment options for this condition are the same as a cystocele and a rectocele.
Although many people feel embarrassed, pelvic organ prolapse warrants immediate attention. While you cannot always prevent a prolapse, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and leading an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing pelvic prolapse.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash