Pelvic Organ Prolapse can occur at any age, but is more common in certain situations:
- Post pregnancy and childbirth
- Older age
- Lifestyle – like type of job (e.g. heavy lifting)
1/3 of women will have symptoms from a prolapse. A prolapse can range from being mild or severe. Some of the typical symptoms are vaginal heaviness, awareness of a lump or bulge and sometimes discomfort. These symptoms may affect your quality of life sometimes or all the time and you may have good days and bad days – every woman may be differently affected.
Other symptoms can include:
- Bladder leakage, frequency, not fully emptying the bladder
- Incomplete emptying and needing to go more than once to complete a bowel movement.
- Penetrative sex can be uncomfortable
This is what the normal anatomy of the female genito-urinary system looks like:
Different types of pelvic organ prolapse include:
Anterior Wall Prolapse (urethrocele)
- This is the most common type of prolapse
- This is where the front wall becomes weak and the bladder bulges into the front wall of the vagina.
Posterior Wall Prolapse (Rectocele)
- This where the back wall becomes weak and the rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina
- This is where the uterus hangs down into the vagina. There are different stages to this type of prolapse, the most severe form where the uterus is visible outside of the vagina.
- This is a type of prolapse that may occur post hysterectomy. This is where the top (vault) of the vagina bulges down.
Physiotherapy can help address the prolapse itself and the symptoms that you are experiencing.