Pelvic Organ Prolapse

What is Pelvic organ prolapse?

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that form a hammock or sling around the opening of the pelvis. The pelvic organs, such as the womb (uterus), rectum and bladder, are held in position by the pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding tissues. When the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue that support the pelvic organs are weakened, the pelvic support is lost, resulting in protrusion of the bladder, urethra, cervix, and rectum. This is called pelvic organ prolapse.

Women with pelvic organ prolapse will experience excessive pressure on the lower abdomen associated with a bulging or aching sensation, difficulty in urination, and urinary tract infections. Your doctor will diagnose the condition by performing a physical examination, including a pelvic examination, referring to medical and family history, and may perform other tests such as cystoscopy, ultrasound scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

If the symptoms are mild, non-surgical treatment options such as medications, pelvic floor exercises, vaginal pessaries (a device that is inserted in the vagina to support the pelvic floor), and lifestyle changes may be helpful.

Surgery can be considered in patients with severe symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. There are different types of procedures to address a specific prolapse. The aim of pelvic floor reconstruction is to restore the normal anatomy and function of the pelvic organs.

Related Topics

  • British Gynaecological Cancer Society
  • British Fertility Society
  • British Menopause Society
  • BSGE
  • General Medical Council
  • National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Royal College of Obstetricains and Gynaecologist