Pelvic Organ Prolapse
POP is a very common problem. Many women with POP experience no symptoms. For other women, common complaints include:
- Pressure from the bulge near the opening of the vagina.
- Not being able to wear a tampon.
- Vaginal dryness or irritation from rubbing on clothing.
- Trouble urinating or having bowel movements until the prolapse is pushed upward manually.
- Urinary incontinence, or the accidental loss of urine, is a common complaint, but is not caused by prolapse.
Reasons for pelvic floor damage may include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth: One in three women who gave birth has prolapse. Being pregnant and having a vaginal delivery can damage the pelvic muscles and nerves, allowing the organs to drop. This is particularly true of women who had a large baby, needed forceps to deliver, or had many babies.
- Aging and menopause: Loss of estrogen with menopause, along with other changes with aging, can weaken the pelvic floor. POP becomes more likely with age.
- Certain health conditions: Health problems that involve repeated straining, such as obesity, chronic cough, and constipation, can injure the pelvic floor over time.
- Heavy lifting: Extreme weight lifting or picking up heavy items on a repeated basis can increase POP risk.
- Genetics: Genes help determine the strength of the connective tissue, so if your mother had POP, you are more likely to develop POP.
For more information Pelvic Organ Prolapse download this PDF.