Uterine Prolapse: Early Warning Signs and Effective Treatments

Uterine prolapse — a condition in which the tissues that support the uterus lose strength — is a common affliction. In fact, up to 68% of women are believed to experience this condition at some point.

Many women may not know, however, because this condition isn’t always symptomatic, especially in the early stages. However, when the tissues supporting the uterus fail significantly, the condition can become distracting, uncomfortable, and even painful.

As with many medical conditions, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the impact of the condition. In this blog, the providers at Southeast Urogyn in Jackson, Mississippi, explain what uterine prolapse is, some of the early warning signs, and how it can be treated.

What is uterine prolapse?

The uterus is where a baby develops and grows. The uterus itself is a muscular organ that is suspended in the pelvis by other muscles and ligaments. As these muscles and ligaments expand to handle the demands of a pregnancy, they can stretch and weaken.

When they’re no longer strong enough to support the uterus, the uterus can press down into the walls of the vagina. With a partial prolapse, the uterus may press into the vagina. With a complete prolapse, the uterus may protrude out of the vagina. 

Risk factors for uterine prolapse

Being pregnant and delivering a child vaginally can be a big factor in developing uterine prolapse later in life. However, there can be other factors as well, including:

In addition, women of Caucasian or Hispanic descent are more likely to suffer uterine prolapse. 

Early signs and symptoms

Uterine prolapse can be accompanied by a number of symptoms, including the following:

Incontinence

The first sign of prolapse may be incontinence issues, because the displaced uterus may press on the bladder. 

Constipation

The lower intestine could be restricted by out-of-place organs, which could cause constipation or difficult bowel movements.

Sensations of heaviness

You may also feel sensations of heaviness or pulling in your pelvis due to the movement of your uterus. As prolapse becomes more advanced, these sensations may change to feeling as though you’re sitting on something or that your uterus is literally falling from your body.

Issues with intercourse

If your uterus presses on your vagina, the sensations associated with intercourse may change, making sex less pleasurable and even uncomfortable.

If you have any of these symptoms, bring them to your doctor’s attention, especially if you have any of the aforementioned risk factors.

Treating uterine prolapse

There are a range of options that can be used to treat uterine prolapse, depending on your condition. Kegel exercises may help strengthen your pelvic floor. Furthermore, a device called a vaginal pessary may be worn to provide additional support.

Estrogen supplements in the form of suppositories or topical ointments can help restore lost hormones. A loss of hormones is another reason why pelvic floor muscles can degrade after menopause.

In more advanced cases of prolapse, surgical solutions — such as hysterectomy — may be recommended.

If you think you may be suffering from uterine prolapse, book an appointment over the phone with Southeast Urogyn to get a thorough evaluation and go over your potential treatment options.

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