Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the bladder or rectum protrude into the vaginal wall. While millions of women in the U.S. suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, most are not aware of this condition.
There is a silence around pelvic organ prolapse because of its intensely personal nature. Women who suffer from it often don't share the information. It's important to know that MaineGeneral offers many effective treatment solutions.
Vaginal vault prolapse is more common in women who have had a hysterectomy. It occurs when the upper part of the vagina descends into the vaginal canal because it doesn't have the same support it did when the uterus was present. As a result, the upper part pulls the rest of the vagina into the vaginal canal or even outside the vagina.
Pain and discomfort with prolapse is considerable. Women often will refrain from sexual intercourse because of discomfort, limit their physical activity and may have urinary or fecal incontinence.
Vaginal vault prolapse can occur alone or with:
- Cystocele: dropping of the bladder into the vagina;
- Urethrocele: sagging of the urethra into the vagina;
- Rectocele: pushing the rectum into the vaginal wall; or
- Enterocele: bulging of the small intestine into the vaginal wall.
Prolapse surgery options have improved significantly in recent years and MaineGeneral physicians can offer several long-term surgical solutions close to home.
Many options use a mesh to restore pelvic structures to a more normal position and reinforce the structures around the vagina to maintain support.
Women who have more than one prolapse often can have them repaired during the same surgical procedure.
For more information, speak with your gynecologist or primary care physician.