What is a Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Prolapse refers to a descending or drooping of one of the organs in the pelvis. These organs are said to prolapse if they descend into or outside the vaginal canal or anus. A prolapse is graded from 1 – 4: 1 being mild and 4 being chronic and outside the body.
There are different types of Prolapse:

  • Cystocele – a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina
  • Urethrocele – a prolapse of the urethra
  • Uterine – a prolapse of the womb
  • Vaginal Vault – a prolapse of the vagina
  • Enterocele – a prolapse of the small bowel
  • Rectocele – a prolapse of the rectum
What causes a Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Anything that puts increased pressure in the abdomen can lead to a Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Common causes include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Respiratory conditions resulting in chronic coughing
  • Constipation
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles
  • Genetics may also play a roll
What are the symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Some women only discover they have a prolapse when they have a routine smear test or vaginal examination.

Symptoms include:

  • A feeling of pressure in the pelvic cavity
  • Backache, usually felt low down in the back
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • A feeling that something is falling out of the vagina
  • Urinary issues like leaking urine or chronic urge to urinate
  • Constipation
  • Bleeding or spotting from the vagina
What treatments are available?

Treatment depends on the severity of the prolapse.

  • Hypopressive exercises have proved very successful in the treatment and prevention of prolapses. Stage 1 & 2 prolapses respond well to Hypopressives, stage 3 & 4 prolapses may need additional treatment
  • Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
  • Mechanical treatments such as the insertion of a device called a vaginal pessary into the vagina that supports the descending organ
  • Surgical treatment to repair or add support to the affected organ called Vaginal Mesh Surgery or complete removal of the organ in the case of the uterus.
Most women experience a better quality of life after surgery, but there’s a high risk of problems remaining or even getting worse.

Practicing Hypopressive exercises has helped many women with their prolapses and related symptoms, enabling them to lead normal lives again. Read two very personal stories about how Hypopressives have helped my clients: Jane in Bath and Helen in Llandridnod Wells.