What is vaginal prolapse?
Vaginal prolapse is characterised by the protrusion of any of the pelvic organs, namely uterus, bladder or rectum through the vaginal opening.
The condition is commonly but not exclusively associated with child birth. During the passage of the baby through the birth canal, damage can be caused to muscles and connective tissue supporting the pelvic organs. Symptoms tend to get worse when the pelvic and perineal tissues lose their strength due to the decrease in ovarian hormones levels that happen around menopause.
Symptoms of vaginal prolapse
Vaginal prolapse can cause no symptoms at all or can cause significant discomfort with symptoms such as a dragging sensation, difficulty emptying bowels, urinary dysfunction and discomfort with intercourse.
Treatment of vaginal prolapse
Depending on the degree of prolapse, treatment may involve:
- Conservative management with lifestyle changes such as diet, weight loss and pelvic floor exercises
- Ring pessaries
Surgical treatment for prolapse involves either a vaginal repair or hysterectomy. The treatment options are dependent on type of prolapse, patient conditions and preference.