Pelvic organ prolapse is a common problem. It affects about 3% of American women. Though it can happen at any age, it’s especially common in women 50 and older. At San Fernando Valley Urological Associates, the team of expert urologists specializes in diagnosing and treating pelvic organ prolapse. To make an appointment at the practice in Tarzana or West Hills, California, call the nearest office today or schedule online.
The pelvic floor is a group of soft tissues shaped like a hammock. It supports a woman’s bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Though incredibly strong, these muscles and tissues can develop problems brought on by childbirth and the natural aging process.
If you develop a pelvic floor disorder, your organs can descend or droop, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms, like urinary or bowel incontinence.
Common causes of pelvic organ prolapse include:
You might also experience pelvic organ prolapse due to genetics. Some women have a weaker pelvic floor which can increase your risk.
Common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:
The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse differ depending on the organ that’s descended. For example, if your bladder prolapses, you might experience urinary incontinence. If your rectum prolapses, you might experience painful intercourse or lower back pain.
To diagnose pelvic organ prolapse, your San Fernando Valley Urological Associates provider does a physical exam and reviews your medical history. They ask you about your symptoms, including when they started and if any activities like sexual intercourse make them worse.
If the exam and questions don’t provide enough information about your condition, your provider might order additional testing, like a CT scan, an MRI, or an ultrasound of your pelvis. These diagnostic imaging procedures are non-invasive and provide detailed images of the soft tissues that make up your pelvic floor.
How pelvic organ prolapse is treated will depend on how severe your symptoms are and their effect on your daily life. If you have mild symptoms, Kegel exercises might be enough to provide adequate relief. More severe instances of prolapse often benefit from an implantable device that supports your pelvic organs, like a pessary.
In rare cases, surgery will be necessary, but only when all other treatment options are exhausted.
To receive treatment for pelvic organ prolapse, make an appointment at San Fernando Valley Urological Associates by calling the office today or scheduling online.