What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Is it something I should worry about? What are its symptoms?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which the natural support structures that maintain the position and function of the female pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and cervix, rectum, vagina) become weakened over time. “Prolapse” refers to when these organs literally start to fall out of their normal anatomic position, resulting in problems such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pressure and pain, vaginal bulge, bowel movement issues, etc. Before that happens, however, there are many associated signs and symptoms of what we call “Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)” which can precede actual prolapse by months to years. PFD is exceedingly common and, while the incidence of these problems increases with age, there are thousands of women, even young women, who are bothered by symptoms of urinary incontinence and PFD every day. It has been estimated that 50 percent of women over 50 will suffer from some form of PFD. What’s important to know is that bothersome leakage of urine, constant pelvic pain and pressure, pain with intercourse, and problematic bowel movements – none of these are normal nor are they something that women are just “supposed to live with” — even though many women assume that is true. We have safe, effective treatments for this set of symptoms that are significantly under-recognized and under-treated.
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