Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pressure or fullness in pelvic region
Sensation of something falling out of your vagina
Hard to pass stool and something feels stuck
Leaking urine with feeling pressure in your vagina
Descent of one or more of the pelvic floor wall or structure in vagina or anus due to loss of fibromuscular support. The prolapse can be of the cervix, vaginal wall, small intestines pushing at the vaginal apex, bladder with or without urethral descent, rectum prolapse into vaginal wall or through the anal canal, small bowel protrusion into the vaginal wall and or perineum descend with or without perineal body. Pelvic support is provided by connective tissue (CT), ligaments and muscles. Levator Ani (LA) muscles provide this dynamic support and also helps maintain this pelvic tone that is required for pelvic floor organ support and stability. Your levator ani muscles act as a trampoline and the connective tissues are the springs that attach this trampoline to the bones. If there is a failure to the trampoline or its springs, there is an overall instability and weakness of the mechanism and can lead to decreased pliability.
Risk factor and causes of POP: - Vaginal childbirth - Increasing Age - Increasing intra-abdominal pressure - Increasing body mass index - Connective tissue disorders - Female Gender As discussed above, any of these factors can lead to the abnormality of the suppleness of the levator ani muscles and the connective tissues causing failure to the support and resulting into prolapse of the organ. As Pelvic floor physical therapists, we can help you identify if any of the prolapse is a result of muscular dysfunction that can be improved using pelvic floor muscle training. Physical therapy has been found to be most effective if the prolapse is mild to moderate, at the stages 1-2 (has not prolapsed beyond the level of the hymen). Pelvic floor training has also benefited women who decide to undergo surgical correction of their POP. We do not fit pessaries in our clinic, however we can collaborate with your healthcare professional and help you choose the right one for you.