Posted on: 28 October 2016
Uterine prolapse can be a distressing and painful gynaecological condition that affects many women, especially those who have had children. But what can be done to help and can the condition be reversed? Read on for more information.
What is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse occurs when the womb (uterus) bulges down into the vagina. It's caused when the muscles of the pelvic floor lose condition and can no longer hold the uterus in position.
Common signs of uterine prolapse include:
- the feeling that something is pushing down into the vagina or even coming out of it
- pain or discomfort during sex
- a feeling of the bladder not emptying properly, increased frequency of needing to pee, leaking small amounts of urine when you exercise, sneeze or cough
Although uterine prolapse isn't life-threatening, it can be distressing and uncomfortable.
Treatment of uterine prolapse
Sacrohysteropexy or hysterectomy can be used to treat a prolapsed uterus.
Sacrohysteropexy involves using using a thin strip of synthetic mesh material to raise the uterus back into its correct position and holding it there. This procedure means that your sex life will return to normal and you could also have more children if you wanted to.
The procedure is performed via keyhole surgery using an instrument called a laparoscope, which has a tiny camera attached, allowing the surgeon to assess the tissues and organs without having to perform open surgery. There is minimal recovery time required in hospital, hardly any scarring, and very few patients experience complications following surgery.
Hysterectomy is another way of treating a uterine prolapse. Hysterectomy involves the complete surgical removal of the womb, thus guaranteeing that the problem won't recur. Your sex life should return to normal, but clearly this is not an acceptable option if you want to have more children in the future.
When the uterus has prolapsed, the usual method of removing it is via open abdominal surgery. This means a lengthy recovery period in hospital and the possible complication of infection.
Following childbirth, you can take steps to prevent uterine prolapse from occurring by undertaking a regular regime of pelvic floor exercises. This helps to re-tone and strengthen the tissues that support the uterus, which may have stretched during your pregnancy and childbirth. Pelvic exercises can also help the vagina to recover some of its former tone and are helpful in preventing problems with bladder leakage. You'll be given advice on suitable exercises by your obstetrics team.
Obstetrics and gynaecology can be daunting to think about, so if you think you may be suffering from uterine prolapse, consult your doctor without delay to discuss the options for treating the problem.Share