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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when your pelvic floor weakens, and one or more of the pelvic organs drops from its normal position and pushes against the vaginal walls. Women can suffer from vaginal prolapse, prolapsed uterus, prolapsed bladder, or prolapsed bowel, intestines, or rectum.

There are five types of prolapse:

  • Anterior prolapse (cystocele) — occurs when the prolapsed bladder descends into the vagina
  • Posterior prolapse (rectocele) — occurs when the rectum protrudes into the vagina
  • Small bowel prolapse (enterocele) — occurs when the intestine drops into the vagina
  • Vaginal vault prolapse — occurs when the top of the vagina falls into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina
  • Uterine prolapse — occurs when the uterus dips toward the vagina 

Causes of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prophase typically happens in women who have given vaginal birth multiple times. However, it can also happen after a hysterectomy or other surgeries in the pelvic region.

You are at additional risk for pelvic organ prolapse if you are overweight, have a family history of prolapse, have recurring constipation, or frequent, ongoing cough.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Treatment for pelvic organ prolapse begins with the proper diagnosis. The women’s health specialists at Bassett Healthcare Network will run tests that may include imaging studies such as X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or a urodynamic study.

Our goal is then to help you regain the quality of life you enjoyed before you began having symptoms. Non-surgical treatments may include:

  • Bladder training — emptying your bladder at scheduled times to help with incontinence
  • Hormone therapy — estrogen in a topical cream or pill form to strengthen the vaginal walls 
  • Kegel exercises — to strengthen muscles around the urethra, vagina, and rectum 
  • Lifestyle changes — weight loss, avoiding repetitive lifting, treatment for chronic conditions, like coughs and constipation
  • Pessary — a small device fitted into the vagina to help support pelvic structures

If non-surgical treatments aren’t effective or your condition doesn’t improve, surgery may be necessary. We perform minimally invasive surgery to repair the prolapse, pelvic reconstruction surgery, or a colpocleisis. 

Colpocleisis partially closes the vagina to support the organs in the pelvic region. This surgery is often very effective at relieving symptoms of prolapse, although it is not recommended for women who are sexually active, or have a desire to be sexually active after the procedure.

Comprehensive Care for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic floor disorders can be difficult to talk about, but the compassionate care team at Bassett Healthcare Network is here to help you get your life back. We provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for pelvic floor prolapse and other pelvic floor disorders.

Bassett Healthcare Network offers diagnosis and treatment for pelvic organ prolapse in Central New York, including in Cooperstown, Cobleskill, Hamilton, Herkimer, and Oneonta.