Uterus is the female reproductive organ that carries the baby during pregnancy. It is a muscular organ in the pelvic region. A network of muscles, tissues, and ligaments help keep the uterus in place. With time, this network of muscles and ligaments tend to loosen up. Pregnancy, childbirth, chronic cough, tumors in the pelvic or abdominal area, and decrease in hormone estrogen with age causes the muscles to lose their strength. This causes the uterus to slip down from its original place into the vaginal canal. This gynecological problem is called a prolapsed uterus. There are certain symptoms that help identify this condition sooner.
The uterus may slip into the birth canal causing a bump. This condition is called 'incomplete prolapse'. If the uterus slips too far down into the vagina such that the uterine tissue is observed outside the vagina, it is called 'complete prolapse'. This is a very serious condition that needs immediate medical attention. Most of the women, do not show any obvious symptoms of prolapsed uterus. When the uterus continues to be pushed or slip downwards, it causes some amount of tension or pressure on the other organs in the pelvic region. Many women often feel as if 'something is coming down' in their abdomen.
The pressure on bladder and rectum causes a feeling of fullness. The symptoms include:
- Difficulty while walking
- Difficulty urinating
- Difficulty with bowel movements
- Vaginal discomfort
- Constant ache in the pelvic region
- Lower backache
- Abdominal pain
- Protruding tissue in the vagina
- Frequent bladder infection
- Urinary tract infection
- Heavy menses
- Rectal urgency
- Sensation of the cervix pressed against the vaginal canal
- Excessive vaginal discharge
- Frequent urination
- Pain during sexual intercourse
If the condition is observed during pregnancy, then it needs immediate gynecological examination. Most of the time it does not affect the baby; however, if you observe anything strange, do not take any chances and consult your doctor immediately.
Prolapsed Bladder Symptoms
The symptoms of prolapsed bladder are also commonly observed in women. It can occur due to childbirth, especially due to a stressful delivery. If the vaginal muscles and tissues were stretched a lot during delivery, it may result in a prolapsed bladder or uterus. Decrease in the hormone estrogen may cause the muscles that hold the uterus or bladder to become weak. This causes prolapsed bladder or dropped uterus. Lifting heavy objects, chronic coughing, long-term constipation, etc., may damage or weaken the muscles on the pelvic floor.
The symptoms of prolapsed bladder are as follows:
- Pain in the pelvic region
- Protruding tissue out of the vagina
- Difficulty urinating
- One may feel the bladder is not empty even after urinating
- Urinary incontinence
- Lower back pain
- Pain during intercourse
The treatment involves surgical as well as non-surgical options. The severity of the symptoms help determine the line of treatment. The non-surgical treatment options include exercises called the Kegel exercises that help tighten the pelvic muscles. In some cases, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is carried out to reduce the muscle weakness. A rubber or plastic device called vaginal pessary is fitted around the lower part of the uterus to hold it in place. The surgical treatment options include hysterectomy, wherein the uterus is surgically removed from the abdomen. This surgical treatment means that the woman can no longer undergo pregnancy. Uterine suspension is the surgical procedure that reattaches the ligaments to the uterus. This helps hold the uterus in place.
You can prevent prolapsed uterus by avoiding lifting heavy objects, and by taking good antenatal and postnatal care. You should have a healthy diet to keep your body fit. You should carry out exercises that help make your pelvic floor muscles strong. Kegel exercises along with some pregnancy exercises will help you strengthen and tighten your pelvic muscles. If you observe any tissue outside your vagina, consult your doctor immediately.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.