No one stops to think about the muscles that support pelvic organs until those muscles weaken and organs drop down, or prolapse. It’s estimated that 6-18% of women develop pelvic organ prolapse as they age. The team at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples are experts at repairing pelvic organ prolapse. Please call their offices in Naples, Florida, if you have any concerns, or schedule an appointment online for a pelvic examination.
A group of muscles called pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, and rectum, essentially forming a sling that holds the organs in place. Muscles included in this group also control urination and bowel movements.
Pelvic floor muscles can be stretched and weakened by vaginal childbirth, as well as by common activities like heavy lifting and frequent coughing. Pelvic surgery and diseases that affect the area may also damage pelvic floor muscles.
When your pelvic muscles can’t support one or more organs, or they’re too damaged to function properly, you may experience:
Weak pelvic floor muscles allow the organs they usually support to drop down from their normal location. When the uterus or bladder prolapses, they push against the vagina and cause a bulge in the vaginal wall. In severe cases, the organs protrude out of the vagina.
In addition to the symptoms associated with weak pelvic muscles and feeling a bulge in your vagina, you may experience a sense of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis.
Pelvic organ prolapse tends to develop as women get older, especially after menopause. You may have a higher risk if you vaginally delivered one or more babies.
Your doctor at Women’s Healthcare Physicians of Naples may recommend one or more of the following treatments: