Advanced Urogynecology -  - Urogynecologist

Advanced Urogynecology

Urogynecologists located in Maitland, FL

Pelvic organ prolapse is quite common, and it can cause symptoms that decrease a woman’s quality of life. As a leading urogynecologist in Maitland, FL, Dr. Kristin M. Jackson offers compassionate, skilled care for prolapse in patients at Advanced Urogynecology, including both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options.

Prolapse Q & A

What is prolapse?

Prolapse is a condition in which an organ descends from its normal position and presses on or invades another space such as the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse may involve the uterus, the top portion of the vagina (the vaginal vault), the bladder wall (called a cystocele), the rectal wall (called a rectocele), or the area between the rectum and the uterus (sometimes including a portion of the small intestine called an enterocele).

What causes pelvic organ prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments that support one or more organs become damaged or weak, often as a result of vaginal childbirth or hysterectomy. Other factors that can contribute to prolapse include:

  • being overweight or obese
  • chronic constipation and strain during bowel movements
  • persistent and long-lasting cough
  • Other genetic factors and family history of prolapse

What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse?

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can vary depending on which organ is descending into the vaginal canal. Common symptoms include:

  • a feeling of fullness or pressure in the vagina
  • aching or “pulling” sensations in the pelvic region
  • urinary incontinence
  • difficulty urinating or having a bowel movement

Mild prolapse often causes no symptoms at all.

How is pelvic organ prolapse treated?

When prolapse is mild but still causes symptoms, pelvic floor therapy can help restore some of the strength to the muscles that hold the organs in place so symptoms are resolved. This treatment is a combination of home exercises and office-based therapy.  A small sensor is placed in the vagina which uses electrical stimulation to build the muscles that support the organs.  This therapy is painless and easy to perform.

In some cases, a device called a pessary can be inserted into the vagina to provide additional needed support. A pessary is a small, soft silicone device, usually in the shape of a disc or ring.  Pessaries offer immediate relief from prolapse symptoms and can be managed by either you or your physician.

In more severe cases, or when conservative approaches don’t relieve symptoms, surgery may be needed to repair damaged muscles and connective tissues. Several surgical approaches are available. Many repairs can be performed vaginally, by using your own natural tissue to support the organ that is out of place.  Other times, a minimally-invasive robotic surgery can be used to place a mesh support to hold up the bladder or vagina. These surgeries are typically performed on an outpatient basis, and recovery takes up to 8 weeks. 

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