Prolapsed uterus is a condition when the uterus slips down into or protrudes out of the vagina. The cervix does not change the position. Uterine prolapse may affect women at any age but it is common in women over 50 years old.
The uterus is located in the pelvic area with the help of ligaments, muscles, and the fascia of the pelvic floor. The tone of the organ is also important. Damaging of the parts that support the uterus leads to its prolapse.
What causes prolapsed uterus?
Here are the following causes:
- damaged muscles of the pelvic floor,
- injuries of the organs (while giving birth), which can be done by forceps, vacuum extractor,
- surgery on the genitals as well as perineal tears,
- neurological diseases which may result in impaired innervation of the urogenital diaphragm,
- inborn defects of the pelvic organ.
There are also some factors that increase the risk of a prolapsed uterus:
- the old age,
- constant physical loads,
- a woman gave birth many times,
- high intra-abdominal pressure in obesity,
- chronic constipation,
- diseases accompanied by a cough, tumors in the abdominal cavity.
Prolapsed uterus symptoms
Prolapsed uterus varies in severity. You may suffer from mild uterine prolapse and experience no signs or symptoms. If you have moderate to severe uterine prolapse, you may experience:
- A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your pelvis (you may feel as if you’re sitting on a small ball)
- Tissue protruding from your vagina
- Urinary problems, such as urine leakage or urine retention
- Trouble having a bowel movement
- Low back pain
- Problems with sexual intercourse
- Symptoms that are less bothersome in the morning and worsen as the day goes on
- A feeling as if something is falling out of your vagina
- Vaginal bleeding or abundant discharge
- Finally, you can see the uterus coming from your vagina.
Prolapsed uterus treatment
Many patients wonder whether a prolapsed uterus can be cured without surgery. If the disease is severe, it is impossible to bring the organ back to its place. Massage and exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles may serve as preventive measures but not as treatment.
Few variants of surgical treatment for uterine prolapse are available nowadays. The doctor can choose the best suitable one for the patient. But it should be kept in mind that there is no perfect variant and there is always a chance of recurrence.
In order to return the uterus to its normal position, shortening and strengthening of the round ligaments that support the uterus or stitching of ligaments is performed. Stretching of ligaments that are used to fix the organ can lead to relapse.
The usage of alloplastic materials becomes more popular nowadays. The risk of relapse is lower.
Usually, all operations that are aimed at strengthening of the ligament-muscular system of the pelvic floor are held at the same time with vaginal plastic surgery. The surgery may be performed through a vaginal canal or through the front abdominal wall.
Removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) is performed only in cases when other diseases require its removal. After a hysterectomy, prolapse of other pelvic organs may happen.
During a postoperative period, women should avoid carrying anything heavy as well as other physical activities, treating constipation. Following the doctors instructions will definitely reduce the risk of relapse.
Preventive measures should be taken during childhood. Regular physical exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles are helpful, you also need to prevent and treat diseases leading to chronic constipation.
The development of prolapsed uterus depends on the number of births and the course of pregnancy. That is why during pregnancy, it is necessary to visit the doctor on a regular basis. Often the improper obstetric aid (or even the absence of one) during childbirth can cause the prolapse of the uterus. Unfortunately, a lot of women refuse to give birth at hospitals, it leads to trauma during childbirth.
After giving birth, women should regularly do exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. But heavy loads are forbidden under any circumstances. Before exercising, it is recommended to consult a doctor.
Women should also pay attention to uterine prolapse prevention after menopause. In addition to exercises, the doctor may assign hormonal therapy. It will improve blood circulation to the uterus.