child bearing organ, and the urinary bladder are held in place by muscles and
ligaments. When these muscles and ligaments weaken (most commonly due to
multiple vaginal deliveries), either the uterus or the bladder (or in some
cases, both) sink down. In extreme cases, the uterus sinks into the vagina and
can be seen at the vagina’s opening. This sinking down of the uterus is called
uterine prolapse is usually symptomless. If any of the following symptoms are
experienced, it usually means the prolapse is of a more severe nature:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal discharge
- Urinary tract infections
- An uneasy feeling in the vagina, patients usually describe a pulling or tugging feeling in the vaginal area
- Uterus projecting out of the vagina; this is observed as a pink tissue protrusion from the vagina
- Urinary incontinence; the urine leaks out during coughs, sneezes, etc.
- Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse
- An urge to urinate frequently
methods of treating urinary prolapse have given good results.
exercises are extremely effective in strengthening the muscles that support the
uterus. The benefits of regularly performing these exercises are visible within
3-6 weeks. Of course, it is the regularity and the precision in performing
these exercises that yield results.
these exercises, it is necessary to first empty the bladder. Then the pelvic
floor muscles are tightened and held for around 5 seconds. This is followed by
the relaxation of the muscles for another 5 seconds. This tightening and
relaxation should be done around 10 times. For best results, performing these
exercises 3 times a day is recommended.
is a rubbery, ring-shaped piece of equipment that is fitted into the upper
portion of the vagina. The pessary holds up the uterus and prevents it from
sagging. Thus, the pessary effectively does the function of the weakened pelvic
floor muscles. The importance of cleaning the pessary cannot be stressed
enough. The frequency of cleaning depends on the type of pessary being used as
well as the type of prolapse. The pessary should not be left in the body for a
period longer than 3 months. If after the placement of the pessary, the patient
experiences side effects like urinary tract infections, itching in the vagina
or a foul-smelling discharge, they should consult their doctor immediately. As
the pessary can be removed easily, the side effects are easily corrected.
surgical method is uterine suspension wherein the uterus is held in its
original position by either refastening the weakened ligaments or by using
artificial surgical materials.
other surgical method is hysterectomy where the uterus is removed through the
vagina or abdomen. Of course, this method is not for women who plan to have
of Vaginal Estrogen
The hormone estrogen keeps the pelvic muscles strong. In older women, the level of estrogen goes down and hence they are more susceptible for experiencing uterine prolapse. Administering vaginal estrogen strengthens the pelvic muscles but this method is used as a supplement along with the other treatment methods and not as a stand-alone option.