How severe is a pelvic organ prolapse?

Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898

The vagina, uterus, bladder and bowel are held in place by a network of muscles, tendons and fascia known as the pelvic floor.

Pregnancy, childbirth, ageing, menopause, hysterectomy, inherited risk, or conditions that cause excessive pressure on the pelvic floor like obesity, a chronic cough, chronic constipation or heavy lifting, can all weaken the pelvic floor and result in prolapse of one or more of the pelvic organs.

The main types of pelvic organ prolapse are the: Cystocele prolapse when the bladder bulges into the anterior (front) wall of the vagina. Rectocele prolapse when the bowel bulges into the posterior (back) wall of the vagina. Enterocele prolapse when the small intestines bulge into the upper part of posterior wall of the vagina. Uterine prolapse when the uterus descends from its normal position in the vaginal canal. Vaginal vault prolapse – following a hysterectomy, the top of the vagina (the vault) collapses downwards into the vaginal canal.

The pelvic floor weakens gradually over time in a progression from grade one to four.

Grade 1: Is a mild prolapse where an organ has descended slightly but remains within the vagina. There may be a feeling of pressure or discomfort but it often goes unnoticed.

Grade 2: Is a moderate prolapse where the pelvic organ/s have descended to the vagina opening but remain within the vagina. Women often feel a heaviness in the pelvic area and may have urinary incontinence or discomfort during intercourse.

Grade 3: Is an advanced prolapse where the pelvic organ/s are protruding 1-2cm outside the vagina. Symptoms include discomfort, difficulty with urination or bowel movements and possible sexual dysfunction.

Grade 4: Is a severe prolapse where the pelvic organs have prolapsed outside the vaginal opening. There will be significant bulging of tissue outside the vagina which can cause severe discomfort and challenges with urination and bowel movements and skin irritation.

Women should be intimately acquainted with their pelvic floor. Have a look with a mirror and feel with your fingers. It is important to know what your pelvic floor looks and feels like when it is strong so you can notice an early onset of changes or weakness.

If you’re concerned that something doesn’t feel right down there, then visit your GP who will be able to identify a prolapse or reassure you that everything is ok.

Depending on severity, normal treatment options start with kegel exercises and progress to a pessary ring to hold organs up or surgery.

Most people are unaware that pelvic floor acupuncture is an effective therapy for the treatment and management of prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunction. As well as relieving pain and reducing inflammation acupuncture increases blood circulation, promoting tissue repair and the stimulation of the pelvic floor muscles to improve tone and strength.

Amanda Roe is a clinical hypnotherapist and acupuncturist who uses a range of holistic therapies including dietary guidance to improve fertility, emotional and mental health. Supporting natural recovery from trauma, eating disorders and other mind/body concerns for more information or to book a consultation visit or call/text Amanda on: 087 633 1898.

WCP Staff

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