When the muscles that hold your uterus in place become weak, your uterus can slip down into the vagina. Some cases of uterine prolapse are so mild that women aren’t aware anything is wrong, while in other women, it may be so severe that the uterus protrudes out of the vagina. An examination by the doctors at UroGyn Specialists of Florida is essential for determining your risk and potential treatment, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Orlando, Lake Mary, and Kissimmee, Florida.
What is uterine prolapse?
When you have a uterine prolapse, your uterus drops down into your vagina because the muscles and tissues supporting pelvic organs have weakened. While it can happen at any age, the pelvic floor muscles tend to stretch and weaken over time, so uterine prolapse is more common in women 50 years of age and older.
Are you at risk for uterine prolapse?
The pelvic muscles weaken due to stress and from damage during pregnancy and childbirth. The loss of estrogen at menopause also has an impact, as well as the unavoidable effect of gravity over time.
You may be at a higher risk for uterine prolapse if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Gave birth to one or more babies
- Had a vaginal delivery
- Had a large baby
- Had pelvic surgery
- Frequently strain during bowel movements
- Frequently lift heavy objects
- Have a chronic cough
What symptoms occur with uterine prolapse?
You may not have any symptoms if the prolapse is mild. In more severe cases you may experience:
Pelvic symptoms: A feeling of heaviness or pulling in your pelvis, a bulge in your vagina, or tissue protruding from your vagina.
Urinary and bowel symptoms: You may have problems with unwanted urine leakage, have a hard time urinating, or become constipated.
Other symptoms: You may have lower back pain, or pain or pressure in your lower abdomen.
How is uterine prolapse treated?
Treatment for a uterine prolapse depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may not need treatment, or your doctor at UroGyn Specialists of Florida may recommend lifestyle changes.
If you’re overweight, losing weight will reduce pressure on the pelvic area. You should also avoid heavy lifting. Eating a diet that’s high in fiber and getting enough fluids will help prevent constipation and eliminate the extra pressure from straining. Your doctor may recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Advanced cases of uterine prolapse may require surgery to repair damaged or weakened muscles and supportive tissues. If you’re finished having babies, or if your prolapse is severe, a hysterectomy may be considered.
Many women who need surgery will be candidates for minimally-invasive, robot-assisted surgery, which is performed on-site in our state-of-the-art surgical center. Robotic surgery has a lower rate of complications, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery period compared to open surgery.