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Uterine prolapse

The falling of the pelvic organs from their usual position down into the vagina is called prolapse. This can occur when supporting ligaments and tissues weaken. Uterine prolapse occurs more commonly in women who:

Prolapse can lead to urinary incontinence, pelvic pressure or difficulty with bowel movements.

Symptoms of uterine prolapse

Mild uterine prolapse may cause no symptoms at all. With more severe prolapse, you may experience:

Screening options for uterine prolapse

Uterine prolapse is usually diagnosed during a pelvic exam. A doctor may diagnose uterine prolapse if the cervix is in a lowered position in the vagina, or if a part of the bladder or rectum is protruding into the vagina.

If you have been diagnosed with uterine prolapse, discuss appropriate treatment options with your doctor.

Talking with your doctor

Questions about uterine prolapse

  1. Can I do anything to strengthen the pelvic muscles?
  2. What factors contribute to prolapse?
  3. If I take hormones, will my condition improve?

Questions about treatment options

  1. Is using a pessary (a plastic ring inserted into the vagina) an option?
  2. How will a hysterectomy help my bladder function?
  3. Will my bladder function be back to normal?

If you're not satisfied with the responses you receive, consider asking for a second opinion. You are an integral part of your healthcare team and you should feel comfortable with your physician and the recommended treatment.

Treatment options for uterine prolapse may include specific types of exercise, a pessary (a device inserted to support the uterus), hormonal therapy and surgery, including a round ligament procedure (to provide muscle support for the uterus). Together with your doctor, you will develop a treatment plan based on:

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