Pelvic organ prolapse, also known as POP, is a condition where the organs in your pelvic region start to sag or drop. This happens when the muscles and tissues that normally hold up your pelvic organs become weakened or damaged. The group of muscles that support your pelvic organs is called the pelvic floor. You can think of the pelvic floor like a hammock that cradles your bladder, uterus, vagina, rectum and small intestine. When the pelvic floor muscles become too weak or stretched out, the hammock starts to sag and your organs can start to descend or protrude into places they shouldn’t.
There are several types of pelvic organ prolapse depending on which organ is involved:
In mild cases, pelvic organ prolapse may not cause any symptoms. As it progresses, you may experience:
Some things that can increase your risk of pelvic organ prolapse include:
See your doctor if you have any symptoms of prolapse. They will do a pelvic exam to check for organ prolapse. You may also need imaging tests like an MRI or ultrasound to confirm diagnosis and severity.
Depending on severity, treatment options may include:
Prolapse can impact comfort, relationships, sex life and emotional health. Your doctor can suggest ways to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. There are also support groups that can help you cope.
The key is seeing a specialist to discuss the best treatment options for your individual case. If you think you may have pelvic organ prolapse, schedule an appointment today.