About half of women are thought to have some degree of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), a condition wherein the pelvic floor weakens, resulting in pelvic organs dropping down and bulging out of the vagina. While 50% of the female population seems like a surprisingly high estimate, it makes a lot more sense when considering POP risk factors. Here’s a closer look at the health and lifestyle factors that can put you at higher risk for developing POP, plus treatment options:
- Having had at least one vaginal birth
- Experiencing a long labor, forceps or suction delivery
- Feeling/seeing tissues bulging from your vagina
- Being menopausal
- Leaking urine when you sneeze, cough or laugh
- Difficulty starting your urine stream
- Stool leakage
- Chronic constipation for over a year
- Lifting heavy weights (over 30 pounds) at work or home
- Engaging in marathon running, jogging, heavy weightlifting
- Having had a hysterectomy
- Chronic coughing from allergies or emphysema
- Tampons pushing out of place
- Pelvic, back, rectal, vaginal pain
- Feeling pelvic or rectal pressure
- Painful intercourse
- Reduced sexual sensation
- Being double-jointed
Are you experiencing any of these risk factors/symptoms? It may be time to come in for a consultation at Aguirre Specialty Care. Dr. Aguirre, a preeminent pelvic surgeon and POP expert, has been successfully treating POP and other pelvic concerns for more than 15 years.
Possible POP treatments
There are different types of POP, depending on where the weakness in the pelvic floor occurs. This means POP may affect one or multiple organs of the pelvis. Keep in mind that your POP treatment will depend on the location and severity of your condition:
- Biofeedback is a training technique that helps you gain control over targeted muscle groups. This can include a variety of tools, including weighted vaginal cones or surface electromyography (sEMG), a device that measures the electrical activity of the pelvic floor.
- Vaginal Pessary is a soft, removal device that is inserted into the vagina to provide support in the area of a prolapse. It is made of medical grade silicone that is easy to clean and reinsert by the patient herself or in the case of elderly patients, by their provider.
- Surgery is tailored to your exact needs. Dr. Aguirre performs nearly all of his surgeries via a transvaginal route, the least invasive approach, in an outpatient setting at the fully accredited Milestone Surgery Center.