About the disease
Uterine prolapse is the displacement of the uterus, which is an internal female organ. Most commonly, it is held in place by pelvic muscles. If these muscles become weakened or if they stretch abnormally, uterus can prolapse. Prolapse can be either full or partial. Uterus can prolapse into the birth canal or in some cases into vagina. Prolapse can be either mild or severe. In some cases a woman may not even feel any symptoms, while in others prolapse can be so deep that some tissues of the uterus may be felt outside of vagina. In this case this is a medical emergency, which requires immediate surgery.
Uterine prolapse is most common in older women after menopause, whose levels of estrogen considerably decreased. It can be explained by the fact that estrogen, which is a female hormone, among other functions is responsible for keeping pelvic muscles strong. When there is insufficient amount of estrogen in the body, there is a high chance that pelvic muscles will become weaker than they used to be. In some cases, uterine prolapse can develop in women who had birth trauma or who had multiple pregnancies that could weaken the pelvic muscles. Hard physical work and weightlifting can also contribute to problems with pelvis.
- Abdominal and vaginal pain
- Vaginal bleeding not related to periods
- Feeling of a heavy object in the vagina
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Increased amount of discharges from vagina
- Increased number of vaginal infection due to open exposure of uterus to environmental factors
- Discomfort when walking
- Pressure on the vagina from uterus
- During a general examination a gynecologist may notice that certain uterine tissues are displaced and are not in the right position. A doctor may also ask a woman to move the pelvis in different directions to see if prolapse causes any discomfort or pain.
- A pelvic exam is performed with a speculum, which is a special tool, used for examining uterus and pelvic bones.
- An ultrasound of the uterus and pelvic muscles is the most commonly used diagnostic method for this disease, as it can show the extent of prolapse, its exact location and stage.
- Implantation of free synthetic loop is a surgery used for implantation of special device, designed to keep the uterus in place and prevent it from prolapsing in future.
- Plastic reconstruction of the pelvic organs is a plastic surgery used to strengthen and reconstruct the pelvic muscles in order to make them to hold uterus properly and protect it from prolapsing.
- Anterior or posterior vaginal colporrhaphy (vaginal plastic) is used to mobilize the uterus, return it to its normal place and fix it permanently. It can also reinforce and correct vaginal muscles and make them stronger.