A uterine prolapse is a prolapse of the uterus. The uterus slides down the birth canal.
What is a uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse ( prolapsed uterus ) is classified as the worst form of uterine descent (descensus uteri). This causes the womb (uterus) to push through the birth canal. This in turn protrudes the vagina (vagina) and exits the body. The reason for this is the yielding of the straps. For keratosis pilaris 101, please visit photionary.com.
The woman’s uterus is a muscular organ. It is held in place by ligaments and muscles within the pelvis. As these ligaments and muscles weaken and stretch, they are no longer able to support the uterus. The result is a prolapse. This occurs when the uterus sags or slips out of its normal position.
A uterine prolapse occurs either partially or completely. In a total prolapse, the uterus slips down so that part of it is visible outside the vagina.
A prolapsed uterus is caused by the same reasons that cause a prolapsed uterus. This is a weakness of the connective tissue that is congenital or acquired during childbirth. Certain risk factors increase the risk of uterine prolapse. A high risk factor is increasing age, which leads to a reduction in estrogen levels in the body.
Estrogen is important for strong pelvic floor muscles. The risk of uterine prolapse is also high in women who have had multiple vaginal births. Pelvic tissue and muscles can be negatively affected by the birth process. The danger of an incident after the menopause is particularly pronounced.
In addition, activities that promote uterine prolapse have an effect that puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Injuries during the birth process, chronic constipation, persistent coughing and adiposity (obesity) are classified as further risk factors.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The symptoms of a uterine prolapse depend on its extent. If there is only a small incident, sometimes there are no complaints at all. On the other hand, if the prolapse is moderate or severe, vaginal bleeding, heavy discharge, constipation, repeated inflammation of the urinary bladder or a pulling sensation in the pelvic region can occur.
In addition, the affected women feel as if they were sitting on a ball. They also have difficulty having sex. It is not uncommon for the cervix to protrude from the vagina. In rare cases, there is also a risk of total prolapse. The entire uterus emerges from the entrance of the vagina, which is inverted. If you experience these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosis & course of disease
If there is a suspicion of a descent of the uterus or a uterine prolapse, the treating gynecologist first checks the anamnesis (medical history) of the patient. It is not uncommon for the suspicion of an incident to be substantiated by the statements made by those affected. After the questioning, the gynecologist carries out a gynecological examination, during which he inserts a speculum into the vagina, among other things.
With the help of this instrument he checks the uterus and the birth canal. The examination is usually carried out lying down. If necessary, the patient has to stand up. To determine the severity of the uterine prolapse, the patient performs pressure movements similar to defecation. It depends on the severity of the finding whether further investigations are necessary.
This can be a sonography ( ultrasound examination ) of the kidneys. It serves to rule out a urine congestion. Medical treatment of uterine prolapse is not always required. However, in severe cases, the prolapsed uterus can negatively affect bladder and bowel functions. Disorders of sexual functions are also possible.
In most cases, the complications and symptoms of uterine prolapse depend very much on the exact nature of the disease. For this reason, a general prediction is usually not possible. Those affected suffer from severe vaginal bleeding and thus also from pain. Constipation or various inflammations and infections can also occur and have a very negative effect on everyday life.
The urinary bladder in particular can be damaged, so that the patients also suffer from pain when urinating. A prolapsed uterus can also cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. This has a negative effect on the relationship with your partner and can lead to complications. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the higher the probability of a positive course of the disease.
The treatment is usually not associated with further complications. The symptoms can be alleviated with the help of medication and pelvic floor training. In some cases, the uterus is surgically removed. Since this distance can also lead to psychological problems, many sufferers and their partners are dependent on psychological treatment.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor is needed if there are problems with the female genital organs in women or sexually mature girls. If you experience abdominal discomfort, problems during sexual intercourse or if there is a feeling of tightness in the vagina, the irregularities should be examined. Sexual apathy or discomfort during sexual intercourse are signs of a health disorder. If there are no explainable accompanying circumstances, a doctor’s visit should be made to make the diagnosis. Discrepancies in the menstrual cycle, a foreign body sensation in the abdomen or sudden discomfort must be clarified by a doctor.
Uterine prolapse is characterized by unexpected abnormalities in the genital area. The complaints can be experienced without a notable incident during locomotion, when changing clothes or when going to the toilet. Since no spontaneous healing is to be expected, a doctor’s consultation should take place. Sudden bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge, or dysesthesias in the uterine area are other indicators that should be followed up.
Patients often complain of a pulling sensation in the abdomen, which does not correspond to the timing of a menstrual period. A doctor is needed to clarify the cause and create a treatment plan. If tissue at the exit of the vagina can be felt with the fingers, action is required. To avoid complications, a doctor’s visit should be made immediately.
Treatment & Therapy
Treatment of uterine prolapse is possible in both conservative and surgical ways. The conservative measures include estrogen replacement therapy, relieving the pelvic structures by reducing body weight and special training of the pelvic floor. These include Kegel exercises, for example, which serve to strengthen the muscles of the vagina.
Another treatment option is the insertion of a pessary into the vagina. This prevents the organs from sinking further. The cube-shaped, bowl-shaped or ring-shaped instruments are made of silicone or soft rubber. However, they are used less frequently these days because they can cause pressure points in the vagina. In addition, they must be replaced regularly.
If there is a serious prolapse of the uterus or if there are pronounced side effects such as urinary incontinence, surgical intervention is usually necessary. This serves to restore the holding apparatus of the genitals and the pelvic floor. The surgeon tightens the organs and brings them back to their original position.
Which surgical procedure is used depends on the extent of the prolapse and the age of the patient. Any desire to have children also plays a role. In some cases, the complete removal of the uterus can also be useful, which is done as part of a hysterectomy. The procedure takes place either through the abdomen or through the vagina. If the patient wants to have children, the doctors advise against an operation. A birth often renders the results of an intervention ineffective again.
Maintaining a healthy weight is recommended to prevent uterine prolapse. You should also do regular Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Follow-up care is important if the uterine prolapse is treated surgically. Normally, the patient has to stay in the hospital for three to five days. The length of your stay in the clinic also depends on your general state of health.
If there are no difficulties urinating and if there are no other problems, the patient is discharged and can continue to recover in her own four walls. However, for the uncomplicated healing of the operated body region, consistent rest is required in the first two weeks after the operation. If there is still pain after the operation, this is usually treated with light painkillers.
Another part of aftercare is not to bend down, lift heavy objects or stand for long periods of time. The same goes for strenuous shopping. Therefore, it is advisable to accept appropriate help from relatives or friends. Sporting activities must also be avoided in the first two weeks after the operation.
However, regular walks that stimulate digestion are useful. A digestive diet is also recommended. This counteracts strong straining when going to the toilet. In some cases, the regulation of bowel movements must be stimulated by taking appropriate drugs.
After the operation, the patient is not allowed to have sexual intercourse for about six weeks. Fourteen days after the procedure, however, she can start doing light sporting activities again. These include gymnastics and yoga.
You can do that yourself
If signs of uterine prolapse are noticed, a doctor should be consulted. A prolapsed uterus is not necessarily a medical emergency, but requires medical evaluation. If the symptoms cause problems, medical advice is required.
Pelvic floor training can be used to accompany medical diagnosis and therapy. Regular workouts with the exercise ball or other aids strengthen the pelvic floor and prevent the uterus from slipping further. If the uterus has already descended, this cannot be reversed through training. However, pelvic floor training prevents subsequent problems such as incontinence. Women who have been diagnosed with a prolapsed uterus often feel unattractive and uncomfortable in their bodies. Targeted pelvic floor training helps to improve self-esteem.
Concomitant discussions with other affected women help. It is even more important to talk to your partner about the problem. The gynecologist can provide information about alternative options. For example, it is possible to use a so-called pessary, which supports the vagina or uterus and prevents further lowering. Finally, it is important to accept the physical changes as a natural part of birth and aging.