The phrase “pelvic organ prolapse” refers to a group of disorders resulting from the attenuation or destruction of structures which support the pelvic organs. These support structures form a complex system made up of muscles, fascia and ligaments which support the uterus, cervix, bladder, rectum and bowel. When this support system begins to break down, women begin to form a prolapsed or “fallen” bladder (cystocele), prolapsed rectum (rectocele), prolapsed uterus, or prolapsed vagina (vaginal vault prolapse). Additionally, they may suffer from urinary or fecal incontinence and decreased satisfaction with intercourse.
If you think you might be suffering from pelvic organ prolapse, you are not alone. Studies have shown that anywhere from 20% to as high as 93% of women will have some sort of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. Not all cases have to be corrected, though, as many women are asymptomatic.
“Treatment for pelvic organ prolapse is directed at improving a patient’s quality of life. I always stress to my patients, ‘you can never do better than ‘No Symptoms’.’ I have many patients in my practice with some degree of pelvic organ prolapse. However, if they are asymptomatic, we leave it alone.
If a patient is symptomatic AND if her symptoms are sufficiently bothersome for her to desire treatment, then we have an opportunity to improve her quality of life. If not, I will educate her about pelvic organ prolapse and its associated symptomatology and then manage her symptoms expectantly. In doing so, the patient is better prepared should she experience symptoms, and she will know that treatment is available and that she does not simply have to live with the symptoms.”
The Grisham Center for Female Pelvic Medicine and Restorative Surgery is a cutting-edge facility dedicated to improving quality of life of women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse and bladder dysfunction. It is one of the first facilities of its kind in the nation, and we are proud to utilize the most advanced techniques to restore normalcy to our patients’ lives.
To learn more about the symptoms and treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse disorders, call or email our office to schedule an appointment.