Normally, your uterus rests on your pelvic floor. It is held in position by your ligaments, tissues and muscles. However, if your pelvic floor muscles become weak or get stretched, you could suffer from a uterine prolapse. Here are a few questions and answers to help you understand this condition:
What is a prolapsed uterus?
A prolapsed uterus describes a condition where the uterus has dropped into the canal of the vagina.
Here are the different degrees of uterine prolapse that you could experience:
- In the least severe case, your cervix, which is the opening of your uterus, rests inside your vagina.
- With a second degree prolapse, the cervix is inside the opening of the vagina.
- At the next level, your cervix is outside of your vagina, but the remainder of your uterus is still in the vaginal canal.
- At the most serious degree of uterine prolapse, the whole uterus is outside of the vagina.
What causes a uterine prolapse?
A uterine prolapse is often associated with multiple childbirths or delivery complications. However, it can also be caused by other factors, such as:
- Loss of pelvic muscle tone due to age
- Decline in pelvic tone due to menopause
- Chronic coughing that places unusual pressure on your abdominal region
- Pelvic surgery
Are there ethnic factors that are linked to uterine prolapse?
African American women tend to have the smallest risk of prolapse. The greatest risk is among Hispanic women.
What are the treatments for prolapse?
If a prolapsed uterus has not progressed too far, you may be able to improve your condition by performing pelvic floor exercises, which are called Kegels. To perform a Kegel, tighten your pelvic muscles as you would to stop the flow of urine.
Surgery may be prescribed to help repair your pelvic floor and uterus. However, if you don't wish to become pregnant, your gynecologist may suggest a hysterectomy.
In some cases where the prolapse is due to menopause, estrogen therapy may be used to help revitalize vaginal tissue.
What can you do to prevent uterine prolapse?
You can help lessen your chance of a uterine prolapse by doing Kegel exercises, avoiding straining and losing weight.
Depending on the degree of uterine prolapse, the condition can be serious. Nevertheless, it is treatable. If you believe you may suffer from this condition, consult your obstetrician or gynecologist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment options.
A professional such as Women's Health Associate - Gilbert A Shamas MD can give you more information.Share