The organs of your pelvis are held in place by a group of muscles that are shaped a bit like a hammock. Those are your pelvic floor muscles. When they become weakened, your organs can sag, and you experience pelvic organ prolapse.
Our team of providers at Advanced Women’s Healthcare want you to know that pelvic floor disorders are more common than you might think and that there are treatment options available. Before you can get treated, though, you need a diagnosis, and it can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.
In this post, we describe five of the common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. It’s important for you to know that prolapse happens gradually, so you may not notice your symptoms getting worse until it’s advanced. If any of these symptoms seem familiar, schedule an appointment. It’s better to be cautious and get treatment early than to wait until your condition is more advanced and uncomfortable.
1. A feeling of pressure
This may seem a bit vague, but the feeling of pressure is a common symptom in cases of pelvic organ prolapse. Some people describe it as a feeling of fullness in the pelvic area. It may be uncomfortable, or it may simply be. The feeling of pressure may be more uncomfortable during sex or physical activity. It may also be more noticeable when you cough or sneeze. You may also feel like something is falling out of your vagina.
The feeling comes from your organs sagging. Your pelvic floor muscles hold your bladder, uterus, small bowel, vagina, and rectum. Your symptoms are likely to depend on which of these organs is drooping, but a feeling of pressure is common regardless of the type of prolapse you’re experiencing.
2. Urinary problems
Since your bladder is one of the organs that can sag, urinary problems are quite common in cases of pelvic organ prolapse. You may have urine leakage, difficulty beginning to urinate, chronic urinary tract infections, or feel as if you need to urinate constantly.
3. Bowel movement problems
Your small bowel and your rectum are held in place by your pelvic floor muscles, so it makes sense that you might experience issues with bowel movements when you have pelvic organ prolapse. Knowing that doesn’t make the symptoms less uncomfortable or easier to deal with, but our experts understand and you shouldn’t worry about discussing your symptoms with us.
You might have an ache in your lower back caused by prolapse. You might have constipation. Some people experience anal incontinece.
The feeling of pressure that is so common in prolapse may get much worse when you have a bowel movement. Some women find they need to push on their vagina to have a bowel movement.
4. Painful intercourse
You may not have any symptoms until you have intercourse. Pain during sex is a symptom of many different conditions, including pelvic organ prolapse.
Some women have a combination of painful intercourse and urine leakage during intercourse because of prolapse.
5. A bulge that you can see or feel
The organs pressing down can create a bulge that you can see or feel. This is usually near the opening of your vagina. Some women need to lift this bulge to be able to urinate.
It’s possible that tissue will push out of your vagina. That tissue may rub against your clothing, and the friction creates sores, which may bleed.
These symptoms may sound scary, and the idea of your organs pressing out of your vagina is not pleasant. However, there are treatments, and the sooner you realize something is wrong and get help, the more likely it is your problem can be solved with less invasive treatments.
If you have these symptoms, schedule an appointment at Advanced Women’s Healthcare.