Uterus is a muscular organ present in females, which is placed in position in pelvic cavity by the pelvic muscles and ligaments. If these ligaments and muscles weaken or stretch, it would no longer support the uterus and the organ slips from its normal position. This dispositioning of uterus is called as uterine prolapse.
The uterine prolapse can be categorized as complete and incomplete prolapse.
- Incomplete uterine prolapse: The condition in which the uterus is sagging partly into the vagina, then it is called as incomplete uterine prolapse.
- Complete uterine prolapse: The condition in which the uterus slips down so far down that some tissue of uterus protrudes out of vagina is called as complete uterine prolapse.
- The weakened muscles and ligaments of pelvic floor lets the uterus to sag down from its original
- position. This may occur as per following stages of prolapse:
- First Degree: The cervix or cervical wall droops into the vagina.
- Second Degree: The cervix comes down till the opening of vagina.
- Third Dgree: The cervix comes outside the vagina.
- Fourth Degree: The complete uterus or a part of uterus starts protruding out of vagina. This condition is also known as procidentia. This happens as a result of weakening of all of the supporting muscles.
Causes of Uterine Prolapse:
Women belonging to any age group can be affected by uterine prolapse. But it is most common in women undergoing Menopause. During menopause, the estrogen level in the women’s blood decreases. It falls down further as the age of the woman increases. Estrogen is the hormone responsible for the strength of pelvic muscles. So as the estrogen level decreases the risk of uterine prolapse increases.
Another condition that may lead to uterine prolapse is any activity that puts pressure on the pelvic muscles. This includes damages caused to these tissues and muscles during pregnancy and childbirth.
Other factors that may lead to strenuous activities include chronic coughing, obesity, chronic constipation, excess weight lifting, etc. These activities may further result in uterine prolapse.
Symptoms of prolapse can be:
- Pressure or bulginess in vagina or pelvis.
- Difficulty during sexual intercourse.
- Frequent and sudden urge to empty the bladder or leakage of urine.
- Visible protuberance of cervix or uterus into the vaginal opening.
- Increased vaginal discharge or even increased bleeding.
Symptoms may get worse when you sit or stand for long time or during exercising or weight lifting.
The risk of having a uterine prolapse can be prevented in following ways:
- Continue with regular pelvic floor exercises.
- Always eat a high-fibre diet which includes fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain products.
- It would avoid constipation and thus reduce the straining of muscles during passing stool.
- Always maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid lifting heavy weight objects.
- Avoid smoking, it increases risk of prolapse.
- During menopause, women can go for estrogen replacement therapy under the strict supervision of gynaecologist.
Are you suffering from any such symptoms of uterine prolapse? Please visit Dr. Sarah Hussain for precise and proper treatment and guidance.