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How to Deal with Prolapse

From the Show: HER
Summary: If you have some sagging or bulging "down there," you may have prolapse.
Air Date: 5/18/17
Duration: 28:56
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Kecia Gaither, MD
Dr. Kecia GaitherDr. Kecia Gaither is a double board-certified physician in OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine and holds a Masters degree in Public Health.

A perinatal consultant and women’s health expert, Gaither’s expertise is grounded in both research and her professional experience in caring for women with diabetes, HIV and obesity in pregnancy.

With more than 20 years of professional experience, driven by her mission to provide exemplary prenatal care to all women regardless of circumstance, Dr. Gaither positively impacts the lives of thousands of women delivering valuable information on a spectrum of women’s health issues via social media, writing, public appearances, media commentary and teaching.

How to Deal with Prolapse
The organs inside a woman’s pelvis are held in place by tissue and muscles. These organs include the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, intestines and rectum.

Prolapse occurs when the support system that holds these organs has been stretched or torn, leading to sagging.

The type of prolapse depends on the organ that is sagging.

  • Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus bulges or protrudes from the vagina.
  • Vaginal vault prolapse occurs when the top of the vagina drops down into the vaginal canal. This typically occurs in women whose uterus has been removed.
  • Cycstocele occurs when the bladder drops into the vagina.
  • Rectocele occurs when the rectum drops down and bulges out of the vagina.

Causes of Prolapse

Prolapse typically results from childbirth, especially with large babies. Nine to ten-pound babies increase your risk for vaginal prolapse. The muscles become lax from all the pushing.

Prolapse also occurs in women who have had surgery or radiation in the pelvic area. This can cause the structures to relax so the organs slip down.

Menopause brings reduction of estrogen in the body. Decreased estrogen leads to sagging muscles.

Any condition that puts strain in the abdomen contributes to prolapse. Overweight women, weight lifters, and people with chronic conditions of the abdomen are at risk.

Symptoms of Prolapse

  • Difficulty inserting a tampon
  • Trouble with bowel movements
  • Painful or uncomfortable intercourse
  • Leaking urine
  • Noticeable bulging
  • Heaviness in the pelvis or back, especially when coughing
  • Organs slipping out
Options for Treatment

Prolapse typically occurs early in pregnancy. The uterus is gently coaxed back into place. A device called a pessary holds the uterus in place for the first half of the pregnancy. The uterus won’t prolapse after a certain gestational stage.

Older women who can’t have surgical repair are also candidates for a pessary.

If you aren’t pregnant and are in relatively good health, you may consider a hysterectomy.

There are other surgical options to support the organs. Mesh may help. Sutures are also an option.

Kegels can help strengthen your pelvic muscles as a preventative measure.

Listen as Dr. Kecia Gaither joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to share all you need to know about prolapse and its prevention.

Sponsor:

Smarty Pants Vitamins

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