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Within the pelvis

Bladder and uterus in women rest above the vagina, and are held there by what might be described as a net, made of muscles ad ligaments. If these suffer too much wear and tear, the bottom of the uterus, rear end of the bladder, or even both might fall through the supportive net far enough to protrude through the vaginal opening. If the uterus sagged in such a way, it is referred to as uterine prolapse, while sagging of the bladder is known as vaginal prolapse.

What causes it?

All kinds of stresses can strain the supportive muscles and ligaments, but what has most impact on them is childbirth, and prolapse is more likely to occur in women who gave birth by vaginal delivery several times. Other common causes for prolapse are frequent constipation, which requires straining to defecate, o chronic cough, which also strains muscles and ligaments in the pelvis. Problems worsen in postmenopausal women, as low levels of estrogen related with it do not provide sufficient 'stay in shape' signals for the supportive net, and it weakens further.

It is assumed that uterine and bladder prolapse will affect fifty percent of women in the years that follow childbirth, while intensity of the problem may vary. Mild cases might cause no symptoms at all, while more severe cases may have symptoms such as pain in the pelvic region and lower abdomen, vagina, lower back, which worsens during intercourse or menstruation, pressure in the vaginal area, urine leakage, frequent infections of the urinary tract, and other symptoms.

Prolapse prevention

There are some simple procedures to follow if you wish to decrease the risk of uterine and bladder prolapses. Primarily, avoid to lift heavy objects and to strain if unnecessary. Quit smoking so that you avoid chronic cough. As surplus weight burdens the pelvic region, try to maintain a heavy weight. Estrogen supplements for postmenopausal women might help, but you should consult your doctor before you begin such form of therapy.

Treatment

Surgical treatment can be performed through the vagina ore through the abdomen. Goals of surgery are to put these organs back in place in order to relieve pain, restore normal urination and defecation, and restore the ability to have sex. Prolapse is usually not a threatening condition, and postoperative prognosis is often good, and patients can very soon return to normal daily activities within the matter of weeks.

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