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Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Women)

The pelvic floor in women is a hammock of muscles and other tissues that supports internal organs.  “Prolapse” occurs when one of these organs drops out of its original position.  There are several kinds of pelvic organ prolapse:

  • Rectocele: rectum protruding against the back wall of the vagina
  • Cystocele: bladder pushing down the front wall of the vagina
  • Uterine prolapse: the uterus dropping into the top wall of the vagina
  • Enterocele: intestines push into the top wall of the vagina (after hysterectomy)

Common symptoms can include:

  • A bulge protruding out of the vagina
  • Sensation of fullness in the pelvis
  • Pain with walking, lifting, or sexual activity
  • Urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, straining, or leakage
  • Constipation

Evaluation by a urologist may involve:

  • Careful questioning and a physical exam
  • Stress test: examining for urine leakage with abdominal straining
  • Urine microscopy: evaluating the amount of blood and other abnormalities such as inflammatory cells or crystals in the urine
  • Pelvic ultrasound: a radiology test to examine the pelvic organs
  • Cystoscopy: passage of a thin scope through the urethra into the bladder allowing the doctor to visually examine the inner lining of the urethra and bladder
  • Urodynamic studies: bladder physiology testing

Treatment options must be tailored to each individual woman, but include:

  • Physical therapy and exercises
  • Medical treatment of constipation
  • Pessary
  • Vaginal estrogen creams
  • Surgical repair

The team at Fore River Urology is skilled in the evaluation and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse.  All prolapse repair operations are performed by an expert, fellowship-trained urologist.  For an appointment, please call 207-518-6600.  You can request a female provider.