I once saw a saying that “Good things occur when things stay in the same position.” The same can be said about our body parts. Some disorders can be cured as long as parts and organs maintain their position. This is because when they become out of place, some problems can occur. Pelvic Organ Prolapse is one disorder. It happens when women who give birth have weakened muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, which supports the uterus, vagina, bladder, and rectum. Not much is known about it. Seniors were thought to be more prone to it, but women who have given birth are found susceptible. It can affect women’s quality of life if untreated.
▶ Risk is twice as high for women over the age of 30 who underwent natural birth
Pelvic Organ Prolapse happens when the muscle supporting the pelvis weakens due to pregnancy and childbirth. The organs surrounding the pelvis such as the rectum, uterus, and bladder then start to go down. Moreover, organs can drop to the vagina and even come out. When part of the intestine comes out, it’s called proctocele, if it’s the uterus, then it’s called a uterine prolapse, in the case of the bladder, it’s called vesicocele. These can happen simultaneously.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse can cause different health problems like urinary incontinence, frequent urination, dysuria from vesicocele, fecal impaction from proctocele, fecal incontinence, pelycalgia, and dysuria simultaneously. Pregnancy and giving birth are the most influential factors since it’s easy to injure the pelvis tendon, fascia, and muscle supporting the pelvis and surrounding cells during these events. Although women get adequate postnatal care after childbirth, Swedish research reported that the risk is twice as high for Pelvic Organ Prolapse for women over 30 who experienced childbirths. Another common reason is in the case of a natural birth, if a baby’s head is pressed by the pelvis for a long time, and the baby’s head is big or if the pelvic muscle is injured. Furthermore, menopause, aging, hereditary effects, chronic constipation, and obesity can also affect it. Other diseases such as asthma and bronchiectasis causing coughs can increase pressure in the stomach, so there is also a correlation with Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
▶ Avoid lifting heavy things and treat constipation
Pelvic Organ Prolapse influences women’s daily life. It should not be considered as simple sequelae after childbirth. It is classified into stage 1 to 4, according to the degree of hanging from the vaginal entrance. The discomfort varies, some note a feeling of a falling uterus or frequent urination. This symptom may become severe if with a serious cough and there is lifting of heavy things. A symptom of the disease closely connected with pregnancy and childbirth may get worse with age and menopause. At stage 1, it can still be corrected through Kegel exercises which strengthen pelvic muscles by shrinking and relaxing the perineal region. If there’s no improvement, drug and hormone treatment can be started. However, at stage 2, when an organ repeatedly comes out through the vagina and there is inflammation, surgery may be required. Even if the disorder is improved, it can recur anytime if bad habits are not corrected. It is important not to carry heavy things, maintain an adequate weight, cure constipation, and quit smoking. Reducing time sitting also helps.