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Understanding and Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse or POP is a common and often uncomfortable condition where the pelvic organs drop from their original position in the pelvis. This can occur when the pelvic floor muscles become weak or damaged, resulting in insufficient support for these organs. Pelvic Organ Prolapse can affect any of the pelvic organs, including the uterus, rectum, and bladder.

While Pelvic Organ Prolapse is more common as women age, it is not an inevitable part of ageing. If it disrupts your daily life, it is important to seek treatment. Understanding the causes and recognising the symptoms are essential steps in managing Pelvic Organ Prolapse effectively.

How Does Pelvic Organ Prolapse Occur?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs due to the continuous weakening of the supporting tissues of the pelvic organs. This weakening can result from several factors, including:

  • Collagen Deficiency: A lack of collagen can weaken the tissues that support the pelvic organs.
  • Chronic Cough or Strain from Constipation: Persistent coughing or straining during bowel movements can put pressure on the pelvic floor.
  • Congenital Weakness: Some individuals are born with weaker pelvic floor muscles, ligaments, and fascia.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth: The strain from pregnancy and difficult or prolonged labour can significantly weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Menopause: The supporting tissues become weaker with age, and hormonal changes during menopause can exacerbate this.
  • Obesity, Large Fibroids, Tumours, or Previous Pelvic Surgery: These conditions can increase pressure on the pelvic floor, contributing to prolapse.
  • Strenuous Physical Work or Heavy Lifting: Jobs or activities that involve heavy lifting or strenuous physical work can also weaken the pelvic floor over time.

Although Pelvic Organ Prolapse is generally not life-threatening, it can lead to various complications, such as:

  • Bedwetting
  • Bowel control issues
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Pain around the vulva and vestibule
  • Hydronephrosis
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse can manifest in various forms, each with its own unique set of causes and symptoms. Here are the following types:

Dropped Bladder

Weakened pelvic floor muscles above the vagina can cause the bladder to slip out of place and bulge into the vaginal area. This condition, also known as cystocele, is the most common type of Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Symptoms may include a feeling of fullness or pressure in the pelvis, urinary incontinence, and difficulty emptying the bladder completely.

Dropped Urethra

A urethrocele occurs when weakened pelvic floor muscles cause the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, to droop. This condition often accompanies a dropped bladder (cystocele). Symptoms can include urinary incontinence, frequent urination, and a sensation of bulging in the vaginal area.

Dropped Rectum

Also known as rectocele, this type of Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when weakened pelvic floor muscles between the vagina and rectum cause the rectum to bulge into the back wall of the vagina. Symptoms may include difficulty with bowel movements, a feeling of rectal pressure, and discomfort during sexual intercourse.

Small Bowel Prolapse

An enterocele happens when weakened pelvic muscles allow the small intestine to bulge onto the back wall or the top of the vagina. This condition can cause pelvic pressure, lower back pain, and a sensation of pulling or discomfort in the pelvic region.

Dropped Uterus

Weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause the uterus to drop down into the vaginal canal, a condition known as uterine prolapse. Symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness in the pelvis, difficulty with urination, and discomfort during sexual activity.

Dropped Vaginal Vault

Vaginal vault prolapse occurs when the top part of the vagina (vaginal vault) drops into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. This condition is common in women who have had a hysterectomy. Symptoms may include pelvic pressure, vaginal bulging, and difficulty with bowel movements.

Potential Treatments for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a widespread condition, particularly among older women. Despite it being a common issue, many women feel embarrassed to discuss it with their healthcare providers or are unaware that effective treatments are available. This hesitation can lead to delays in seeking help and unnecessary discomfort.

For those seeking treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse in Singapore, we offer personalised procedures to meet your individual needs. Our non-invasive methods are designed to enhance pelvic floor strength and improve your quality of life, regardless of the duration of your symptoms.

Even if you have been managing this issue for years, we can help you address the condition and related issues such as discomfort and pelvic pressure. With advanced technology and a patient-focused approach, our experienced team will guide you through every step of the way, ensuring the highest standards of care and safety.

Advanced Technology Used for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

At our wellness centres, we use cutting-edge technology to treat Pelvic Organ Prolapse. One of our key tools is the FDA-approved BTL Emsella device, which utilises High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology. Each 30-minute session induces thousands of supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contractions, similar to Kegel exercises. These contractions provide numerous benefits:

  • Supporting the natural repositioning of prolapsed pelvic organs.
  • Strengthening pelvic floor muscles to better support the organs.
  • Improving overall pelvic health by relieving discomfort and muscle cramps.

This advanced technology, combined with our personalised treatment plans, aims to help you regain pelvic floor strength and functionality, improving your quality of life through comprehensive and effective care.

Why Choose Orchard Clinic

Orchard Clinic is Singapore’s premier wellness centre for Pelvic Organ Prolapse treatment, where our focus is on sustainable results. By emphasising advanced technology and muscle strengthening, our experienced team aims to enhance your overall health and well-being. We provide personalised care tailored to ensure lasting treatment outcomes.

Ready to take the next step towards better pelvic health and improved quality of life? Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start your journey towards a more confident you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

How do I know if I have Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

You may have Pelvic Organ Prolapse if you experience the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of pressure or fullness in your pelvis.
  • A noticeable bulge or protrusion in the vaginal area.
  • Difficulty with urination or bowel movements.
  • Urinary incontinence or frequent urination.
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Lower back pain.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider first for an accurate diagnosis before seeking treatment options.

What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse or POP occurs when your pelvic floor weakens, increasing the likelihood of a prolapse. Several factors can contribute to this weakening:

  • Vaginal Childbirth: Multiple vaginal deliveries, carrying twins or triplets, or having a larger than average baby can injure the pelvic floor muscles, leading to POP.
  • Ageing: As you age, muscle strength declines, including in the pelvic floor. The decrease in oestrogen during menopause further weakens the connective tissues supporting your pelvic floor.
  • Body Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk for POP compared to maintaining a normal weight.
  • Chronic Pressure: Long-term pressure from chronic constipation, persistent coughing, or frequent heavy lifting can overwork and weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Family History: A family history of POP may increase your risk, possibly due to inherited weaker pelvic floor muscles.
  • Collagen Irregularities: Conditions like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which affect connective tissue strength, can increase the likelihood of developing POP.

What are the types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse can manifest in various forms, each with its own unique set of symptoms:

  • Dropped Bladder (Cystocele): The bladder slips out of place and bulges into the vaginal area. Symptoms include pelvic pressure, urinary incontinence, and difficulty emptying the bladder.
  • Dropped Urethra (Urethrocele): The urethra droops, often accompanying a dropped bladder. Symptoms include urinary incontinence and frequent urination.
  • Dropped Rectum (Rectocele): The rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina. Symptoms include difficulty with bowel movements and rectal pressure.
  • Small Bowel Prolapse (Enterocele): The small intestine bulges into the top of the vagina. Symptoms include pelvic pressure and lower back pain.
  • Dropped Uterus (Uterine Prolapse): The uterus drops into the vaginal canal. Symptoms include pelvic heaviness and discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Dropped Vaginal Vault: The top part of the vagina drops into the vaginal canal, common after a hysterectomy. Symptoms include pelvic pressure and vaginal bulging.

What are the stages of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse is classified into stages based on its severity, ranging from one to four:

  • Stage One: Mild; the organs have slightly shifted but remain within the vaginal canal.
  • Stage Two: Moderate; the organs have descended to the opening of the vagina.
  • Stage Three: Severe; the organs bulge outside the vaginal opening.
  • Stage Four: Complete prolapse; the organs are fully protruding outside the body.

Understanding the stages of prolapse is crucial as it influences the treatment approach. The type and extent of the prolapse will help your consultant determine the most appropriate treatment.

Does Pelvic Organ Prolapse go away?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse can improve with treatment. For mild cases, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles through exercises can help hold the organs in their correct locations. Non-surgical treatments, such as High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic (HIFEM) technology used in devices like BTL Emsella, can induce deep pelvic floor muscle contractions, helping to rebuild muscle strength and support the pelvic organs. With these treatments, many individuals find significant relief from symptoms and improved pelvic health.

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