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June is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Month

Yes, your pelvic organs can fall down from their position. That means your bladder, vagina, rectum, uterus, and bowels can fall down into and out of your vagina. These organs are held in place by your pelvic floor muscles and ligaments.
The exact number of women that have POP is unknown because many women don’t talk about it or seek help. As Sherrie Palm’s book says it: Pelvic Organ Prolapse The silent Epidemic. But it’s estimated that about 50% of women have or will have POP due to pelvic floor dysfunction.

Risk Factors:
  1. Pregnancy and childbirth account for approximately 75% of cases. They stem, particularly from a vaginal delivery.
  2. Long labor. Large baby.
  3. Increasing ages due to decreased estrogen levels and tissue strength.
  4. Obesity.
  5. Hysterectomy: depending on the type and surgical procedure.
  6. Chronic elevated abdominal pressure that occurs with: Chronic constipation, Chronic cough, Lifting heavy objects repeatedly.
  7. Collagen disorders: like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, women with hypermobile joints.
  8. Family history.

Effects of POP:
  1. Bulge or pressure.
  2. Urine leakage, frequent urination, unable to empty the bladder completely with urination.
  3. Painful sex.
  4. Bowel changes: constipation, stool leakage.
  5. Negative effects on self-esteem.
  6. Pelvic pain, back pain.

Prolapse gets worse with time if nothing is done about it.
Things that can prevent or improve prolapse:
  1. Lifestyle modifications: Examples: Avoid chronically lifting heavy objects, weight loss, include pelvic floor exercises to exercise routine.
  2. Core body exercises. Kegel exercises.
  3. Vaginal weights.
  4. Post-delivery pelvic floor therapy.

Treatment Options:
  1. Pelvic floor physical therapy
  2. Pelvic floor exercises
  3. HIFEM (High-Intensity Frequency Electromagnetic) therapy
  4. Vaginal estrogen therapy
  5. Pessary
  6. Surgery

We welcome questions about this condition! For more information, you can also visit: www.pelvicorganprolapsesupport.org Break the chain of silence. Talk to your gynecologist and get help. By: Suny Caminero, M.D.



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