The movement of a woman’s uterine wall below its normal position is called uterine prolapse. This occurs when a woman’s pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken and are no longer able to provide enough support to hold the uterus in its normal position. The uterus falls down into, or protrudes out of, the vagina.
The risk increases with age, most often affecting postmenopausal women who have had one or more vaginal deliveries.
- Feeling like you are sitting on a ball
- Experiencing pain with intercourse
- The appearance of your cervix or tissue protruding from your vagina
- Urinary problems such as leakage or retention
- Bowel movement trouble
- A sensation of heaviness or pulling in your pelvic area
Often symptoms worsen as the day goes on.
Mild uterine prolapse can often be treated with physical therapy that strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.
Additional steps to reduce your risk include:
- Performing Kegel exercises regularly
- Treating and preventing constipation by eating a high fiber diet and drinking adequate amounts of fluids each day
- Avoiding heavy lifting and lifting objects correctly with legs instead of your back and waist
- Controlling chronic coughing or bronchitis and not smoking
- Avoiding weight gain
More severe prolapse can displace part of the vaginal lining and lead to vaginal sores (ulcers). Uterine prolapse is also sometimes linked to the prolapse of other pelvic organs. Treatments for these conditions need immediate attention from your provider and may require a surgical intervention.
To schedule an appointment for all your health needs and concerns, call Catawba Valley Healthcare at (828) 695-5900.