Many of us will not have heard the term prolapse until we experience a problem. But what exactly is a prolapse? And why are so many of us at risk?
The primary cause of prolapse is weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are responsible for supporting each of the pelvic organs so, when they are no longer strong enough to carry out this job effectively, it can result in one or more of the organs sagging, or dropping down, into the vagina, uterus, bladder or rectum.
There are various different types and stages which represent the prolapse severity. For some of us, the symptoms will be so mild that we won't even visit our doctor. However, even where this is the case, it can still significantly impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing.
What are the different types of prolapse?
If you think about it, our pelvic cavity is home to a number of extremely important organs, all of which are at risk of falling out of place. When this happens, it can affect the anterior (front) or posterior (back) wall of the vagina, and in some cases the central part of the pelvis.
Different types of pelvic organ prolapse include:
Cystocele - A prolapsed bladder. The most prevalent form of prolapse; this is where the bladder drops downwards into the vagina.
Cystourethrocele - Both the urethra and bladder prolapse at the same time. It is quite common for this to happen.
Rectal Prolapse - Complete rectal prolapse. This occurs when the rectum protrudes out of the body through the anus.
Uterine Prolapse - Prolapse of the uterus (womb) into the vagina. Those who suffer with a prolapsed uterus are at a greater risk of developing any of the others form of prolapse.
Urethrocele - The tissues surrounding the urethra descend into the vagina.
Rectocele - Partially prolapsed rectum. The front wall of the rectum bulges into the vagina. Those with rectocele are more prone to developing cystocele.
Enterocele - The small bowel drops against and moves the upper wall of the vagina, causing it to descend into the gap between the rectum and the vagina.
Vaginal Vault - This only occurs in women who have undergone a hysterectomy. The closed end of the vagina collapses in on itself, dropping down into the vaginal canal or outside the vagina.
What causes prolapse?
It's the age-old question: "Why me?"
You've taken good care of yourself over the years, maintaining a healthy diet and doing the obligatory 30 minutes of exercise daily. So why are you still at risk of developing prolapse?
Well, you may be surprised to learn that this alone is not enough to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong and healthy. When they are weak, they are unable to support the pelvic organs effectively.
This may occur for a number of different reasons, including:
Increased pressure in the abdomen
Coughs, constipation, weight
Such as hysterectomy
What are the symptoms of prolapse?
Have things been becoming a bit of a drag recently? Or are you simply losing your sense of humour when it comes to those laughter leaks?
Well, there really is nothing funny about prolapse, and it's entirely possible that you could have suffered one without even realising.
Prolapse symptoms vary depending upon the stage it is at, however, common indications include:
A 'dragging' sensation in the vagina or lower back
Pelvic and/or abdominal pain
A lump inside or outside the vagina
Struggling to empty the bowel
Dyspareunia (painful sex) or lack of intimate sensation
Urinary abnormalities such as a slow stream, incomplete emptying of your bladder, urinary frequency/urgency or stress incontinence
Scarily, it is estimated that 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will suffer with some form of prolapse.
Find out about prolapse treatment here.
An Ideal Solution
When it comes to the prevention and treatment of prolapse, the Kegel8 Ultra 20 is our very best unit. With 20 pre-set and 3 customisable programmes, it enables you to personalise your regime based on individual requirements.
Complete with a nickel free probe and 4 electrode pads, stimulation can be applied in a number of different ways depending on what works best for you. The Kegel8 Ultra 20 is medically certified and guaranteed for 1 year.
Original article: Kegel Website