Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) has been on medical record for nearly 4000 years, yet remains shrouded in silence because of symptoms women may find embarrassing. Women in every country around the world experience symptoms of POP yet have little idea what is occurring in their bodies because they are embarrassed to discuss symptoms with clinicians or loved ones. It’s long past time to talk out loud about POP. All women should know pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, pelvic organ prolapse causes, and pelvic organ prolapse treatments? Common complaints of women with prolapse are being unable to wear a tampon, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, vaginal dryness or irritation, and pain with intercourse. Symptoms often progress very gradually. And you may make changes in physical or social activities that go unnoticed by others until they become extreme.
Though most women with POP often have no symptoms, some women experience:
- Discomfort (usually pressure or fullness).
- Bleeding from the exposed skin that rubs on pads or underwear.
- Urinary symptoms of leakage, difficulty starting the stream of urine, frequent urinary tract infections.
- Difficult bowel movements—the need to strain or push on the vagina to have a bowel movement.
- A bulge near the opening of the vagina or have a pressure sensation in their pelvic region and or lower abdomen.
As prolapse symptoms worsens, you may notice:
- A bulging, pressure or heavy sensation in the vagina that worsens by the end of the day or during bowel movements.
- The feeling of “sitting on a ball”.
- Needing to push stool out of the rectum by placing fingers into or around the vagina during a bowel movement.
- Difficulty starting to urinate or a weak or spraying stream of urine.
- Urinary frequency or the sensation that you are unable to empty the bladder well.
- Lower back discomfort.
- The need to lift up the bulging vagina or uterus to start urination.
- Urinary leakage with intercourse.Though unusual, severe prolapse can block the flow of urine and cause recurrent urinary tract infections or even kidney damage.