Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Expert Insights and Treatment Options
Village Obstetrics

Village Obstetrics

Dr. Worth talks Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Expert Insights and Treatment Options

Dr. Jaqueline M Worth and Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler with Total Urology Care of New York discuss treatments and the stigma surrounding pelvic organ prolapse in episode 4 of “A Girls Gotta Know” by Sneha Physical Therapy & Talking Back Pictures.

Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Breaking the Stigma

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common but often misunderstood pelvic floor disorder that affects many women throughout their lives. It occurs when the muscles and connective tissues that support the pelvic organs—the uterus, bladder, or rectum—become weakened or loose. As a result, one or more of these pelvic organs may descend or press into, and sometimes even protrude out of, the vaginal canal. While POP is a physical condition, it is also surrounded by an unjustifiable stigma that can prevent affected women from seeking the help and support they need.

The Physical Aspects

The physical manifestations can vary in severity and may include:

  1. Pressure and Discomfort: Women with POP often experience a feeling of fullness, pressure, or discomfort in the pelvic region. This can be particularly noticeable after standing for long periods, lifting heavy objects, or during activities like sneezing, coughing, or even laughing.
  2. Bulging Sensation: Some women may feel a bulging or protrusion from their vaginal canal, which can be alarming and distressing.
  3. Urinary Symptoms: POP can lead to urinary issues, such as urinary incontinence or the frequent urge to urinate. This happens because the bladder may drop, causing disruption to normal urinary function.
  4. Bowel Symptoms: In some cases, POP can affect the rectum, leading to constipation, difficulty with bowel movements, or a sense of incomplete evacuation.

The Stigma Surrounding

Despite being a common condition, there is a significant stigma attached to pelvic organ prolapse. Many women feel ashamed or embarrassed about discussing their symptoms with healthcare providers, friends, or family members. This silence can result from a lack of awareness, societal taboos surrounding women’s health, or the misconception that POP is a sign of aging or childbirth-related problems. However, it’s crucial to dispel these myths and break the silence around POP.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Is Treatable

Women should never let shame or fear prevent them from seeking help. Treatment options for POP range from lifestyle modifications and pelvic floor exercises to medical devices and surgical interventions. The right approach depends on the severity of the condition and individual patient preferences.

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