Pelvic organ prolapse usually causes painful symptoms that require surgery to relieve. At Chicago Center for Women's health, Denise Furlong, MD provides the most advanced procedures to treat prolapse in women from throughout the Chicago, IL, area, resolving symptoms and repairing damage to help prevent recurrence.
Prolapse describes a condition where a pelvic organ drops (or prolapses) from its normal position and begins to press against the vaginal wall. Five primary types of prolapse can occur:
In some cases, the prolapse may cause the vagina to protrude beyond the normal opening, causing considerable pain and chafing.
Prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments that hold the pelvic organs in place become damaged or weak, allowing the organs to shift out of their normal positions. Several factors can cause or contribute to prolapse, including vaginal childbirth, hysterectomy or other surgeries, genetics, obesity, chronic constipation, smoking, steroid use or trauma. Prolapse is also more common among older women.
Prolapse symptoms can vary from one person to another based on the organ that has dropped, the overall health of the patient and other factors. Some common symptoms include:
Prolapse that causes symptoms can be treated conservatively or with surgery. The plan is created after a thorough discussion between the patient and the physician to determine the patient’s goals and then the best treatment plan. Some prolapse can be treated minimally with physical therapy. More advanced prolapse requires intervention such as a pessary or surgery. Surgery is usually minimally invasive.
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