Uterine prolapse: symptoms and treatment

Most women will experience one or more disorders of the female reproductive organs during their lifetime. For example, a prolapse of the uterus. Where is the uterus located? What are the causes, symptoms and how can prolapse be treated? Another word for prolapse is prolapse.

Article content

  • Uterus
  • Prolapse
  • Prolapse of the uterus
  • Causes of uterine prolapse
  • Types of prolapse
  • Symptoms of uterine prolapse
  • Diagnosis of uterine prolapse
  • Treatment of prolapsed uterus

Uterus

Uterus: also called uterus is one of the internal organs of the woman. The uterus is located low in the abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum. The shape of the uterus can be compared to an upside-down pear and the size of a fist.

Prolapse

With a prolapse, also called prolapse , there is a decline of an organ compared to its normal position. Examples: prolapse of the rectum (rectal prolapse), prolapse of the uterus (uterine prolapse).

Prolapse of the uterus

The uterine wall drops down. It mainly occurs after menopause and is more common in white women. There are a number of risk factors: being overweight, having given birth to (large or heavy) children.

Causes of uterine prolapse

The uterus remains in place (in the pelvis) by connective tissue bands. But if these ligaments become weaker or stretch, for example due to childbirth, it is possible that the uterine wall may prolapse. Prolapse often occurs after menopause, the ligaments lose strength due to a lower estrogen content. You are even more likely to develop a prolapse if conditions put extra pressure on the muscles and ligaments in the pelvis. You should then consider: excessive body weight, chronic coughing, heavy straining during defecation.

Types of prolapse

With uterine prolapse, the uterus descends into the vagina. The uterus may prolapse slightly, but it can also happen that the uterus prolapses beyond the vagina. There are two types of prolapse in the vagina: with a cystocele the bladder bulges backwards with the anterior vaginal wall and with a rectocele the rectum bulges with the posterior vaginal wall forward. Both types can occur alone, together, or in combination with uterine prolapse.

Symptoms of uterine prolapse

The following symptoms may occur:

  • A feeling of fullness at the vagina;
  • It looks like something is hanging out of the sheath;
  • An annoying, nagging feeling or pain in the lower back;
  • Regular bladder infections (because the bladder cannot empty properly);
  • Sexual discomfort or pain;
  • Difficulty urinating and defecating;
  • Needing to urinate more frequently;
  • With a cystocele you may lose some urine when laughing or coughing.

Diagnosis of uterine prolapse

A prolapse can be diagnosed by a gynecological examination by a doctor. Sometimes a referral will be made to a urologist.

Treatment of prolapsed uterus

  • In case of mild prolapse, exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles may be sufficient. These are the so-called Kegel exercises.
  • If a woman is in the post-menopausal phase, a doctor can prescribe estrogen hormones (for mild prolapse). This may involve tablets, cream or ovules. The supporting tissue becomes firmer, but the sagging has not disappeared.
  • A doctor may also recommend having a ring placed, this ring ensures that the uterus is returned to the correct position.
  • Surgery is also an option. The doctor’s advice will depend on the type of prolapse. Sometimes removal of the uterus is recommended in combination with plastic surgery. This is a surgical procedure in which the walls of the vagina return to their original position.