Uterine prolapse can affect women of all ages, and the condition causes the pelvic ligaments and floor muscles to weaken and stretch. When these tissues stretch, support for the uterus is reduced, and as a result of weakened support, the uterus begins to slip into or out of the vagina. Although this issue can affect all age groups, it’s much more common among postmenopausal women who have given birth.

The main cause of uterine prolapse is a weakening of the pelvic muscles. A few common causes of weakened pelvic muscles are repeated straining, estrogen loss, gravity and tissue damage. If uterine prolapse is disrupting your normal life or making you uncomfortable, then it might be a good time to consider treatment.

What Are the Symptoms?

The severity of this condition is different for everyone; some women who have it don’t experience any signs or symptoms. If you have a severe case of uterine prolapse, then some of the common symptoms to watch for are vaginal discharge, heaviness in the pelvic floor, urinary problems, constipation and pain during intercourse.

What Are the Risk Factors?

The risk of developing this condition increases as you get older because your estrogen levels decrease. Since estrogen is the main hormone that keeps the pelvic muscles strong, a reduced concentration of estrogen in your body can cause these important muscles to weaken.

Natural childbirth is another risk factor because it can damage and weaken your pelvic muscles. If you’ve given birth more than once, then you’re at a greater risk for developing uterine prolapse than other women. You’re also at a much greater risk for this issue if you’re postmenopausal.

All activity that puts extra pressure on the pelvic muscles can make you much more likely to develop this condition. Other common risk factors include chronic constipation, chronic coughing and obesity.

Prevention and Treatment

There are several steps that you can take to reduce the amount of stress placed on your pelvic tissues. One of the best forms of prevention is avoiding heavy weights. Straining during bowel movements should also be avoided. Another way to prevent this unwanted condition is to maintain a healthy body weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

For a mild case of uterine prolapse, most treatments are designed to make the pelvic floor stronger, which can reduce undesirable symptoms. Kegel exercises can also be effective for reducing symptoms.

Depending on the severity of the condition, you might need to undergo surgery. There are several different techniques for uterine prolapse surgery, and the surgical procedures are designed to reduce the symptoms and restore normal anatomy.

If you believe you may have uterine prolapse, discuss your concerns with us at the office of Dr. Sherry Thomas. We are located in Agoura Hills and proudly serve patients in the area with comprehensive urogynecology and surgery. To receive a personalized treatment plan for your uterine prolapse, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.