Uterine prolapse is a condition that is unique to women, given the differences between men and women’s bodies. While childbirth is one of the causes of a prolapsed uterus, it is not an exclusive cause of this condition. Moreover, it is specific to certain types of childbirth, as opposed to all types of childbirth.
What is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles stretch, weaken, and can no longer support a woman’s uterus. At this point, the uterus may then protrude out of the vagina. Uterine prolapse is most common among women who are postmenopausal and who have had at least one vaginal delivery.
Symptoms of uterine prolapse
Some symptoms of uterine prolapse include:
- A sensation of heaviness in your vagina
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
- Feeling as though something is falling out of your uterus.
Causes of Uterine Prolapse
Though uterine prolapse sometimes happens after giving birth, pregnancy and subsequent labor are not the sole causes of uterine prolapse. Often, there are other reasons why your pelvic muscles have weakened. Some of these include:
- Being overweight (places additional strain on pelvic muscles)
- Chronic cough or bronchitis
- Low estrogen levels after menopause
- Trauma during childbirth
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Weakness in pelvic tissue attributed to growing older
Risk factors for uterine prolapse
Some risk factors for uterine prolapse include the following:
- Giving birth to a large baby
- Being Hispanic or white
- Frequent straining during bowel movements
- Family history of weakness in your connective tissue
Preventing Uterine Prolapse
There are measures you can take to prevent uterine prolapse. Some include:
- Kegel exercises to condition your pelvic floor muscles
- Increase your water intake
- Consume high-fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Avoid heavy lifting
Finally, get treatment for bronchitis or any type of chronic cough and partner with your primary care physician to figure out and achieve your ideal weight.
If you do have uterine prolapse, don’t fear. You have several options for treatment, including self-care options. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may require surgery to repair your weakened pelvic floor, or to remove your uterus.
As is the case with most medical issues, it is best to partner with a specialist to develop a personalized treatment plan. Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, a robotic gynecological surgeon, located in Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada, specializes in the treatment of uterine prolapse. Please give our office a call today at (702) 357-5741 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you.