Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common urologic condition in which one of the pelvic organs
moves out of position. For example, the bladder may drop lower and push
against the vaginal walls. POP can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including
pain or pressure in the area, incontinence, and constipation. If you suspect
you might have POP, consider visiting a urology specialist to determine
the underlying cause and learn about your treatment options.
Childbirth is among the most common causes of POP. To understand how childbirth
can cause POP, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the
anatomy in this area. POP can affect one or multiple organs, including
the bladder, vagina, uterus, and rectum. These
pelvic organs are normally held in place by the pelvic floor muscles. But these pelvic floor muscles can sometimes
be stretched and weakened, which impairs their ability to hold the organs
in place. Childbirth is a traumatic event that requires considerable straining
and places significant pressure on the abdomen. The strain can weaken
these crucial muscles.
Some women who undergo a hysterectomy will later develop POP. A hysterectomy
is a surgical procedure to remove one or more of the pelvic organs such
as the uterus. In the absence of these organs, the structures that are
left intact may shift out of place. Although POP is not inevitable after
a hysterectomy, this surgery is certainly a major risk factor for it.
Not all cases of POP can be linked to childbirth and hysterectomies. The
pelvic organs may also shift out of place due to the pressure exerted
on the region by excessive body weight. Specifically, obesity results
in increased pressure to the pelvic floor muscles, which can allow hernias
to form. In other words, the bladder or other organs may prolapse into
the vaginal wall.
Urology Associates, P.C. provides compassionate and confidential care for
women with urologic and sexual health conditions, including pelvic organ
prolapse. Call our office at (855) 901-1338 to request an appointment
with a urologist in Nashville. Additional health information is available
on our website.