Bladder prolapse is when your bladder is no longer being held up in its appropriate location in your body by the muscles around it. For some women, bladder prolapse can feel like a heaviness above their vagina, and for others, the bladder is actually resting or ‘leaning’ on the vagina. The condition can be very mild (some women may not even realize they have it), or they can be very severe. If left untreated, many women may see an increase in symptoms such as incontinence or pain as they get older.
Prolapse can occur for many different reasons. The most prevalent is in direct result of pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy and childbirth, the women’s organs are shifted around in their abdomen and are often pushed to make room for the baby. The pelvic floor, which typically holds up those organs, is now helping keep a growing baby hoisted healthfully above the pelvic bones and the reproductive organs. Childbirth exacerbates the pressure and trauma those organs and the pelvic floor withstand because of the sheer force needed to birth a child. This all results in the pelvic floor being very weak and overworked.
When the floor can’t withstand any more weight and pressure, the organs it supports begin to prolapse.
There are many options for treating a prolapse. Physical Therapy can do wonders for women with this condition. In addition, management tools, such as pessaries, can help ease many of the physical symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. And, if none of these options do the trick for you, there are surgical procedures that can help correct the issue (read about this woman’s journey to healing her pelvic organ prolapse.)
If you think you may be experiencing this and want to learn more, go here for more detailed explanation and suggested treatment options.