Prolapse, loss of elasticity and tone
There are many different types of prolapse including vaginal, uterine, bladder and bowel prolapse.
A prolapse can result from anything that puts pressure on the pelvic floor such as:
pregnancy and childbirth
regularly straining on the toilet to pass bowel motions
repetitive lifting of children
repetitive lifting of heavy weights at work or in the gym
Smoking and chronic lung diseases with coughing
Postmenopausal women are more susceptible to a prolapse. The trigger is a loss of oestrogen during menopause. This hormone helps to keep the pelvic floor muscles, which support the vagina and bladder, well toned. Once oestrogen levels drop after menopause, these muscles become thinner, weaker and less elastic. The vaginal skin stretches, which may allow the bladder to bulge backwards into the vagina.
The symptoms of a prolapse depend on individual factors such as the severity of the prolapse, level of physical activity and any other associated prolapse.
The symptoms include:
- stress incontinence: leaking urine when:
inability to completely empty the bladder or the bowel after going to the toilet
straining to get urine flow started
a slow flow of urine that tends to stop and start
a sensation of fullness or pressure inside the vagina
a bulge or swelling felt in the vagina
In severe cases, the vagina and bladder may protrude outside the vaginal entrance.
A prolapse is diagnosed by a medical history check and a Gynaecologist examination. The physical examination will determine:
how severe the prolapse is
what condition the pelvic floor muscles are in
whether the prolapse involves just the bladder or whether the vagina and/or the uterus are also involved
Without intervention the symptoms of prolapse usually worsen over time. However, there is a lot you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to improve the symptoms.
Before a prolapse occurs, there may be a slackening in the walls of the vagina, so awareness of this weakening and preventing it from getting worse are vital. The Juliet procedure can maintain the strength and support of the vaginal walls with excellent patient outcomes and stop the prolapse progressing further and address mild prolapse effectively so there is no need for further treatments.
Book a consultation with one of our Gynaecologists to discuss your symptoms and suitability for treatment. You may also want to complete our online Symptom Questionnaire