An overview of common gynaecological conditions
Click below to learn more about each gynaecological condition.
A pelvic organ prolapse is not life threatening, although it can cause pain and discomfort.
Sometimes you may see this called a posterior pelvic organ prolapse or a posterior vaginal prolapse. You can have more than one type of prolapse at the same time. The severity of the prolapse also is classified on a scale of one to four, with four being the most severe.
The pelvic organs are supported by a group of muscles and tissues that work in a similar fashion to a hammock. When these muscles, more commonly known as the pelvic floor, become weak then the organs that they support can start to shift from their natural positions in the body.
A prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues can no longer support the organs, causing one or more pelvic organs to drop or press into or out of the vagina.
These organs include the bladder, womb (uterus) and rectum, which is part of the bowel.
There are several reasons why your pelvic floor might become weakened and increase your chance of having a pelvic organ prolapse. These are:
Some health conditions can also cause a prolapse. These include:
For some women, the pressure from a pelvic organ prolapse can be felt or seen. You may feel an uncomfortable pressure in your vagina during a physical activity or during sex. The most common pelvic organ prolapse symptoms are:
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a prolapse then you should see your doctor. They will ask if they can do an internal pelvic examination.
The doctor may refer you to hospital for further tests, particularly if you are having problems with your bladder. These include:
For more severe pelvic organ prolapses or if the symptoms are affecting your daily life then there are a range of treatments available. These are dependent upon the severity of the prolapse, your age and overall health. The treatments include:
If the prolapse is severe or non-surgical options have not worked, your doctor may suggest surgery. There are several types of surgery.
Surgical repair: This covers a variety of procedures that involve lifting and supporting the pelvic organs either by stitching them in place or by making existing tissues stronger. The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic.
Vaginal mesh surgery: In this procedure, a piece of synthetic mesh is inserted to hold the pelvic organs in place. The mesh, which looks similar to a net, stays in your body permanently. The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic. A few women have reported complications after vaginal mesh surgery. These include:
Hysterectomy: This is a surgical procedure that removes the womb. It can help relieve pressure on the walls of the vagina. It is only an option for women who have been through the menopause or do not wish to have any more children.
Closing the vagina: In this procedure, part or all of the vagina is sewn shut. The treatment is only offered to women who have a severe prolapse or when other treatments have not worked.
While all surgical procedures carry some risk, most are successful and you are able to return to normal daily activities after a period of recovery. However, these surgeries do carry some risks, such as:
They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and talk with you about the best treatment options for your specific situation.
An appointment with an experienced Consultant at your nearest BMI hospital can be helpful. They will assess and diagnose the cause of your symptoms and then discuss any suitable treatment options for your specific situation. To schedule your visit, book a specialist appointment online today.
Women's Health Matters 2021 provides a comprehensive analysis of ten of the most common gynaecological conditions misdiagnosed or misunderstood for years at a time. Infertility, debilitating chronic pain, the onset of associated conditions and severe depression are common effects of living with a gynaecological condition without access to the right care. Yet despite this, education and awareness around women’s health is lacking.
Millions of women in the UK continue to suffer in silence while waiting for a diagnosis, unsure of how best to manage their pain or seek help.
The aim of this Women's Health Matters is to tackle taboos in women's health by sharing the hard-hitting stories of other women living with these conditions, as well as:
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