Pelvic organ prolapses will affect 50% of women in their lifetime.
When a woman’s pelvic tissue and muscles are weak or damaged, pelvic organs can move out of place and create a pelvic organ prolapse. This can be an uncomfortable experience and lead to urinary issues.
- Pelvic organ prolapse affects 3% of U.S. women.
Pelvic organ prolapse is most common in older women. White and Hispanic women are more likely to experience POP than younger women and women of other ethnic groups. Most prolapses are discovered during routine pelvic exams or Pap smears.
- Symptoms develop over time.
For most, POP symptoms appear as the body ages. Pelvic organ prolapse is commonly caused by: pregnancy, obesity, constipation, hysterectomies, pelvic organ cancers, chronic coughs, genetics and aging.
For some women, pelvic prolapse can happen very suddenly.
- Severe cases of POP can make it difficult and uncomfortable to urinate, engage in sexual activity or have a bowel movement.
Most women with a prolapse experience a feeling of heaviness and pain in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back.
- Pelvic prolapse cannot be prevented… but there are ways to keep your pelvic organs healthy and minimize your risk.
Urologists recommend daily Kegel exercises, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating foods that are high in fiber and stopping smoking.
- There are many ways to treat POP.
Your urologist or physician may prescribe: medication, physical therapy, pessaries (a rubber or silicone device that holds the pelvis in place), estrogen treatments and/or surgery.
- Over 300,000 surgeries to treat POP happen in the U.S. each year.
Over 12% of American women will receive surgery for POP in their lifetime. In some cases, repeat surgery may be needed.
- Nearly 50% of incontinent women don’t seek help.
The effects of POP are incredibly common, but many women don’t turn to a urologist or physician for help. While treatment isn’t required, it can provide much needed relief.
Don’t suffer from POP any longer. Arkansas Urology is the state’s leading provider of women’s pelvic health and strives to provide each and every patient with nondiscriminatory, life-changing care. For more information on access, visit our FAQ section.