Gravity gets blamed for many things as we age and two of the most common issues for women are pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress incontinence. POP can involve the uterus, bladder (cystocele), rectum (rectocele) and the top of the vagina (vault) in someone with a previous hysterectomy. Stress incontinence is related in that it is often secondary to prolapse of the bladder neck.
The real reasons for prolapse are many. Bigger babies and longer pushing time with epidurals contribute. Chronic cough (of smoking, asthma or other lung disease) and repetitive heavy lifting factor in. Weaker supportive collagen strength (inherited) explains why prolapse can run in families. And the trend for larger body mass with internal adipose tissue applying pressure to a non-toned pelvic floor can result in significant anatomical shifts.
The chance that a woman will have surgery for some form of prolapse or prolapse-related problem is 20%. This has increased in recent years as surgeries to correct the problem have become more effective and involve fewer complications. Also, women have become less willing to tolerate the associated discomforts or embarrassments of prolapse and stress incontinence.
Contact the providers at Women’s Health Care to discuss any concerns you have in regard to organ prolapse or stress incontinence. 503-435-2020!
Paid Advertising Column By Kay E. Case, M.D.
Physician and Surgeon, Women's Health Care