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Pelvic organ prolapse may be caused by conditions that stress the pelvic floor, like pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and hysterectomy. It may present as a bladder drop, the uterus or rectum protruding toward the vaginal opening, or vaginal prolapse.
Here again, there are a variety of treatment options. For a start, conservative management. “If it doesn’t bother the patient, they can actually monitor and watch out for their condition,” notes Dr. Lee. Another option is the insertion of a prosthetic called a pessary that supports the internal structure of the vagina. Finally, surgical intervention is also on the table.
Although common experiences—oftentimes daily—many women are reluctant to seek help. Dr. Lee advises exploring treatment options with your primary care physician when the concerns and experience of urinary incontinence worsen. A referral to a urogynecologist or someone who specializes in female urology and pelvic organ prolapse should follow.
Early detection and early treatment can improve the long-term quality of life for women with pelvic health issues.
**To listen to our Hello Healthy Podcast with Dr. Justin Lee, a urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgeon at Dignity Health Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield, visit dignityhealth.org/bakersfield/podcasts