The last thing you probably want to think about after having a baby is something else coming out of your body.
But pelvic organ prolapse happens to many women each year – either in the days and weeks after birth or even deeper into postpartum.
It is something, however, that few women talk openly about, so you might not have heard of it. Here are four things to know about pelvic organ prolapse after birth. Read on:
What is it?
Pelvic organ prolapse is, in a nutshell, when your organs (uterus, bladder, rectum.) shifting or moving from their original positions downward, sometimes into the vagina.
As many as 50% of women can have this condition, especially after a vaginal birth.
Symptoms include feeling pressure, fullness or pulling in the groin, difficulty with urination or bowel movements and painful sex.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can have pelvic organ prolapse, but it seems to be more comment in women who have been pregnant or given birth vaginally. Larger babies (and having multiple children) also seem to play a role, as does being overweight.
Women who have weak pelvic floor muscles can also be at risk. And it doesn’t always happen right after birth. Women over 50 – who are years out from giving birth – can also have it.
There can be a genetic component as well, meaning if your mother or grandmother had it, you could, too.
What can be done?
If you suspect you have it, see your doctor! There are treatments and therapies available once you are diagnosed. Not everyone has symptoms or is bothered by it, though.
Treatment options include: Physical therapy and surgery.
Can I prevent it?
For some women, yes! You can do things to make pelvic organ prolapse less likely. There are exercises to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor and you can lose weight to decrease abdominal pressure.
As with any medical condition, please consult with your doctor if you suspect you have pelvic organ prolapse!