Feb 4, 2014

Posted by in Gynecology | 1 Comment

Gravity is not my friend

gravityThe older I get, the more I realize that gravity is not my friend. Things are sagging, and sagging is not (in general) a good thing.

Recently, I interviewed two patients (Linda and Cynthia) who have talked to me about a very different sagging. And, just like all of the other sagging going on with my body, it’s not something I’m looking forward to.

Prolapse is defined as a body part falling or slipping out of position. Or, as I mentioned – it sags. Unfortunately for women, prolapse can happen in areas of the body that are more sensitive than just the skin sagging under your eyes. When the pelvic muscles and connective tissues weaken and sag, it’s called pelvic prolapse.

Unfortunately, pelvic prolapse is fairly common and the risk of developing the condition increases with age. It can occur in women who have had one or more vaginal births. Normal aging and lack of estrogen after menopause may also cause pelvic prolapse.

Women with mild cases of pelvic prolapse may have no noticeable symptoms. However, pelvic prolapse may also involve sagging or slipping of other pelvic organs, including the bladder, the urethra which is the tube next to the vagina that allows urine to leave your body, and rectum. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Sensation of sitting on a small ball
  • Heaviness or pulling in the pelvis
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Repeated bladder infections
  • Vaginal bleeding or an unusual or excessive discharge
  • Frequent urination or an urgent need to empty your bladder

Symptoms may worsen with prolonged standing or walking due to added pressure placed on the pelvic muscles by gravity. Again, gravity is not my friend.

So, this is just one more thing to look forward to as I age. Luckily, there are options if symptoms become too much of a problem. Pella Regional’s gynecologists, Dr. Joe Coleman and Dr. Dale Lensing, are able to guide women through nonsurgical and surgical options for treatment. With robotic surgery, many women are returning to the quality of life they want and deserve. Talk with your health care provider if you recognize some of these symptoms in your daily life and want to find out about options.

  1. Jane Berry says:

    Interest in more information about pelvic prolapse and options.

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