Understanding Bladder Prolapse

Though urinary incontinence in women is common, it can be an embarrassing topic of discussion. A common cause is bladder prolapse, one of five pelvic organ prolapses that could affect over half of all adult women. Also called cystocele or anterior vaginal prolapse, problems with the bladder could result from childbirth, hysterectomy, or simply getting older.

Despite the stigma, there’s no reason not to discuss your condition with the doctors at OBGYN Care. As cystocele specialists, they’re not only familiar with the common symptoms created by a prolapsed bladder, they’re ready to help you with the most appropriate care for your condition. Bladder prolapse is very treatable, and the more you understand about your condition and treatment options, the better you’ll feel.

The causes behind pelvic organ prolapse

A set of support tissues at the base of the abdominal cavity directly support the organs inside your pelvis — intestines, rectum, uterus, vagina, and bladder. These hammock-like tissues, called the pelvic floor include muscles and ligaments that are prone to weakening for a variety of reasons. Bladder prolapse occurs when these tissues fail in their support function and your bladder slips down against your vagina.

Your pelvic floor experiences stress from a variety of sources, including:

You’re more at risk of pelvic floor failure if you have a combination of these stress factors. However, you could have bladder prolapse while simultaneously having no symptoms.  

Symptoms of bladder prolapse

When you do experience symptoms of bladder prolapse, these could include:

The symptoms of bladder prolapse may be worse when you stand for extended periods, or they may ease when you lie down. Sensations accompanying these symptoms may be uncomfortable, but they usually aren’t painful.

Bladder prolapse treatments

Your bladder prolapse may be mild, moderate, or severe, and your treatment depends, in part, on the level of symptoms you face. Conservative treatment typically starts with physical therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, commonly known as Kegel exercises. This therapy may reduce the severity of symptoms, but usually won’t reduce the size of the prolapse on their own.

A support device called a pessary also relieves symptoms but doesn’t fix a prolapse issue. Pessaries usually play a role in putting off a surgical solution or when the risks associated with surgery are too great. 

Surgical solutions depend on the nature of your bladder prolapse. The goal of surgery is to restore support for your bladder, repairing or reinforcing the tissue of the pelvic floor.

Contact OBGYN Care to explore the solutions that are right for your bladder prolapse. You can call the office closest to you or request an appointment online. Schedule your consultation today.

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