How To Identify Pelvic Organ Prolapse

How To Identify Pelvic Organ Prolapse

More and more women are becoming proactive about their health. Women these days are much more self-aware and interested in learning the best ways to stay healthy. In addition to regular breast exams, a woman can also perform a pelvic organ prolapse (POP) self-exam. Some are surprised to know that there is a self-examination method for detecting POP, and it’s not that difficult to perform this test.

How to Begin

First empty your bladder, then get in position. The test should be done in a somewhat supported standing position. Place one foot on a stool, then angle a large mirror for observation. Relax your pelvic floor muscles, then cough strongly, paying close attention to whether there is movement in the vaginal wall area. Watch for a bulging distensions while coughing. This might resemble a balloon shape in the front or back of the vaginal area. Squeeze the muscles by bearing down and then watch for any movement.

In cases of significant prolapse, the cervix area protrudes in a rounded shape like that of a golf or tennis ball. There are other types of POP and tears in the tendons that can manifest as a skewed ball-like shape. If you notice any type of bulging when coughing or bearing down, it’s best to see a urologist right away. Often, there are fairly simple techniques for treating this condition and your doctor can help you with tips on avoiding further damage.

What Causes POP?

Cervix or uterine descent often occurs as a result of the weakening of muscles and ligaments. This can be the consequence of obesity, normal aging, pelvic tumor, repeated straining from constipation, lack of estrogen and a few others. Some common symptoms are low backache, painful intercourse, vaginal bleeding, bladder leakage or pressure and repeated infections.

Performing regular Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, but anyone who has troubling symptoms as mentioned above would do well to consult their physician. When doctors are able to catch POP in early stages, they can help patients by working with them to resolve causatives such as obesity or constipation that might be adding to the stress placed upon the bladder and vaginal areas.