The vaginal walls are made up of supportive tissues, muscles and ligamets holding up a woman’s pelvic organs — her bladder, bowel and uterus. In the unfortunate event of these tissues softening and faltering, the pelvic organs bulge into a woman’s vagina. This is a vaginal prolapse. A woman will have to undero surgical repairs of the anterior or posterior vaginal walls.
A private hospital in Kent advises that vaginal repair surgery usually takes hospital confinement lasting a couple of days, but a full recovery normally takes around six weeks.
The Types of Prolapse
- Cystocele – This is the prolapse of the bladder, causing the bulging of the vagina’s front wall.
- Rectocele – This is the prolapse of the rectum, casing the bulging of the vagina’s rear wall.
- Uterine Prolapse – This is the prolapse of the uterus, going through from the top of the vagina.
- Vaginal vault prolapsed – This is the prolapse of the top of the vagina due to an hysterectomy.
The Symptoms of a Prolapse
- A woman may experience a feeling of discomfort or pain within the vagina or lower abdomen mimicking a dragging sensation.
- The visibility of a bulge apparently originating from the vagina.
- Experiencing difficulty emptying the bladder and/or bowel, or urine leakage.
- Experiencing difficulty and/or feeling some pain during intercourse.
These symptoms do not manifest in all women with prolapse.
- Ignoring prolapse and not seeking treatment.
- Changing one’s lifestyle such as practising weight loss and avoiding constipation.
- Utilising vaginal pessaries; plastic devices inserted in the vagina to hold the prolapse in its place. This aids in avoiding the need for surgery.
- Undergoing surgical treatments and procedures such as vaginal rejuvenation.
Among these, there are other prolapse treatments available depending on the severity of the symptoms and how it affects a woman’s daily life.
Opting for Surgical Treatment
- There are different types of operation appropriate for a woman experiencing prolapse. These are: abdominal and vaginal.
While under general anaesthetic, the operation lasts 90 minutes at the most. The gynaecologist cuts a wall in the patient’s vagina and places the displaced organs back in place, while tightening the support tissues along the vagina. It is advisable to first consult an OB-Gyne when one experiences prolapse.