Pelvic organ prolapse is another name for vaginal herniation. This common condition is the result of the loss of pelvic support that occurs when the soft connective tissue that support the pelvic organs become stretched, weakened or torn. These hernias are categorized based on their anatomical location within the vagina. Anterior vaginal hernias are called cystoceles, posterior are rectoceles and/or enteroceles. Apical defects involve prolapse or falling of the uterus and upper vagina. Symptoms of this condition include pressure, heaviness, lower back pain, painful or difficult sexual intercourse, and incontinence.
While aging is a common factor, there are many other potential contributing causes of prolapse. They include menopause and estrogen loss, multiple vaginal deliveries, uterine fibroids, family history, pelvic trauma or previous surgery, repeated heavy lifting, chronic constipation and coughing, excess body weight, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
Female Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery is performed to treat Pelvic organ prolapse. The surgical treatment is much like that of hernias in other locations of the body. The goal of this surgery is to restore the body to it's normal anatomical and functional status.
Please click on Dr. Schlafstein's Female Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery: An Update article to learn more.