Many women suffer from a moderate amount of pain in the pelvic region, especially during menstruation. Often, it can be eased by simple methods at home, such as the application of heat or by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. But if you are experiencing lasting pain in your pelvis that surpasses your period, you may be suffering from a more serious condition, such as pelvic prolapse. If you live in Naperville, prolapse can be treated by a urogynecologist.
What Is a Urogynecologist?
A urogynecologist is a doctor that specializes in treating issues that affect a woman’s pelvic organs, along with the muscles and tissue supporting those organs. They commonly treat problems like urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, and pelvic organ prolapse.
What is Pelvic Prolapse?
Pelvic prolapse shows itself differently in every woman. During prolapse, the pelvic organ will drop from its regular position. It will then push against the vaginal wall, creating increased pelvic pain.
Your physician will need to perform a thorough pelvic examination to diagnose pelvic prolapse, along with additional exams to determine how severe your pelvic prolapse is. Here is a look at the tests that your urogynecologist might employ to get a better idea of your situation.
This non-invasive examination gives your women’s health specialist the chance to see what is going on with your pelvic organs and structures.
This test gives your physician a closer look at the organs and structures in your pelvic area through imagery.
Using a cystoscope, your OB/GYN can examine your bladder and urethra visually.
These tests focus on the way the bladder, urethra, and sphincters work in the storage and release of urine.
This is a radiology test to let your physician check out your bowel function and any symptoms of pelvic prolapse you may be experiencing.
Causes and Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse
When the muscles and ligaments holding your pelvic organs in position become weakened or damaged, the organs can fall out of their usual spots. This can be caused by a variety of situations, including vaginal childbirth, hysterectomy, or other surgeries. Factors, such as age, genetics, smoking, obesity, steroid use, or trauma, can contribute to the prolapse.
Depending upon which pelvic organ has prolapsed, along with the general state of health the patient is in, the symptoms can vary greatly. Among the commonly experienced symptoms is a bulge in the vaginal area, back pain, pelvic pain and pressure, incontinence, constipation, pain during intercourse, and recurring urinary tract infections. A patient may also suffer from bladder problems, like not being able to empty your bladder, slow stream of urine, or more acute urinary urgency.
Treating Pelvic Prolapse
If you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic prolapse, there are several ways of treating it. Your women’s health professional may choose a more conservative treatment plan or minimally invasive surgery to resolve your problem.
In some cases, physical therapy can be used to treat pelvic prolapse. Other cases require more advanced measures. One option is a pessary. Your urogynecologist may suggest a pessary, which is a prosthetic device that is inserted into the vagina and can help support the uterus and keep the pelvic organs from protruding into the vagina.
In more serious cases, your women’s care specialist may advise a minimally invasive surgery. Take the time to discuss all your options with your physician.