Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus has descended toward the vaginal opening. Symptoms of uterine prolapse can worsen with time if left untreated. The uterus is held in place by ligaments and a hammock of muscles. When the ligaments supporting the uterus weakens, the uterus can no longer stay in place and slips down, resulting in prolapse. The ligaments that help hold the uterus in place are the ovarian ligament, round ligament, broad ligament, and uterosacral ligaments. The most important ligaments that help prevent a uterine prolapse are the uterosacral ligaments. In more severe cases of uterine prolapse, it can prolapse to extend several inches past the vaginal wall. The risk factors of a uterine prolapse include pregnancy, constipation, obesity, childbirth, and chronic coughing. The commonest cause of uterine prolapse is due to history of trauma during childbirth, especially when the individual has had multiple or difficult births.
The diagnosis of a uterine prolapse can be made based on a clinical examination. Uterine prolapse is essentially a type of pelvic organ prolapse. Some other types of pelvic organ prolapse include small bowel prolapse, large bowel prolapse, and bladder prolapse. The prevention of uterine prolapse can be made through the management of chronic breathing problems, maintenance of a healthy weight, and not smoking. The treatment of uterine prolapse can be conservative, mechanical, or surgical. Mild cases of uterine prolapse can be managed using a ring pessary along with hormone replacement therapy. When the uterine prolapse is more severe, it may require surgery such as a vaginal hysterectomy.
Uterine prolapse is estimated to affect about 14 percent of women and is most commonly seen after menopause. It has been estimated that about 50 percent of women who have given birth eventually develop a form of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. The likelihood increases with age, especially among those who have gone through menopause. This article looks at 10 symptoms of a uterine prolapse.
Symptom #1: Vaginal Fullness
Vaginal fullness can be described as a sensation where one feels that there is increased pressure or a sensation of fullness in the vaginal area. Some may say that it feels like sitting on a ball.
This feeling may decrease when the individual lies down. It may increase when the person strains such as during coughing or lifting something. Vaginal fullness can also cause a feeling of heaviness in the vaginal or pelvic area.