There are other risk factors, including smoking, obesity, traumatic pelvic injury and a family history of POP. The sooner a woman begins to strengthen her pelvic muscles and tissues, the less likely she is to develop POP.
What are the Consequences of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is not a disease. It is a condition that, in worst-case scenarios, has uncomfortable side effects. Because of this, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend using the most conservative treatment(s) that will eliminate uncomfortable symptoms. They do not recommend anatomical reconstruction - which happens via surgery - unless non-invasive methods haven't been successful, or in less-common cases where symptoms are so severe that conservative treatments aren't effective.
Surgical procedures can be used to treat the symptoms of POP but they come with health risks attached. One of the most common surgical procedures - vaginal mesh surgery - has been linked to thousands of cases of serious health complications. For many women, these side effects can be irreversible. Thousands of women suffering from these complications have sought justice for their pain through the filing of vaginal mesh lawsuits against mesh manufacturers.
More than 11 percent of women who have surgery using transvaginal mesh will report a complication, and sometimes these complications are unable to be reversed. It usually takes more than one revision surgery to reverse complications associated with transvaginal mesh.
Methods for Preventing and/or Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Most of the conservative methods used to treat POP can also be used to prevent its onset, or to mitigate its symptoms. The sooner women begin addressing pelvic health, the better. However, it is never too late to start strengthening the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles.
· Pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscles, as well as vaginal muscles, can be exercised just like any other muscle in the body. The most common exercises are called Kegels. When done correctly and on a regular basis, they can help prevent organs from prolapsing and will also help to prevent stress urinary incontinence.
· Core exercises. Strong core muscles can help to provide support for pelvic muscles. Exercises like yoga and Pilates work to strengthen core muscles.
· Pelvic physical therapy. Women who have experienced a traumatic vaginal birth, have had a pelvic injury and/or have a genetic predisposition toward POP can seek pelvic physical therapy for more varied techniques to strengthen pelvic and vaginal tissues.
· Vaginal pessary. Vaginal pessaries can be used successfully to support pelvic muscles, prevent incontinence, and often prevent women with moderate to severe cases of POP from requiring surgery.
· Lifestyle choices. Ultimately, the more healthy a woman is in general, the more healthy her pelvic tissues will be. Women should eat well, maintain healthy weights, quit smoking and make good lifestyle choices for overall well-being.
Women who prioritize pelvic health, in addition to their overall health, will be less likely to experience forms of POP that would require surgical intervention.
Elizabeth Carrollton writes to inform the public about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.