What is a Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

The group of muscles that keep your pelvic organs such as your bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum in place is called the pelvic floor. In some cases, these muscles and tissues develop problems, known as pelvic floor disorders. Some women may develop these issues after childbirth or due to aging. A pelvic organ prolapse refers to the drooping of any of the pelvic floor organs into the outside of the vaginal canal or anus.

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Typical examples of a pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Cystocele: A prolapse of the bladder into the vagina.
  • Urethrocele: A prolapse of the urethra.
  • Uterine prolapse
  • Enterocele: small bowel prolapse.
  • Vaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of the vagina.
  • Rectocele: rectum prolapse.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Causes

Activities or events that put a lot of pressure on the abdomen can lead to pelvic organ prolapse. Common causes may include pregnancy, labor, childbirth, constipation, obesity, pelvic organ cancers, or hysterectomy. Genetics may also play some role in this condition, as some women may have weaker connective tissues.

While some women with a pelvic organ prolapse may not have any symptoms, those who do may experience:

  • Pressure or fullness in the pelvic region.
  • Painful intercourse.
  • A lower backache.
  • Constipation.
  • Spotty vaginal bleeding.
  • A feeling that something is falling out of the vagina.


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Diagnosis and Treatment for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

If you are experiencing symptoms associated with a pelvic organ prolapse, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tepper. During this appointment, he will speak with you regarding your medical history and examine your pelvic organs. If a prolapse is suspected, further testing may be required including bladder function tests, a urinary tract X-ray, a CT, MRI, or ultrasound of the pelvis, or more for proper diagnosis.

Overall, the treatment of prolapse will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms, and may include:

  • Behavioral treatments such as physical therapy to strengthen your core muscles and Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  • Mechanical treatments which may include inserting a small plastic device called a pessary into the vagina to create support for the drooping organs.
  • Surgical treatment to repair the affected organ or remove the organ. Surgery is usually recommended for women who are experiencing significant discomfort or pain from their prolapse that impairs their quality of life.  


Whether you are a new or returning patient, Dr. Tepper can assess your concerns and discuss your options to find the most comfortable and convenient care for you. To get started, call our office to set up an appointment.


Contact Us to Learn More

If you think you may be experiencing a pelvic organ prolapse or are experiencing pelvic discomfort, do not hesitate to give our office a call today at (212) 828-0900. Our team will be happy to schedule your appointment with Dr. Tepper, which is your first step toward treatment.

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