Following pregnancy or childbirth, you may be at increased risk for developing uterine prolapse. Our team offers comprehensive care for uterine prolapse, including estrogen replacement, minimally invasive surgery, and supportive devices.
Questions and Answers
What is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse describes a condition where your uterus falls down into the vaginal canal. There are several degrees of uterine prolapse, including:
- First-Degree Uterine Prolapse: In a first-degree prolapse, the cervix drops into the vaginal canal.
- Second-Degree Uterine Prolapse: A second-degree prolapse occurs when the cervix is level with the vaginal opening.
- Third-Degree Uterine Prolapse: If your cervix falls outside of your vagina, it’s considered a third-degree prolapse.
- Fourth-Degree Uterine Prolapse: When your entire uterus is outside of your vagina, it’s a fourth-degree prolapse, also known as procidentia.
What causes uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse is the result of weakened muscles in your vaginal canal and pelvic floor. The two most common reasons why your muscles weaken include pregnancy and vaginal childbirth.
You can also develop weak muscles as you get older and during menopause. As your estrogen levels begin their decline, it can cause a thinning and weakening of your vaginal walls and pelvic floor muscles that leads to uterine prolapse.
In some cases, underlying health conditions contribute to uterine prolapse. These conditions may include a chronic cough, obesity, and constipation that causes straining during bowel movements.
How is uterine prolapse treated?
Initially, treating uterine prolapse involves daily pelvic floor exercises like Kegels to build strength in your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises can also prevent a worsening of your condition.
Other treatments include:
- Estrogen Supplementation: Dr. Brown and the Alabama Urogyn team can also prescribe estrogen supplements using suppository ovules or rings that you insert into your vagina to strengthen your vaginal and pelvic floor muscles.
- Surgery: If your prolapse is severe, you may need surgery. Dr. Brown may recommend a hysterectomy to remove your uterus. He offers minimally invasive laparoscopic hysterectomies and incision-less surgeries to remove the uterus through your vagina.
- Supportive Device: When you’re not a candidate for surgery, you may benefit from a supportive device like a pessary that holds your uterus in place.
To find out more about your options for treating all degrees of uterine prolapse, contact us.