Pelvic Organ Prolapse Essay

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Pelvic organ prolapse is a common female disorder in which the pelvic organs slip downward from their original position in the abdomen and push onto the walls of the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse is more ordinarily found in women with multiple vaginal deliveries, prolonged or traumatic deliveries, or in postmenopausal women. Risk factors include advancing age, parity, and obesity (Machin & Mukhopadhyay, 2011). The most commonly reported symptoms are a feeling of fullness or pressure in the lower abdomen that descends into the vagina, as well as pain, urinary incontinence, and sexual discomfort (UT Southwestern Medical Center, 2016). The pressure from the organs shifting downwards can cause a change in the normal urinary pattern, leading to urinary incontinence and…show more content…
The most common organs involved are the uterus (uterine prolapse), the bladder (cystocele), anterior rectal wall (rectocele), and small bowel (enterocele). These organs prolapse out of their normal position and shift into or expel out of the vaginal canal. A prolapse can occur if an individual 's lower pelvic floor muscles are weakened and damaged from excessive pressure and stretching, which can be caused by prolonged and vaginal childbirth, surgery, advancing age, chronic constipation, cancer, and even obesity. Additionally, postmenopausal women have an increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse due to the decreased production of estrogen, which is an essential component in manufacturing collagen. Therefore, a decrease in estrogen is associated with a decrease in collagen, which normally enables the supporting tissues and ligaments in the pelvic cavity to stretch and return to their normal size and position. Consequently, “hypoestrogenism also plays important contributory roles in the pathogenesis of prolapse,” (Lazarou,
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