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Today, we’ll be looking at something interesting and a rather heavy topic. Uterine prolapse.
We start off by saying that from our research, uterine prolapse is a rather frequent medical problem. As you become older, your chances of acquiring the illness rise. If you have had several vaginal births over your life, you are also at a higher risk of uterine prolapse.
Now, we ask, what is it?
What is Uterine Prolapse
Basically, a collection of muscles and ligaments hold your uterus in place within your pelvis. This is referred to as the pelvic floor muscles. When these components deteriorate, the uterus is unable to maintain its posture and begins to droop. Several reasons can contribute to pelvic muscle weakness, including:
- Loss of muscle tone as a result of ageing
- Chronic coughing, straining, or constipation
- Injury during childbirth
Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse
So, how would you know or what would you feel if you think you might be facing a uterine prolapse?
You may actually not notice any symptoms if you have a minor case of uterine prolapse. However, if the uterus moves out of position, it can put pressure on other pelvic organs, such as the bladder or intestine, resulting in symptoms such as:
- Pain in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back
- Pain during sex
- A feeling of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis
- Uterine tissue that falls through the opening of the vagina
- Frequent bladder infections
- Unusual or excessive discharge from the vagina
- Urination issues
When you stand or move for lengthy periods of time, your symptoms may worsen as gravity puts extra strain on the pelvic muscles in certain situations.
At this point, you might be saying – “Alright, that’s interesting and all, but what about during pregnancies?”
To that, we say – Good question! Now that we have laid the foundations for the understanding of uterine prolapse, we now look at how pregnancy affects or is affected by it.
Uterine Prolapse During Pregnancy
Uterine prolapse during pregnancy is extremely uncommon, with an estimated occurrence of one in every 10,000 to 15,000 births. Normally, ligaments and pelvic floor muscles support and position the uterus. The weakening of muscles and ligaments as a result of trauma or strain can result in a prolapse, which is the falling of the uterus into the vagina. The therapy is tailored to the degree of prolapse.
Does a Uterine Prolapse Affect Pregnancy?
A prolapsed uterus may cause the following complications:
- Preterm labour
- Difficulty during labour
- Cervical discomfort
- Cervical desiccation and ulceration
- Urinary tract infection
- Acute urinary retention
- Foetal and maternal sepsis
- Postpartum haemorrhage
Abortion of the foetus may occur in complex situations of uterine prolapse. Even after childbirth, complications might develop. However, do not be alarmed because severe complications and issues caused by uterine prolapse generally emerge when the condition is neglected. The signs of uterine prolapse are seldom ignored, and you will most likely detect them before the situation worsens.
Now, what are some signs and symptoms of uterine prolapse during pregnancy?
Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse During Pregnancy
Some symptoms include:
- A visible protrusion from the vagina
- A sensation of a bulge in the vagina
- Pelvic heaviness
- Pressure, heaviness, and a dragging sensation in the vagina
- Back pain
- Urinary incontinence – the feeling of incomplete emptying
- A feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel
Uterine prolapse symptoms are generally most visible during the third trimester. Consult a doctor as soon as you detect or feel the symptoms.
Prolapse is rare to occur prior to pregnancy. If it is present, it may go away during pregnancy but may resurface after deliveries.
So, with all that, what are the exact causes?
Causes of Uterine Prolapse During Pregnancy
Pelvic muscles can weaken for a variety of reasons, increasing the likelihood of uterine prolapse. The symptoms and circumstances listed below may increase the likelihood of developing uterine prolapse.
In all honesty, the causes of uterine prolapse during pregnancy are about the same as those sustained in everyday life which we have outlined above and we reiterate once more:
1. Trauma to the pelvic muscles – Muscles may be stretched and weakened during vaginal delivery. It raises the likelihood of uterine prolapse in subsequent pregnancies.
2. Multiple pregnancies and/or deliveries/subsequent pregnancies within short intervals.
3. Delivering a large baby through vaginal birth.
4. Congenital connective tissue disorders – these could cause pelvic muscles and ligaments to remain weak which increases the chances of uterine prolapse.
5. Physiological changes of the uterus, ligaments, and muscles of the body during pregnancy – Hormonal changes during pregnancy could cause relaxation of ligaments and may increase the risk of uterine prolapse.
6. Chronic intra-abdominal pressure – This can be due to persistent straining for bowel movement or heavy weight lifting.
However, do keep in mind that it is still best for your doctor to determine the exact cause of uterine prolapse.
There is no specific strategy to avoid uterine prolapse. Certain measures and lifestyle adjustments may assist to lower the chance of developing uterine prolapse. The following are some precautions you may take to reduce your risk of getting uterine prolapse during pregnancy.
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Include fibre and fluids in your diet to avoid constipation or excessive straining
- Avoid lifting heavy weights
- Take medical advice in case you have a chronic cough since it can strain pelvic organs and muscles
- In mild cases, you may perform Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Make sure to discuss this with your healthcare practitioner or physiotherapist before performing any exercise during pregnancy
Early detection and treatment of the illness can result in a safe pregnancy or gestation period. Several published case studies have documented successful natural births with a prolapsed uterus. However, uterine prolapse may provide an elevated danger to both the foetus and the mother. Seeking therapy as soon as possible can assist ensure a smooth delivery.
Alternatively, if you are looking for prolapsed uterus treatment at home, we have an article that may help you in that area.
Oh, speaking of things you can do at home, did you know that we are an in-home massage service provider? Our highly trained professional massage therapists may not be able to provide relief for a medical issue like a prolapsed uterus during pregnancy, but they can help you get relief from aches, pains, and water retention that comes with pregnancy.
So, no need to go to some pregnancy spa or look online for the best prenatal massage, swing by our site to look at which massage packages will suit your needs, and we’ll send one of our therapists to your place where you can de-stress in the comfort of your own home.