Having pelvic organ prolapse is different for every woman.
While it isn’t defined as a “lethal condition,” it certainly impacts quality of life for many women.1
There are also different symptoms for different women. That can depend on the type of pelvic organ prolapse, which is when the supporting muscles of the pelvic floor become weakened and relaxed, and one or more of the pelvic organs drop and press into the vaginal wall.
Prolapse can occur to the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum. One example is called vaginal vault prolapse and happens when the upper portion of the vagina prolapses into the lower vaginal canal, or outside of the vagina, particularly in women who have had their uterus removed.2
What Are The Symptoms Of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Here are the most common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse:
- A bulge at the opening of the vagina, which you can feel or see.
- Symptoms related to your bladder and bowel, such as incontinence, constipation, or difficulty urinating.
- Pressure or heaviness in your pelvis or lower abdomen.
- Difficulty inserting a tampon.
- Painful intercourse.1
Can Pelvic Organ Prolapse Cause Leg Pain?
It’s not just these more common side effects that women can feel. Can pelvic prolapse cause leg pain? Can a prolapsed bladder cause lower back pain? In short, the answer to both questions is yes. Prolapse can cause leg pain, lower back pain, prolapse pain in the pelvis, and leg fatigue.1
In fact, the most common symptoms arise from the internal pressure created when pelvic organ tissue pushes against the muscles in the pelvis. This pushing creates that pressure feeling in the pelvis, which can lead to lower back pain, make the muscles ache, and causes the feeling that something is “falling out.”
Prolapse pain can occur in the lower back, lower belly and groin—prolapse pain, along with leg fatigue, are very common signals of this condition.3
What Can You Do About Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
If you have any of these symptoms, including leg fatigue or prolapse pain such as leg or back pain, the first step is to see a doctor for a correct diagnosis. You can use our physician finder to seek a doctor experienced in women’s health concerns, who can help with prolapse pain relief.
Diagnosis typically begins with a review of your medical history and a physical exam of your pelvic organs. This can help your physician determine the type of prolapse, such as bladder, rectum or uterine, and develop a treatment plan.4
Possible treatments include:
- Physical therapy with pelvic floor exercises.
- A pessary, a device that is placed vaginally to hold the pelvic organs in place.
- In some cases surgery.4 A common procedure is known as the sling procedure, in which a surgeon uses mesh to build a sling or hammock.
“Kegels” or pelvic floor exercises are the typical first-step treatment, or even used to prevent issues. Pelvic floor muscles exercises have been proven to be effective in strengthening the important pelvic floor, the hammock-like structure that keeps your pelvic organs in place. These exercises also help with other pelvic dysfunction conditions like stress urinary incontinence.
You can use tools to do Kegels properly, like the INNOVO Urinary Incontinence Kit. These “smart shorts” are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles from the inside out, allowing you to perform 180 perfect Kegels in 30 minutes. There are also steps you can take to stop weakening those tissues or preventing your condition from worsening. That includes maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, avoiding heavy lifting and straining during bowel movements, and strengthening your core and your pelvic floor.4
It’s important to know you’re not alone, as prolapse is actually quite common. You need to look after yourself, as there is a connection between depression and women with pelvic floor dysfunction, including prolapse.5