Having a condition known as prolapse is actually quite common: About one-third of women will experience some degree of prolapse during their lifetime.1
If you’re one of those women, you may be wondering about the symptoms and side effects. For instance, can you get a bloated stomach with a prolapse?
What is a Prolapse?
To understand the various side effects of a prolapse, it helps to better understand this condition and what causes it.
Also known as pelvic organ prolapse or POP, a prolapse occurs when one or more of the organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. It can be your uterus, bowel, bladder or top of the vagina that’s affected.2
Prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken until they no longer provide enough support for the pelvic organs.3
What are the Symptoms of Prolapse?
There are some women who have no symptoms, and the pelvic organ prolapse is found during an internal examination carried out for another reason.2
There are different organs that can be affected by a prolapse, but the most common side effects of pelvic organ prolapse are:
- feeling like there’s something coming down into your vagina, or like you’re sitting on a small ball2
- a feeling of pressure in your pelvic area3
- feeling or seeing a bulge or lump in or coming out of your vagina2
- problems peeing, such as feeling like your bladder is not emptying fully, needing to go to the toilet more often, or leaking a small amount of pee—known as incontinence2
- pain during sex
- increased pelvic pressure when you strain, cough, bear down or lift5
Can You Get A Bloated Stomach With A Prolapse?
You can get a bloated stomach with a prolapse. Some women feel bloated in the lower abdomen area when one of the organs slips down. Some also experience increased gas, a symptom that’s often confused with digestive issues.6
Depending on the organ impacted, there could be other abdominal issues. Rectal prolapse, for instance, could contribute to fecal incontinence, or not being able to fully control gas or bowel movements. It may lead to both constipation and incontinence.7
Besides the discomfort of bloating and flatulence, they can also make prolapse symptoms and bladder leakage worse.That’s because the bloating can increase downward pressure on your pelvic floor.8
Some foods can make it worse, and contribute to changes in your bowel movements, such as diarrhea and constipation. Those bowel problems can in turn further weaken the pelvic floor muscles and contribute to worsening prolapse and incontinence problems. By eliminating certain foods and monitoring the impact, you may be able to lessen the side effects of bloating and gas.8
See a Doctor
Depending on the organ impacted by prolapse, your symptoms may vary, and may include a bloated stomach. Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health, so you can determine a proper treatment plan and possible diet changes for your prolapse symptoms.