According to statistics, about half of the women who gave birth develop prolapse - the internal organs lower. Often, women do not even guess about this until the loss begins. From this affects from 15 to 30% of young women, and in old age - up to 60%. And most people don’t talk about this ... What every woman should know about genital prolapse, «Vadym Petrovskyi - chief physician of theraquo;, of the Bogoliuby MC, obstetrician-gynecologist, first category doctor, Ph.D. in medical sciences provides advice.
What is genital prolapse?
Genital prolapse is essentially a female hernia, in which the uterus gradually moves down, and subsequently protrudes into the vaginal cavity through the pelvic floor. These are complex of symptoms that associated with deformation, degeneration or damage to the connective tissue that forms the ligamentous apparatus of the uterus. It fixes and maintains the position of the uterus in the pelvis. When this apparatus is injured, the ligaments lose their properties, plasticity and turgor. As a result of this, everything that they supported under the influence of gravity begins to fall down, and then falls out.
Why do genital prolapse occur? For women of what age is this problem the most urgent?
Genital prolapse is more often diagnosed in women after 55. In this age group, this disease is very common and does not tend to decrease. The fact is that dishormonal changes occur in the woman’s body with age about 50 years. As you know, female sex hormones are involved in the synthesis of calcium, vitamin D and many other substances that form the framework of connective tissue. And when in the female body there is a hyposynthesis of these hormones (it means they are fewer produced), the ligaments lose their properties and the prolapse of the internal genital organs begin.
And why does the disease occur in young women?
This is mainly due to traumatic as well as numerous births, frequent changes in sexual partners, hard physical work or great physical exertion in athletes.
Сonstipations are contributed to genital prolapse development also. But it is worth noting that prolapse in turn also contributes to the development of constipation. During the act of defecation, when a woman is pushing, the abdominal muscles are tensed, internal organs are pushed out and damaged membranes burst even more.
How fast does the disease develop?
Genital prolapse develops quickly if it is caused by significant trauma. In other cases, the process of prolapse of the uterus continues slowly, over the years, gradually and steadily.
What are the early warning of the disease? What should a woman pay attention to?
To identify the disease at an early stage, you need to regularly conduct self-examination during the morning or evening toilet of the external genitalia. First, prolapse can be felt with your fingers, and when the cervix floats out - this is already visible. Sometimes the disease is preceded by a constant severity in the lower abdomen, frequent claims to urinate, a feeling of incomplete urination, pain in the perineum. Subsequently, visual manifestations join in.
. How is genital prolapse treated? Is it possible to avoid surgery?
СI must say right away: treatment with pills or injections is not always effective. Drugs can correct the hormonal state of women, indirectly will lead to the strengthening of connective tissue in her body. You can also train the muscles of the perineum by performing Kegel exercises or using special vaginal simulators.
Do Kegel Exercises Really Help?
In the early stages of genital prolapse and as a method of prevention, Kegel exercises are quite effective. Every woman after 40 years of age should be sure to train the muscles of the perineum, especially those who had troubled, fast births or numerous births. This is fitness, and it is very important for women's health. By the way, performing Kegel exercises, a woman will kill two birds with one stone: firstly, to do prophylaxis of uterine prolapse, and secondly, to train the vagina, which will allow you to get special sensations during sex.
The effect of training will be if you engage in systematic. But, unfortunately, such fitness is not too widespread among our women, therefore it is preferable to deal with advanced cases of genital prolapse, when the exercises are no longer effective.
How effective is the surgical treatment of genital prolapse?
This is the treatment method number 1. There are generally two types of surgical techniques for treating genital prolapse. The first and main is a plastic technique (when connections are tightened and duplicators are formed from them from the patient’s own tissues). The effectiveness of this type of operation has been proven to be at least 15 years.
The second technique involves the formation of the pelvic floor using an allograft, the so-called strainers or ribbons. This technique is gradually being phased out, because, firstly, it is very expensive, and secondly, it leads to chronic pelvic pain and to the inability to have sex.
Is the operation considered complicated?
Yes, it is. The operation is quite complicated, but for a surgeon who has the necessary techniques, is not something extraordinary. For example, in the Bogoliuby MC we conduct such operations approximately from 2000.
Previously, women after this type of surgery spent 10 days in a hospital, but now they spend an average of 4 days in a hospital and return home. By the way, scarring after surgery does not remain at all, because the operation occurs by vaginal access.
Is there a long rehabilitation period? What restrictions await a woman?
Limitations relate primarily to physical exertion, hard work, weight lifting. You must take care of yourself for at least two months. But in general, these restrictions apply to all women: both operated, and those who have untreated genital prolapse.
If a woman with prolapse does not experience significant discomfort, maybe you should not rush to the operation?
Surgical intervention is better not to postpone. Diseases in the later stages often have complications in the form of infringement of the bladder wall, ulcers on the cervix, complicated by constant pain and the like. Surgery in the later stages is more difficult for both the surgeon and the patient. It is better to have surgery right away, only prolapse is diagnosed.
How much does the operation cost?
In our clinic – Bogolyuby MC, the total cost of surgical treatment of genital prolapse, including medication, ranges from 12 to 18,000 UAH.