One in nine women experience some form of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetimes. According to a study conducted at Ohio State University, about 200,000 surgical procedures are performed in the United States every year to correct a prolapse of one or more of the organs in the pelvis. Of these organs, the uterus is the most prone to prolapse. This article will discuss the causes and treatments of uterine prolapse, as well as some of the other most common uterine conditions.
Also called the womb, the uterus is the organ in which a baby develops. Uterine prolapse is the result of the uterus falling from its normal position. Connective tissue, including muscles and ligaments, holds the uterus where it belongs. If these connective tissues stretch too much and become weak, the uterus can actually slide down into the vaginal canal until it is right at the opening or even protrudes from the vaginal opening.
Uterine prolapse can go through varying degrees of severity. At first, the prolapse pushes the cervix farther into the vagina than normal. This is sometimes called an “incomplete prolapse.” Eventually, the cervix may drop enough that it sticks to the vaginal opening or progresses to protrude slightly from the vagina. If the condition worsens further, the entire uterus can emerge from the vagina. This is called procidentia or “complete prolapse.”