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The minute a new born child comes out of the mother's womb, he/she is exposed to the possibility of a number of diseases and this continues throughout a person's life time - this is the reality.
Not all of us may become victims of every disease that exists, but every human would have experienced at least one or more health conditions in their life.
When it comes to diseases and ailments, there are a whole different array of them which can affect a person physiologically or psychologically.
The severity of the disease depends on the nature of it and also, there are some diseases which are gender specific, that is, they can affect either just women or men, due to the anatomical differences.
For example, breast cancer can only affect women and prostate cancer can only affect men.
Now, we know that a woman has a uterus which helps in the child bearing act. The uterus is a muscular organ located in the pelvic region of a woman.
There are a number of health conditions which can affect the uterus of a woman and uterine prolapse is one such condition.
Learn all about uterine prolapse, below.
1. What Is Uterine Prolapse?
Uterine prolapse can be defined as a condition in which, the muscles and ligaments in and around the pelvic floor become weak and loose. When that happens, the pelvic floor will no longer be able to give support to the uterus or be able to hold the uterus intact, in place.
So, the uterus slips down and protrudes out of the vagina! Hence, uterine prolapse is a very dangerous condition, as an organ slips down from its place!
2. Whom Does It Affect?
Research studies and statistics have shown that uterine prolapse is a condition which can affect women of any age, depending on the strength of their pelvic muscles.
However, it is more commonly seen in women over the age of 50, who have experienced menopause and also women who have had 2 or more vaginal births, that is, given birth naturally, through the vagina, without a C-section.
3. Causes For Uterine Prolapse
While the main cause for uterine prolapse is the weakening of pelvic muscles, there could be certain factors which make the pelvic muscles weaker, such as, pregnancy, difficult child birth, complications during child birth, being overweight or obese, low oestrogen level after menopause, chronic constipation and consequent straining of the pelvic muscles to pass stools, chronic cough, bronchitis, extreme weight lifting,a number of vaginal births, pelvic surgery, etc.
4. Symptoms Of Uterine Prolapse
Usually, mild uterine prolapse does not have any symptoms; however, moderate and severe uterine prolapses cause symptoms like sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis, visible tissue protruding from the vagina, urine retention, urine inconsistency, constipation, a sensation where you feel you are sitting on a small ball or feeling like something is falling out of your vagina, sensation of looseness in the vagina during sexual intercourse, pain during urination, etc.
It is noted by experts that the symptoms of uterine prolapse usually are mild in the mornings and get worse as the day passes.
5. Risk Factors Of Uterine Prolapse
Although, uterine prolapse is not a life-threatening disease, it can be painful in the severe forms and can seriously disrupt normal life, as the patient may not be able to walk, pass urine and stools, or engage in sexual activities.
Also, if not treated for a long time, especially in the case of moderate to severe uterine prolapse, then it could cause vaginal sores, vaginal infections and even uterine cancer in some cases.
6. Treatment & Prevention
Usually, the treatment for uterine prolapse includes pelvic exercises such as the 'Kegel' exercise which tightens the muscles, medications, surgery, and pessaries (a non-surgical method used to prevent the uterus from slipping down further).
Prevention includes maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding heavy weight lifting, performing 'Kegel' exercises, treating constipation and chronic cough.