Pelvic Prolapse Specialist

Advanced Care for Women

Gynecology & Urogynecology located in Sanford, NC

Pelvic floor disorders, such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, affect 1 in 5 women. Board-certified OB/GYN Paul Heimbecker, MD, FACOG, diagnoses and treats pelvic organ prolapse at Advanced Care for Women in Sanford, North Carolina. If you think you may have pelvic organ prolapse, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online today.

Pelvic Prolapse Q & A

What is pelvic organ prolapse?

Muscles and tissues in your pelvis provide support to the pelvic organs, including your bladder, uterus, cervix, and rectum. Prolapse occurs when these muscles and tissues grow too weak or damaged to support your organs, causing one or more pelvic organs to drop into the vagina.

Pelvic organ prolapse is a pelvic floor disorder. Other types of common pelvic floor disorders include urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence.

What are different types of pelvic organ prolapse?

There are several types of pelvic prolapse that have different names depending on the organs affected. The most common types of pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Cystocele, or dropped bladder
  • Rectocele, when the rectum bulges into the vagina
  • Uterine prolapse, when the uterus drops into the vagina

Dr. Heimbecker treats all of the above types of pelvic organ prolapse at Advanced Care for Women.

What causes pelvic organ prolapse?

Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth are the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapse. Various other conditions can lead to damage or weakness in the muscles that support pelvic organs, such as:

  • Repeated heavy lifting
  • Hormonal changes during menopause
  • Abdominal pressure from obesity
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic coughing from smoking or asthma

Pelvic organ prolapse can occur at any age, but most women receive a diagnosis after menopause.

What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse?

Many women with pelvic prolapse don’t experience any symptoms at all. When prolapse does cause symptoms, they often include:

  • A bulge in or coming out of the vagina
  • Leaking urine (urinary incontinence)
  • Pelvic pressure or a feeling of fullness

Symptoms often appear gradually and may worsen at certain times of the day, such as during physical activity.

How do you diagnose and treat pelvic organ prolapse?

First, Dr. Heimbecker performs a thorough physical and pelvic exam along with a review of your medical history. He may ask you to cough or strain to see whether these actions cause prolapse symptoms.

Then, he recommends the best treatment for your particular condition. Depending on the type and severity of your pelvic prolapse, treatment may include pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) or lifestyle changes such as weight loss.

If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with treatment, Dr. Heimbecker may recommend surgery to repair your pelvic floor.

For compassionate, professional treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, call Advanced Care for Women or book an appointment online today.