Gary Harvey, MD
Urogynecologist located in Missoula, MT
Pelvic organ prolapse is an uncomfortable, and often embarrassing, issue that many women face. Compassionate urogynecologist and robotic surgeon Gary Harvey, MD, treats women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse at his practice in Missoula, Montana. There’s no need to suffer in silence from symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Q & A
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues that support your pelvic organs become stretched, damaged, or weakened. Without adequate support, one or more of the pelvic organs may droop down into or bulge out of the vagina.
Different types of pelvic organ prolapse include:
- Cystocele, or dropped bladder, which is the most common type
- Rectocele, in which the rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina
- Uterine prolapse, which involves the uterus dropping into the vagina
These conditions may cause an uncomfortable bulging sensation in the vagina as if you were sitting on a ball. Pelvic organ prolapse may also cause pain during sex, urinary incontinence, and other symptoms that disrupt your daily life.
Who is at risk for pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is most common in women who have a history of one or more vaginal childbirths. Other factors that may cause weakened pelvic muscles include:
- Being overweight
- Multiple vaginal deliveries
- Abdominal pressure from a chronic cough
- Hormonal changes that occur during or after menopause
Though women of all ages can develop pelvic organ prolapse, your risk for getting this condition increases with age.
How is pelvic organ prolapse diagnosed and treated?
First, Dr. Harvey performs a physical and pelvic exam and reviews your symptoms and medical history. He may ask you to cough or bear down as though you were having a bowel movement to evaluate the extent of your prolapse. He may also check the strength of your pelvic muscles by asking you to tighten them as if to prevent yourself from urinating.
After he diagnoses your condition, Dr. Harvey recommends the best treatment for your specific needs. The first line of treatment may include pelvic floor physical therapy, such as Kegel exercises. He may also recommend using a pelvic support device called a pessary.
If these treatments fail to relieve your discomfort, Dr. Harvey may recommend surgery. He performs minimally invasive, robot-assisted procedures whenever possible. Surgery options for pelvic organ prolapse include:
During sacrocolpopexy, Dr. Harvey repositions your prolapsed pelvic organs back to where they belong through small incisions in your abdomen.
Hysterectomy involves removing your uterus. This may be the best option if you have uterine prolapse that’s severe.
For expert treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, call the office of Gary Harvey, MD, or book an appointment online today.