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Pelvic Organ Prolapse services offered in Fountain Valley, CA

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Specialist

What is a pelvic organ prolapse?

When a pelvic organ prolapses, it falls out of its normal position, moving down and pushing into other structures. For example, a prolapsed uterus pushes into the vagina. 

A prolapse occurs when the muscles that hold your pelvic organs in place, the pelvic floor muscles, become weak or damaged due to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal childbirth
  • Delivering a large baby
  • Low estrogen after menopause
  • Chronic cough
  • Repeated heavy lifting

Your pelvic floor muscles can lose strength and tone due to natural aging or through daily activities that put excessive pressure on them.

What pelvic organs commonly prolapse?

Any of the pelvic organs can prolapse, including:

  • Uterus (called a uterine prolapse)
  • Vagina (called a vaginal vault prolapse)
  • Bladder (called a cystocele)
  • Rectum (called a rectocele)
  • Small intestine (called an enterocele)

Uterine prolapse and cystocele account for most pelvic organ prolapses.

What symptoms occur if I have a pelvic organ prolapse?

You may experience a feeling of pressure when a pelvic organ begins to prolapse. As it gets worse, you may:

  • See or feel a bulge in your vagina
  • Feel like something is coming out of your vagina
  • Experience pressure or aching in your pelvic area
  • Feel pelvic pressure when you stand or cough
  • Struggle to insert tampons
  • Develop low back pain

Weak pelvic floor muscles may also cause stress incontinence. Additionally, people with pelvic organ prolapse are five times more likely to have another type of urinary incontinence, overactive bladder.

How is pelvic organ prolapse treated?

Dr. Okour customizes your treatment, creating a care plan based on the type of organ prolapse and the severity of your symptoms. Your treatment plan begins with two nonsurgical options, pelvic floor exercises, and a vaginal pessary.

If your symptoms persist or get worse despite conservative treatment, or you already have a severe prolapse when you meet with Dr. Okour, the next step is surgery.

During your surgery, Dr. Okour places the organ back in its normal position. Then he performs one of two surgeries:

Native tissue repair

Dr. Okour repairs the weakened muscles so they can support the structures.

Mesh repair

He implants a synthetic mesh to reinforce the muscles and hold the organ in place.

Though he does both procedures using minimally invasive surgery, he uses different approaches. For a native repair, he makes the incision in the vagina, while a mesh repair is a laparoscopic procedure with the incisions in your abdomen.

When you need experienced treatment for pelvic organ prolapse, call Southern California Center for Advanced Gynecology, or book an appointment online today.