Written by:  Dr. Francis Tsung 10/13/2014

images (1)Many women develop urinary leakage and pelvic prolapse symptoms as they get older.  However for many of you, this is something you suffer with in silence assuming it is just a normal part of the aging process.

As some of you may know, this isn’t a problem only of older women. Many things can make you more prone to having these problems including childbirth, particularly if your labor was long and difficult or if your child was very large.  Other factors include repetitive heavy lifting, smoking, and a family history of similar problems.

Urinary leakage can occur when you cough, laugh, lift or sneeze or it can happen suddenly with an uncontrollable urge to use the bathroom.  Prolapse problems can cause you to feel heaviness or discomfort or experience a noticeable bulge in the vaginal area. It can also cause you difficulty initiating urination or emptying the bladder. It can result in problems with bowel movements or require you to apply pressure on the vagina to empty.

While urinary leakage and prolapse are often related, they can develop independently of each other and require vastly different treatments.

Urinary leakage may be treated with medications, bladder retraining, physical therapy or surgery depending on the underlying cause. Many times surgery is not required or not the only answer.

Pelvic prolapse also has many treatments including “Kegel” exercises, physical therapy, conservative treatments such as usage of a pessary device, and minimally invasive surgical treatments including robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery.

Our physicians at Southern Illinois OB/Gyn have expertise in the evaluation and treatment of these problems including complex bladder testing, conservative non surgical options, and innovative  and advanced surgical treatments. Please contact us to schedule an appointment if you are suffering from these problems. We look forward to helping you achieve a better lifestyle.

 

 

For further information, please see these useful links:

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Pelvic-Support-Problems

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Urinary-Incontinence

http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/urinary-incontinence.html

http://www.davincisurgery.com/da-vinci-gynecology/conditions/uterine-prolapse.php