"Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go."
-Fred Rogers
Showing posts with label Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Show all posts

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spreading the Word About Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment

I recently received the following email:

Hi Tricia,
I am contacting you on behalf of the Public Outreach Department at DrugWatch.com. I saw that you had some great posts and was wondering if you would be interested in a guest blog post from our writers to help raise awareness about a serious women’s issue involved with pelvic organ prolapse.

This condition, which typically affects women after childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause, has a rocky history when it comes to its popular means of treatment. Since the 1990’s a product called transvaginal mesh has led to a series of complications the most serious of which includes organ puncture, infection and in extreme cases loss of life. Being a doula site I thought that this topic would be a good way to get this important information out women to keep them informed about the condition should it come up later down the road.
f this is something you would be interested in or if you have any questions please let me know. I look forward to hearing back from you. Thanks so much for your time.
Best Regards,
Jeff Jocoy
Public Outreach

I did a bit of research and agreed that this was a topic my readers would find relevant and interesting, so I'd like to welcome Elizabeth Carrollton, who writes about defective medical devices and medication safety for Drugwatch.com. I hope you enjoy this guest blog piece.

Pelvic organ prolapse, or POP, is a condition that affects approximately half of all women at some point in their lives. It occurs when a weakened or stretched pelvic floor allows pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus and rectum, to drop lower than they should be in the pelvis, placing pressure on the vagina.

Most frequently, POP becomes evident in the years leading up to menopause or after a woman has gone through the change of life. While severe cases may require surgical repair, if caught in its early stages, POP can usually be treated successfully with non-invasive therapies. Unfortunately, many women are unaware of POP risk, and since the symptoms of POP can be embarrassing, many women who have them suffer in silence rather than seeking diagnosis and treatment.

How it Happens

In most cases, POP is a condition that has developed over many years, as damage to the pelvic floor — due to childbirth, heavy lifting, excess body weight and other factors — gradually weakens its muscles and ligaments. Then, when menopause approaches, the changes in hormone levels and body chemistry that occur cause those tissues to lose elasticity, becoming even weaker, leading to more prominent symptoms.

Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

POP can involve the prolapse of one pelvic organ or several. Women with mild cases may show no symptoms, while those with moderate to severe POP can experience symptoms that include pressure or pain in the lower abdomen or back, and pain during sex. In women with severe POP, organs may begin to protrude through the vaginal opening, and constipation can become a problem as prolapsed organs obstruct bowel function.


Mild to moderate POP is often treated with physical therapy, which consists mainly of pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the weakened pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises, Pilates and yoga are often recommended, and can reduce or even eliminate POP symptoms. Maintaining a healthy body weight can help, as can avoiding tobacco products and eating well. All of these treatments are also excellent for POP prevention.


Severe POP that does not respond to lesser treatments can usually be corrected with surgery. However, women who are considering this option or have already had surgery should know about the risks involved with procedures that use transvaginal mesh implants for POP repair. These implants are inserted through the vagina (transvaginally) to support the pelvic organs.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised that procedures using transvaginal mesh have not been proven any more effective than those that don't. The agency has issued alerts on transvaginal mesh products, citing concerns over disturbing rates of serious complications. Among the most frequently reported problems are erosion of mesh through the vaginal walls, mesh shrinkage, organ perforation and infection all of which have led some woman to begin filing a vaginal mesh lawsuit.

Women should ask their surgeon whether he intends to use transvaginal mesh, and if so, why he feels it is necessary. If a woman is not satisfied with his explanation, she should get a second opinion. For women who already have a mesh implant, they need to make sure their doctor is on the lookout for these complications.

Author Bio: Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and medication safety for Drugwatch.com.