Pelvic Organ Prolapse can seem daunting, especially if it is the first time you are experiencing the problem.
While this condition can be very uncomfortable, it is rarely a sign of something worse, and it is rare for prolapse to indicate an underlying cancer.
We’re here to put your mind at ease and run you through the symptoms of prolapse.
In this article, we will explore the process of receiving a diagnosis to the screening that may take place to rule out any signs of cancer and other diseases.
So, let’s take a look at prolapse, exploring whether prolapse can be a sign of cancer(see also: How To Sleep With A Prolapsed Bladder). Let’s dive in!
Is Prolapse An Indicator For Cancer?
Pelvic organ prolapse is not related to the development of cancer. However, in very rare cases, prolapse can occur because a large mass on the abdomen is putting pressure on the abdominal area.
This can also happen because a large amount of fluid has accumulated in the pelvis.
Sometimes, prolapse can occur following surgery (see also: How To Fix A Prolapse Without Surgery)for certain cancers. This is because if other parts of the body are removed, this causes some of the organs to move around.
For instance, if you require surgery to remove the bladder, some of the tissue in the surrounding area is also removed. This tissue creates muscularity in the vaginal wall, so losing it can weaken this area.
A prolapse that occurs because of pressure or surgery is known as secondary prolapse. It is not a symptom of cancer, but a byproduct of the treatment.
What Is A Prolapse?
A prolapse is when an organ drops down and bulges out of the vagina. It is a type of herniation and can involve the bladder, uterus, rectum, or small intestine.
Prolapse is not a life-threatening problem, but it can be very uncomfortable. It makes sex difficult and it can affect your quality of life at times.
It occurs because the muscles on the pelvic floor become weak. They are in place to prevent your organs from dropping and when they are weakened, they are no longer able to do their job.
If you suffer from a prolapsed uterus, this is commonly caused by pregnancy.
What Is A Common Cause of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is not very common, but the most likely cause of this issue is pregnancy. Specifically, it commonly affects women who have given birth vaginally.
This problem can also be caused by having your uterus surgically removed, or due to a hysterectomy.
This is because, once you have had your cervix removed, the top of the vagina needs to be reconnected to the ligaments to hold it in place.
If this doesn’t happen, these organs become unstable and may collapse. This means that the top part of the vagina will protrude and become visible outside of the body.
If you suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, there are lots of different treatment options available to you. The best treatment option for you will depend on a few different factors including your age, health, and symptoms.
Whether you plan to have children in the future may also affect your treatment options, as doctors do not tend to treat this problem until you are done with having children.
If your prolapse is not too severe or you’re not experiencing discomfort, you may not need any treatment.
In mild cases, you will be able to make some lifestyle changes to stop the prolapse in its tracks. Eating a high-fibre diet and avoiding heavy lifting are positive changes for those who suffer.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Performing pelvic floor exercises is a great way to strengthen the muscles and relieve your symptoms.
Your doctor will be able to recommend a program of supervised pelvic floor muscle training and this can be done for at least 16 weeks before you move on to consider surgery or other treatments.
If you have been through menopause, you may be recommended treatment with oestrogen. This may cause certain side effects, including vaginal dryness or pain during sex.
You can receive oestrogen in the form of a tablet that you insert into your vagina, a cream, or a vaginal ring.
You can also treat a prolapsed uterus with vaginal pessaries. These are devices that are made from rubber and are inserted into the vagina. They support the pelvic organs and vaginal walls.
Vaginal pessaries allow you to get pregnant in the future, making them a good option if you are hoping to have children or would prefer to avoid surgery.
If you have tried these non-surgical options, you may have to opt for surgery. There are lots of different treatments for POP including surgical repair, hysterectomy, and closing of the vagina.
Speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of different treatments to see which one best suits you.
Do Certain Factors Increase Your Chances Of Developing Prolapse?
Although it is rare, your risk of developing prolapse does increase with every vaginal delivery you undertake.
This is slightly more of a risk for those who are of an advanced age when they give birth, as some of the support structures may have weakened over time.
When Should You See A Doctor?
You should ensure that you call your doctor as soon as you notice something unusual in your vaginal area. It can be difficult to notice, as symptoms are not always obvious.
If you have difficulty having a bowel movement, then it is important to contact a doctor to discuss this.
So, there you have it! If you’ve been wondering whether prolapse can be a sign of cancer, you should now have your answers. There is no link between prolapse and cancer, aside from some secondary links.
After reading this article, we hope you have a detailed understanding of prolapse and its links to cancer.