North County Women's Specialists
OB-GYNs located in Escondido, CA & San Marcos, CA
When the muscles that hold your uterus and bladder in place weaken, the organs can drop down from their normal position. When that happens, the doctors at North County Women’s Specialists may recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair the muscles, as it’s the only way to effectively solve the problem. If you have questions or need to schedule an exam, call our office in Escondido or San Marcos, California, or book an appointment online.
Pelvic Floor Reconstruction Q & A
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles are well-named because they form the “floor” of your pelvis. This group of muscles covers the bottom of your pelvis, forming a sling-like structure that supports your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Muscles in this group also control urination and bowel movements.
What is pelvic floor dysfunction?
Your pelvic floor muscles can become stretched and weakened. When they’re too weak to function properly, you may experience:
- Pelvic pain
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Lower back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Difficulty urinating, frequent urination, or painful urination
- Constipation or straining during bowel movements
Carrying babies and vaginal childbirth are two of the top causes of pelvic floor disorders. The muscles may also weaken from ongoing pressure due to chronic coughing, heavy lifting, and obesity.
It’s also possible for pelvic surgery or diseases, such as interstitial cystitis, to damage the muscles.
Your risk of developing pelvic floor disorders increases with age. While 10% of women aged 20 to 39 have the problem, the number increases to 37% with women aged 60 to 79.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when weak pelvic floor muscles allow the organs they support to drop down from their normal position. There are several types:
When the uterus prolapses, it pushes against the vagina, causing a bulge in the vaginal wall. In severe cases, the uterus may protrude out of the vagina.
A cystocele is a prolapsed bladder. When it drops out of position, the bladder also pushes down into the vagina.
A rectocele develops when the tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina weakens, which lets the rectum bulge into the vagina.
What is pelvic floor reconstruction?
In mild cases of pelvic floor dysfunction, exercises to strengthen the muscles may help prevent the condition from worsening. Otherwise, surgery is the only way to repair the problem and restore normal function.
Your doctor at North County Women’s Specialists may recommend one of the following types of reconstructive surgery to repair the muscles and put the organs back in their proper places:
- Sacrospinous ligament suspension
- Uterosacral ligament suspension
- Anterior and posterior colporrhaphy
- Sacrocolpopexy and sacrohysteropexy
All these procedures are minimally invasive, but the first three procedures are performed through the vagina, while the last one is done through abdominal laparoscopy.
If you develop a bulge in your vaginal wall or have a feeling of heaviness or pulling in your pelvis, call North County Women’s Specialists or book an appointment online.
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