Doctor in Lake Forest, IL describes conditions such as uterine prolapse
Dr. Sanjay Gandhi, in Lake Forest, IL is a dedicated doctor who assists women with a variety of concerns. At North Shore Urogynecology, we provide a wide range of services, including diagnostics for individuals who may have concerns regarding their reproductive health. One condition that may be concerning for women is uterine prolapse.
Doctor Gandhi describes uterine prolapse as:
A condition such as uterine prolapse can be anywhere from mild to severe. The condition is caused by a poorly supported pelvic floor. Muscles and ligaments weaken and can no longer support the uterus, causing it to slip down and protrude from the vaginal area. It can occur in women of any age but is often seen with women who are postmenopausal and have had vaginal births. While mild cases of uterine prolapse do not require treatment, it may be considered if patients find the condition to be uncomfortable or disruptive to their everyday lifestyle.
What are the symptoms of uterine prolapse?
Symptoms of uterine prolapse may include some of the following, though these may not be noticeable in milder conditions:
- Heaviness in the pelvic region
- Tissue dropping through the vaginal area
- Urine leakage or retention
- Difficulties having a bowel movement
- Feeling of something in the vaginal area
- Looseness in the tone of the vaginal tissues that can affect intercourse
Patients are urged to visit a doctor for an evaluation if they have concerns that they may have uterine prolapse and are interested in seeking effective treatment.
What causes uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse is often caused by loosening and stretching of the supportive tissues and muscles, causing the uterus to fall through the vaginal canal. However, other issues may contribute to these weakened pelvic muscles and include some of the following situations:
- Chronic coughing
- Vaginal delivery of a large baby
- Difficult labor and delivery
- Chronic constipation
- Repeated heavy lifting
These are factors that can increase the risk of a female experiencing uterine prolapse or other prolapse conditions in the vaginal area.
Diagnosis of uterine prolapse
Women who believe they may be experiencing uterine prolapse are urged to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Diagnosis is often done with a physical evaluation of the pelvic area. Patients may be asked to tighten the pelvic muscles so the doctor can determine how severe the condition is. Patients should also tell the doctor any concerns they have or sensations they feel that may help in getting a proper diagnosis of the condition.
Treatment for uterine prolapse
As with many other conditions, there are a variety of treatment options to choose from. The treatment that is right for one patient may not be right for another, as each situation is unique. Dr. Sanjay Gandhi at North Shore Urogynecology encourages patients to ask questions about these treatment options to determine which selection is appropriate for their specific needs. Some treatment options available include:
- Kegel exercises – for patients with mild uterine prolapse, strengthening the muscles may be helpful. This is a special exercise that patients can do anytime during the day that includes tightening and releasing the vaginal muscles. With Kegel exercises, women can keep the uterine prolapse from getting worse and requiring specialized treatment.
- Pessary – a pessary is a plastic or rubber ring that is made to be inserted into the vaginal canal to help in supporting the uterus. A pessary is removed by patients regularly for cleaning and can be easily reinserted to help their condition.
- Surgery – in severe cases of uterine prolapse, treatment may be surgical intervention. This may include removal of the uterus, or a hysterectomy, for women who are no longer interested in bearing children, or special repair of the pelvic floor tissues to strengthen them and offer better support.
Interested in learning more about uterine prolapse and get a proper diagnosis?
Contact Dr. Sanjay Gandhi and the team at North Shore Urogynecology to discuss your condition and determine if you could benefit from treatment. We have three conveniently located practices Park City, Woodstock, and Lake Forest, IL, and can be reached at our primary number, (844) 327-1188.