Just as women hear horror pregnancy stories while they are pregnant, we all know of the miserable experiences some women have during menopause. Whether you are dreading this time in life or have an “it’s just a natural occurrence” attitude, there are somethings that you need to know. Menopause is a phase of life that can be uncomfortable. Suffering through hot flashes, interrupted sleep, weight gain, mood swings, and more can make life difficult. Another area of concern that is often not talked about is pelvic organ prolapse, or vaginal prolapse, and this condition is nothing to take lightly.
Vaginal prolapse occurs when the muscles that support the organs in a woman’s pelvic area weaken. During menopause, many significant changes are happening inside a woman’s body. Aging and the loss of estrogen can weaken the pelvic muscles, and along with childbirth that can stretch the vagina, a weakened pelvic region can result in prolapse.
When prolapse occurs, one or more dropped organs can press against the vagina wall and even cause a bulge that protrudes through the opening of the vagina. Some women experience a slight prolapse during vaginal childbirth, and menopause can worsen the condition and make prolapse more severe.
Symptoms common to pelvic organ prolapse to be aware of include:
- Pain or pressure in the vagina area
- A lump at the opening of the vagina
- Achy pain in the lower back that gets worse when lying down
- Frequent urination
- Trouble having a complete bowel movement
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Leaking of urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, exercise, or have sex
- Pain during sex
Finding a provider who specializes in menopause management is critical to women’s health. At Marietta OB/GYN Affiliates, P.A., we offer a comprehensive approach to menopausal symptoms that supports women through the natural, yet challenging, time in their lives. If you are currently going through menopause, our physicians and staff are available to help you find the most effective course of treatment to meet your individual needs.