Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is an often painful condition that typically strikes women after childbirth and menopause. It occurs when weakened pelvic muscles allow the bladder, uterus or rectum to slip out of place and “fall” or sink into the vagina. While prolapse affects many women, older men can also experience rectal prolapse in which the rectum collapses into itself.

Symptoms and Current Treatment Overview

Symptoms of Prolapse

Patients may experience pelvic pressure, a pulling or stretching sensation, pain, and the feeling of something falling out of their vagina or rectum. In extreme cases, people may see or feel their pelvic organs bulge out of their body. When prolapse causes pain, patients should see a doctor.

— Prolapse Treatment —

Traditional treatment for prolapse included surgery, in which a specialist used a patient’s own tissues to provide support for the prolapsed organ. Starting in the early 2000s, surgeons began using transvaginal mesh implants to support prolapsed organs.

While drug companies claim that vaginal mesh is superior for treating prolapse, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) says there is no evidence to support those claims. Moreover, after receiving thousands of complaints that the products can perforate organs and erode through tissues, the FDA has begun investigating the safety of transvaginal mesh products.

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