For us women, when it comes to our own indoor plumbing, a bulging, leaky, protruding bladder can be quite embarrassing, humiliating, inconvenient, extremely awkward and downright uncomfortable!
When a bladder drops it is medically referred to as an anterior prolapse, prolapsed bladder, or “cyctocele” and is among a group of conditions collectively referred to as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). A POP is characterized by the movement of an organ from its normal positions in the pelvis. As many as half of all women who give birth may experience some level of pelvic organ prolapse within their lifetime.
Cystoceles occur when the network of ligaments holding the bladder in place become damaged or weakened allowing the organ to drop and bulge into the vagina. If it is a grade three cystocele, the bladder has dropped to below and outside the opening of the vagina.
A common cause of prolapsed bladder is childbirth, especially difficult births. Hysterectomy, heavy lifting, straining due to constipation, chronic coughing, low estrogen levels and obesity can also contribute to bladder prolapse.
Symptoms of bladder prolapse include:
* Difficulty urinating or moving bowels
* Trouble emptying bladder
* Urine leakage
* A feeling of fullness in the pelvis
* Low back pain
* Painful intercourse
* Tissue protruding from vaginal opening
If you experience these symptoms don’t hesitate to speak to your health provider. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about, your clinician can help you find relief and treatments to correct the issue.
Some treatments are self-care initiatives which include a regimen of pelvic muscle exercises called Kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises can be beneficial in tightening the ligaments which hold pelvic organs in place. Other interventions should be considered for more severe conditions.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a prolapsed bladder, remember that you are not alone. Talk to your health provider about your concerns. Be sure to ask your doctor about our non-surgical adjustable therapeutic pelvic floor support: the It’s You Babe’s PF Press along with a clean, absorbent sanitary pad for supporting a grade three cystocele.