Uterine Prolapse is a common postpartum complication expecting Moms should be aware of
In June 2010 a new bill named, the Global MOMS Act, went before the US House of Representatives calling for increased US support for maternal health and describes prolapse as one of several \"pregnancy-related injuries\" that affect 10 million women worldwide.
A uterine prolapse happens when both the uterus is displaced and the pelvic floor is in a weakened state from child birth causing the uterus to slip through the vagina to protrude outside the body. Uterine prolapse varies in severity and a mother may experience no signs or symptoms in a mild case. For a moderate to severe prolapse a woman may experience the following:
• Sensation of heaviness or pulling in the pelvis.
• Tissue protruding from the vagina.
• Urinary difficulties, such as urine leakage or urine retention.
• Difficulty having a bowel movement.
• Low back pain.
• Feeling as if you\'re sitting on a small ball or as if something is falling out of your vagina.
• Sexual concerns, such as sensing looseness in the tone of your vaginal tissue.
• Symptoms that are less bothersome in the morning and worsen as the day goes on.
A mild prolapse doesn’t require treatment however it wouldn’t hurt to see your doctor or midwife. In a severe case when signs and symptoms become bothersome and interfere with normal activities see your doctor immediately.
The normal position for a woman’s uterus is tipped forward, however after birth it may be displaced and lying directly above the vaginal opening. After child birth, the pelvic floor is in a weakened state. A weakened pelvic floor and a displaced uterus puts the uterus in danger of falling out of the body through the vagina.
Prevention is the key and a woman must ensure she is tone inside. At least 100 or more kegel exercises should be done every day towards the end of pregnancy and up the number to 300 after delivery. Adequate rest is also very important. If a mother pushes herself to get back into full activity too quickly, she runs the risk of losing her uterus.
A warning sign that you have partially prolapsed is feeling your cervix too low, or close to your vaginal opening. If you feel or see your cervix protruding from your vagina, lie down immediately and put pillows under your ocks. Call your midwife or doctor who will normally be able to put your uterus back into its normal position manually.
Uterine prolapse does not mean you need a hysterectomy.
If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy, get a second and even a third opinion. Even in severe cases of uterine prolapse it is often possible to save the uterus. A woman’s uterus has many functions and is essential for her entire life. Do not allow your uterus to be removed unless there is no alternative and your condition is life threatening.
You will be instructed to stay in bed, lying on your back, with hips elevated for a few days. Continue to do at least 300 kegel exercises daily. This will strengthen the pelvic floor and the muscles that hold the uterus in place will regain their strength.
A uterine prolapse increases the risk of uterine infection so you will need help with your hygiene for the next few days as well as help with your baby. If a woman has a uterine prolapsed, she runs the risk of it happening with subsequent births.
Valerie Lynn-McDonough, author of The Mommy Plan, continues to draw attention to the lack of understanding and importance placed on a new mother\'s postpartum recovery, leading to an unbalanced recovery by many women from child birth.
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