|Other names||Pelvic organ prolapse, prolapse of the uterus (womb), female genital prolapse, uterine descensus|
|Uterine prolapse in a 71-year-old woman, with the cervix visible in the vaginal opening.|
|Symptoms||Vaginal fullness, pain with sex, trouble urinating, urinary incontinence, constipation|
|Types||1st to 4th degree|
|Risk factors||Pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, constipation, chronic cough|
|Diagnostic method||Based on examination|
|Differential diagnosis||Vaginal cancer, a long cervix|
|Treatment||Pessary, hormone replacement therapy, surgery|
|Frequency||About 14% of women|
Uterine prolapse is when the uterus descends towards or through the opening of the vagina. Symptoms may include vaginal fullness, pain with sex, trouble urinating, urinary incontinence, and constipation. Often it gets worse over time. Low back pain and vaginal bleeding may also occur.
Risk factors include pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, constipation, and chronic coughing. Diagnosis is based on examination. It is a form of pelvic organ prolapse, together with bladder prolapse, large bowel prolapse, and small bowel prolapse.
Preventive efforts include managing chronic breathing problems, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight. Mild cases may be treated with a pessary together with hormone replacement therapy. More severe cases may require surgery such as a vaginal hysterectomy. About 14% of women are affected. It occurs most commonly after menopause.
The most common cause of uterine prolapse is trauma during childbirth, in particular multiple or difficult births. About 50% of women who have had children develop some form of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. It is more common as women get older, particularly in those who have gone through menopause. This condition is surgically correctable.
The uterus (womb) is normally held in place by a hammock of muscles and ligaments. Prolapse happens when the ligaments supporting the uterus become so weak that the uterus cannot stay in place and slips down from its normal position. These ligaments are the round ligament, uterosacral ligaments, broad ligament and the ovarian ligament. The uterosacral ligaments are by far the most important ligaments in preventing uterine prolapse.
In some cases of uterine prolapse, the uterus can be unsupported enough to extend past the vaginal wall for inches.
Treatment is conservative, mechanical or surgical.
In the case of hysterectomy, the procedure can be accompanied by sacrocolpopexy. This is a mesh-augmented procedure in which the apex of the vagina is attached to the sacrum by a piece of medical mesh material.
A Cochrane review found that sacral colpopexy was associated with lower risk of complications than vaginal interventions, but it was unclear what route of sacral colpopexy should be preferred. No clear conclusion could be reached regarding uterine preserving surgery versus vaginal hysterectomy for uterine prolapse. The evidence does not support use of transvaginal mesh (TVM) compared to native tissue repair for apical vaginal prolapse. The use of a transvaginal mesh is associated with side effects including pain, infection, and organ perforation. According to the FDA, serious complications are "not rare".
Society and culture
- "Uterine and Vaginal Prolapse - Gynecology and Obstetrics". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. February 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
- Culligan, Patrick J.; Goldberg, Roger P. (2007). Urogynecology in Primary Care. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 5. ISBN 9781846281679.
- Ferri, Fred F. (2015). Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016 E-Book: 5 Books in 1. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 939. ISBN 9780323378222.
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- D'Amico D, Barbarito C (10 February 2015). Health & physical assessment in nursing (3rd ed.). Boston. p. 665. ISBN 9780133876406. OCLC 894626609.
- Hagen, Suzanne (7 December 2011). "Conservative prevention and management of pelvic organ prolapse in women". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (12): CD003882. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003882.pub4. PMID 22161382.
- Bugge C, Adams EJ, Gopinath D, Reid F (February 2013). "Pessaries (mechanical devices) for pelvic organ prolapse in women" (PDF). Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD004010. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004010.pub3. PMC 7173753. PMID 23450548.
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- Surgical correction of uterine prolapse: cervical amputation with uterosacral ligament plication versus vaginal hysterectomy with high uterosacral ligament plication By de Boer T, Milani F, Kluivers K, Withagen M, Vierhout M. Part of ICS 2009 Scientific Programme, Thursday 1 October 2009[permanent dead link]
- Nygaard I, Brubaker L, Zyczynski HM, Cundiff G, Richter H, Gantz M, Fine P, Menefee S, Ridgeway B, Visco A, Warren LK, Zhang M, Meikle S (May 2013). "Long-term outcomes following abdominal sacrocolpopexy for pelvic organ prolapse". JAMA. 309 (19): 2016–24. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4919. PMC 3747840. PMID 23677313.
- "Sacrocolpopexy with hysterectomy using mesh to repair uterine prolapse". NICE. GOV.UK. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
- Illustrated description of Manchester Operation at atlasofpelvicsurgery.com
- Inverted uterus treatment, from Merck Professional