How do you know if you have vaginal prolapse?
Early on, it may be hard to know if you have a vaginal prolapse and your GP at a
routine PAP smear, or a women's health physiotherapist during an internal examination
who may first detects early signs.
You may notice some of the following changes to your pelvic floor area that may
indicate early signs of vaginal prolapse:
- Do you feel a heavy feeling in your vagina, often worse at the end of the day?
- Do you notice or feel a lump in your vagina?
- Do you experience pain or less feeling with sex?
- Do you experience difficulty in emptying your bladder, or notice a weak urine stream?
- Do you suffer from recurring urinary tract infections?
- Do you find it hard to empty your bowel?
How do you treat a vaginal prolapse?
Depending on the degree of the prolapse, management can be as simple as pelvic floor
muscle training and a change to good bowel and bladder habits. Early stages of vaginal
prolapse can be corrected through insertion of a pessary.
Pessaries serve as a prop or support for your vagina to bring your organs back to
a higher position. Our women’s health physiotherapists can determine the need for
this through our initial assessment of your pelvic floor function and structure.
More complicated or progressed prolapses will often need surgical correction with
follow up pelvic floor muscle training.
How is The Fix Program different in treating vaginal prolapse?
Our women's health physiotherapy assessment will always involve an internal vaginal
examination. This, along with extensive questioning about your pelvic floor function
and habits will allow for the best diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. The
internal examination will also allow for the physiotherapist to properly assess
any weakness, spasm or change to your pelvic floor muscles and get the best picture
of your vaginal structure and presence of any "bulges" or prolapses.
Our women's health physiotherapists are extensively trained in the prescription
and fitting of a pessary if it is felt to be
the essential in your management. This is a very specialised field and not offered
by many women’s health physiotherapists.
What should I expect?
You do not need a referral to see our women’s health physiotherapists, but you may
be referred by your GP or gynaecologist. After speaking with you over the phone
about your pelvic floor problem, we will book you an hour long assessment.
The assessment will involve taking a very detailed history about your pelvic floor
habits, from bladder and bowel control, to sex, to lower back and pelvic pain. The
internal vaginal examination will follow and a management plan decided together
with you. The structure and degree of any 'bulges' in your vagina can be measured
through this internal examination. Measurements for a
fitting are also done if it is thought this is the best management
Treatments after this time will be different for each woman, but may involve a weekly
or fortnightly treatment session to teach you exercises (some to strengthen and
others to relax) and educate you on good pelvic floor habits and use of the
, if prescribed.
Incontinence symptoms associated with your vaginal prolapse, bulging feelings, pelvic
pain, and back pain have all been shown to improve in most women with management
or vaginal prolapses in this manner. If symptoms do not improve, we can discuss
with you the pros and cons of surgical repair and refer you to a Surgical Gynaecologist.