How do you treat a prolapsed bladder?
A prolapsed bladder, also known as cystocele, is a condition in which the bladder falls into the vagina due to weakened pelvic muscles. This can result in discomfort and urinary incontinence. While this condition is not life-threatening, it can greatly affect one’s quality of life. Treatment for a prolapsed bladder depends on the severity and symptoms of the condition.
For mild cases, non-surgical interventions can be effective in treating a prolapsed bladder. These interventions include:
- Pelvic Floor Exercises: Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, can help to lift the bladder back into position. These exercises can be done regularly to maintain bladder and vaginal health.
- Estrogen Therapy: Estrogen, either in the form of a cream or a vaginal ring, can help to increase tissue thickness and elasticity, reducing the symptoms of cystocele. A doctor should be consulted before beginning estrogen therapy.
- Pessaries: Pessaries are devices that can be inserted into the vagina to provide support for prolapsed organs. Pessaries come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be fitted and monitored by a doctor.
If non-surgical interventions prove ineffective, surgery may be recommended to treat a prolapsed bladder. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the prolapse and may include:
- Anterior and Posterior Repair: Also known as a colporrhaphy, this procedure involves tightening and repairing the tissues around the bladder and vaginal wall to provide support.
- Hysterectomy: In some cases, the uterus may need to be removed to provide space for the bladder to return to its normal position. This procedure is known as a hysterectomy and is usually combined with an anterior and posterior repair.
- Sling Procedures: Sling procedures involve creating a sling or hammock made of synthetic material or tissue from the patient’s body, which is then used to support the bladder.
Regardless of the type of treatment used, it is important to take care of your body following treatment for prolapsed bladder to avoid further damage or complications. Some important post-treatment care tips include:
- Avoid Heavy Lifting: Lifting heavy objects can put a strain on the pelvic muscles, causing further damage or prolapse. Consult with your doctor to determine weight limits and avoid heavy lifting for several weeks post-surgery.
- Avoid Constipation: Straining during bowel movements can also cause damage to the pelvic floor muscles. Eating a high-fiber diet and using stool softeners or laxatives can help avoid constipation.
- Regular Follow-up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with your doctor can ensure that your prolapse does not return or develop into other more serious conditions.
A prolapsed bladder can be both a physical and emotional burden, but with the right treatment and post-care, it can be effectively managed. Non-surgical interventions such as pelvic floor exercises or pessaries can be helpful, while surgical interventions may be necessary for more severe cases. It is important to take care of your body post-treatment to avoid further damage or complications. With proper care and attention, those with a prolapsed bladder can go on to lead healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives.
- Can a prolapsed bladder go away on its own?
- What are the main causes of a prolapsed bladder?
- Can a prolapsed bladder cause urinary incontinence?
- How long does it take to recover from bladder prolapse surgery?
- Can bladder prolapse be prevented?
While pelvic floor exercises and pessaries can help to lift the bladder back into position, a prolapsed bladder will not go away on its own. Surgery may be necessary to effectively treat the condition.
A prolapsed bladder is caused by weakened pelvic muscles, usually due to childbirth, menopause, or aging.
Yes, urinary incontinence is a common symptom of a prolapsed bladder as the weakened pelvic muscles can cause urinary leakage.
The recovery time for bladder prolapse surgery depends on the type and severity of the surgery. Most patients can return to normal activities within six to eight weeks following surgery.
While some causes of a prolapsed bladder, such as childbirth, cannot be prevented, maintaining good pelvic floor health through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding heavy lifting may help to reduce the risk of developing the condition.
- NHS. (2019). Cystocele (prolapsed bladder). Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cystocele/
- Mayo Clinic. (2020). Cystocele. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cystocele/symptoms-causes/syc-20355089
- WebMD. (2021). Prolapsed Bladder (Cystocele) Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/women/prolapsed-bladder-cystocele-treatment