If you think you have a prolapse you need to be diagnosed
We understand how desperate and frightened you feel, but urge you to take positive steps and not ignore and avoid this difficult situation.
When there's something not quite right with your pelvic floor you know. The first thing you must do however is get a proper diagnosis from your GP. No if's no but's - if you don't know what kind of prolapse (i.e. what organ has fallen downwards, it could be your bladder, cervix, or bowel) or what 'grade' it is (how far it’s come down), how can you take care of yourself and make an informed decision of what to do next?
So what are the symptoms of prolapse?
Here are the common symptoms of prolapse you may or may not recognise. However please be aware that some women have no symptoms at all, and only discover they have a prolapse during a routine check-up or smear test.
You may notice:
- A 'dragging' sensation in the vagina or lower back
- Pelvic and/or abdominal pain
- A lump inside or outside the vagina
- Increased difficulty in emptying your bowel
- Dyspareunia (painful sex) or lack of intimate sensation
- Urinary changes such as a slow stream, incomplete emptying, frequency/urgency or stress incontinence
The quicker you get an accurate diagnosis the quicker you'll be able to decide how best to manage your prolapse.
What does a prolapse feel like?
Some women have no symptoms of prolapse at all - other women report feeling a 'dragging' or 'pelvic heaviness', they may feel or actually see a bulge, and may be struggling to properly empty their bladder or bowel. Conversely, some women are alerted to prolapse when they start to suffer with bladder weakness and can't control their bladder.
We asked Kegel8 users how their prolapse felt:
- 'I have a feeling of something being there that should not be there'
- 'It felt like a golf ball and was very uncomfortable'
- 'A constant hanging feeling which is always noticeable, this causes stress and depression as its always there, paranoid it's getting worse all the time'
Going to your GP for a prolapse examination - what to expect
ITV's Dr Chris Steele says - 'don't leave it; don't put it off, the sooner you do something about prolapse the better'. Your GP will need to carry out an internal pelvic examination by feeling in your pelvic area. During the prolapse examination you'll be asked about any other symptoms such as leaking urine when you cough or sneeze. You may be examined standing upright to fully reproduce the extent of the prolapse and provide your GP with an accurate prolapse diagnosis. If your prolapse is causing continence issues with your bladder or bowel your GP may refer you onto a Continence Clinic.
Kegel8 - 64% of purchases are GP recommended
GP recommended - it's the home use treatment that is taking the UK by storm
You don't need a doctor to tell you when there's something wrong with your pelvic floor – the signs are clear as day – but speaking to a GP or Specialist can really help you decide where to turn for treatment.
In a recent survey, 64% of customers purchased Kegel8 following a recommendation from their GP, Consultant or Healthcare Professional.
Grades of prolapse or stages of prolapse
Usually your GP will be able to 'grade' your prolapse this is a simple way to describe the extent of the prolapse and is used as a general guide as to how much the prolapsed organ has moved downwards out of position. This is not always scientifically accurate - you might find that your prolapse moves downwards as the day goes along or if you have been on your feet all day. If your GP appointment is in the morning your prolapse may not be as evident as it sometimes can be later in the day. The grades of prolapse used by your GP will be given a more accurate diagnosis when you are referred to a Continence Specialist, Physiotherapist or Gynaecologist. Your GP may diagnose one of three levels of prolapse: Mild or slight prolapse, Moderate prolapse or Severe prolapse.
Mild or slight prolapse
Clinical studies have shown that pelvic floor exercise can help. You may be recommended a course of Physiotherapy and hopefully your GP will also mention Kegel8 Pelvic Toners! Do not waste another minute, please start to strengthen your pelvic floor with targeted exercises as soon as possible.
Again, as with mild or slight prolapse Clinical studies have shown that pelvic floor exercise can help. You may be recommended a course of Physiotherapy and hopefully your GP will also mention Kegel8 Pelvic Toners. Do not delay; you need to get your pelvic floor strong with targeted pelvic floor exercises for prolapse.
A referral will help you to consider the options you have which may include management of your prolapse. Management of your prolapse is key at this point, and pelvic floor exercise is vitally important, to prevent further deterioration of your existing prolapse and to prevent other organs from prolapsing too.
Stages of prolapse - Pelvic Organ Prolapse Qualification system (POP-Q)
We know you'll be thinking 'how bad is it?'. You'll be concerned and worried but understanding more about your condition will help you make the right choices. If your GP refers you to a Continence Specialist, Physiotherapist or Gynaecologist they may well use the POP-Q system for measuring and more accurately diagnosing your prolapse. As well as a physical examination, including straining, this may also include urinalysis (measuring how much urine is left in your bladder after you've been to the loo). Ultrasound imaging may be performed and in some cases an MRI scan may be performed if the prolapse is severe to help supplement the physical examination.
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