Pelvic Organ Prolapse
As the human life expectancy increases worldwide, an aging population is facing more medical conditions that are largely the result of their bodies wearing out. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is one such condition that many adult women will face in their later years. POP happens when organs in the pelvic cavity drop from their ordinary positions, interfering with the body's normal functions.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptoms
The most prevalent symptom of POP is the feeling of pressure on the vagina. This can take a number of forms, from a general discomfort in the pelvic area to feeling as if something is going to fall out of the vagina to stretching in the groin and an ache in the lower back. Other symptoms include painful sexual intercourse, vaginal bleeding, incontinence and constipation or other bowel troubles.
Typically, POP symptoms lessen when a women lies down and gets worse when she stands, jumps and lifts items. It is also possible for a woman to have no symptoms of POP if the prolapse is mild.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Stages
Since 1996, POP has been defined by stages on the pelvic organ prolapse quantification (POP-Q) system. The five stages, ranging from 0 to 4, describe the prolapse in terms of precise measurements from the remains of the woman's hymen. This POP-Q system, which replaces one that had been used for almost 25 years, is considered reliable and accurate because of its uniform application.
Doctors also classify POP based on the anatomy that is involved in the prolapse:
- Urethrocele: Lower anterior vaginal wall and urethra
- Cystocele: Upper anterior vaginal wall and bladder
- Uterovaginal Prolapse: Uterus, cervix and upper vagina
- Enterocele: Upper posterior vaginal wall and small bowel
- Rectocele: Lower posterior vaginal wall and rectum
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Causes
POP is most often caused by weakened pelvic muscles that are attributed to the strain of pregnancy and childbirth. Having a hysterectomy or passing menopause also can contribute to POP. In general, anything that puts extra stress on the pelvic muscles can increase a woman's chances of developing a prolapse. These factors can include, but are not limited to, obesity, a chronic cough, smoking, frequent constipation and pelvic-organ tumors. Some researchers also believe POP is hereditary.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Lawsuit
Although treatments for POP have been around since 2000 B.C., it is the modern surgeries that have caused many dire complications. Transvaginal mesh (TVM) is commonly used to create hammocks, or slings, to add support to the pelvic organs. Unfortunately, TVM has been linked to erosion of the medical device into other organs and organ perforation, among other side effects, that have debilitating consequences. Oftentimes, these painful complications cannot be corrected, even with multiple revision surgeries.
If your doctor recommended treating your POP disorder with a TVM surgery and you are experiencing pain and other symptoms from faulty mesh, the Transvaginal Mesh Help Center may be able to assist you. Our patient advocates can explain your legal rights and help you pursue filing a lawsuit to recover a monetary settlement for mounting medical bills. Please call us at 800-514-9716.