A woman’s body is full of surprises. Although deemed to give the boon of life, her reproductive organs have several complications associated with them. Cystocele or anterior vaginal prolapse is one of them, explains Dr. Shweta Shah, a renowned gynecologist in Malad.
She introduces you to this condition which you need to be aware of since it is one of the things you will only feel, and the effects are seldom visible.
So pay close attention to what you are about to read. You are maybe undergoing it and not being aware. Dr. Shweta Shah is a practicing Gynecologist in Malad for the past several years and says that usually, by the time women come to her for treatment of Cystocele, it is beyond the non-surgical line of treatment and that they undergo surgery to fix the problem.
So let us know what Cystocele is, its causes, symptoms, and line of treatment.
What is Cystocele(Anterior Vaginal Prolapse)?
Anterior vaginal prolapse or Cystocele I s a condition where the bladder cannot hold its position due to weak muscles, and its position drops, pushing on the vaginal walls.
The organs located in the pelvic area, namely, the uterus, bladder, and intestines, are held in their respective places with the help of muscles and connective tissues of the pelvic floor muscles.
When the pelvic floor muscles become weak, it results in anterior prolapse. It is a gradual process resulting from vaginal childbirth, excessive coughing, or lifting heavy objects.
Is Cystocele a treatable condition?
Yes, Cystocele is a very treatable condition. If you can get it diagnosed well in time, you can get it treated without surgery. However, it is also treatable with surgery if you have been diagnosed late.
What are the symptoms of Cystocele?
When anterior prolapse is in its mild form, it rarely presents itself with symptoms. However, some signs and symptoms of anterior prolapse are:
- A feeling of fullness or pressure on your pelvis or vagina.
- You may feel the strain when you bend, cough, or lift something heavy. Sometimes, a patient might be able to feel the tissue bulge into the vagina.
- Problems in urination. You may be unable to start urinating and constantly feel that the bladder is not empty, urging you to urinate frequently
- You may notice these symptoms if you stand for a long time and feel the pressure relieve the moment you lie down
- If you notice these signs and symptoms, it might be time to visit your gynecologist, explain Dr. Shweta Shah.
What are the causes of Anterior Prolapse?
As explained earlier by Dr. Shah, the best gynecologist in Malad, this occurs due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Some of the causes of weekend pelvic floor muscles are:
- Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth
- Too much heavy lifting regularly
- Condition of chronic cough.
Diagnosis of Anterior Prolapse:
When you visit your gynecologist for consultation, the doctor will conduct a physical examination like
- A pelvic exam. Your doctor will examine you while in a lying down position and standing position also if required. Your doctor will look for a tissue bulge in your vagina. She may ask you to bend down as if to pass motions to check how it affects the prolapse. Another way she will determine the strength of your pelvic floor muscles is by asking you to cough strenuously and also by contracting the muscles as if to hold your urine.
- Urine and Bladder tests: if you have a severe prolapse, you might be tested to see whether your bladder empties. A urine test is conducted to check for infection.
Treatment of Anterior prolapse:
If you approach the doctor when the symptoms present themselves, the doctor will advise the following to you:
- Pelvic Floor Exercises: This is known as kegel exercise, where you tighten and release your pelvic muscles as if trying to control the urine flow. It relieves you of the symptoms but may not necessarily work n the prolapse.
- A supportive device called the pessary is inserted into the vagina to support the bladder. Your doctor will do it for you the first time and also show you how to remove, clean, and reinsert it. The pessary does not solve the prolapse problem, but it does support the vaginal floor. If you continue to feel discomfort despite the above relief options, you may be the right candidate for surgery.
- Surgery: The surgery procedure involves lifting the prolapsed bladder to its original position using stitches and removing any excess vaginal tissue. A special tissue graft is used to reinforce vaginal tissues. For a prolapsed uterus, the doctor may recommend hysteroscopy, removing the uterus.
Is surgery a permanent cure for prolapse?
No, although surgery lasts many years, there is a possibility of relapsed anterior prolapse.
What can you do at your end to prevent prolapse?
- Do Kegel exercises regularly.
- Keep the excess weight off.
- Avoid being constipated
- Avoid heavy lifting
- And control your cough.