Harvard Women's Health Watch

Pelvic organ prolapse: You're not alone

Exchanging information with friends is one way to remove the stigma of pelvic organ prolapse.

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Few women realize how common pelvic prolapse is—and how easily treated. Here are five things you should know.

The study of pelvic floor disorders is one of the most rapidly growing fields of women's medicine. Yet pelvic organ prolapse is still one of women's best-kept secrets. A recent survey of women with pelvic organ prolapse—the protrusion of pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, small intestine, or rectum) into the vaginal wall—indicated that the women were stressed from enduring the symptoms of their condition, which ranged from persistent vaginal pressure to urinary incontinence, fecal leakage, and painful intercourse. One reason the women were so stressed was that they were coping in silence. They had failed to get medical attention because they were uncomfortable speaking about their problem, even to their doctors.

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