Having a hysterectomy can solve a lot of persistent problems, from heavy and painful periods to cancer. However, if you don't take care of your pelvic area after the surgery, it could put you at greater risk of other problems. One such complication is vaginal vault prolapse.
What Is Vaginal Vault Prolapse?
Prolapse is when an organ or structure moves out of its usual position. Vaginal prolapse occurs when the muscles and tissues that support the vagina weaken. The term can refer to the prolapse of the uterus, urethra, bladder, rectum, bowel or vagina itself.
In particular, women who have undergone hysterectomies are at a higher risk of vaginal vault prolapse, a specific type of prolapse that happens when the top of the vagina (known as the vault) falls towards the opening of the vagina and, eventually, out of the opening. Generally, women can tell when they're prolapsing because of the sensation of dragging or pressure that occurs when it happens. They may also notice difficulty going to the toilet and pain during intercourse or when standing, or they may not notice anything at all.
Is It Serious?
Vaginal vault prolapse is unlikely to be life threatening, but it can be painful and uncomfortable. If left untreated for too long, it may require further surgery to correct, which can lead to further problems like sexual dysfunction and (in cases where mesh devices are used) organ perforation. The best way to avoid these problems is to prevent vaginal vault prolapse from ever happening.
How Can You Prevent It?
There are a few ways to prevent vaginal vault prolapse after your hysterectomy. First, you should make sure to avoid weight gain, constipation, dehydration, smoking, and heavy lifting after your hysterectomy. All these things can put additional pressure on your pelvic floor.
Beyond taking general care of yourself, one of the best ways to reduce your risk of prolapse is physiotherapy. A physiotherapist with pelvic floor experience will be able to show you safe and effective ways to exercise and strengthen your pelvic muscles. Keeping the vaginal support system strong prevents structures from collapsing and prolapsing.
For those who also suffer from pelvic pain after their hysterectomy, physiotherapeutic massage may reduce discomfort. Massaging the connective tissues around the vaginal and abdominal area can reduce sensitivity, thereby lessening pain. Combined, guided exercise and massage should keep you prolapse-free and increase your daily comfort post-hysterectomy.Share
19 May 2017
Welcome to my blog. I used to work as a midwife and recently retired about two years ago. I love to keep my mind active and also love to write, so I decided to start this blog. In this space, I am going to focus on pregnant women but not from an exclusive midwifery stance. Instead, I want to write about how massage can be instrumental for pregnant women during the pregnancy and labour but also after delivery. If you are pregnant, I hope these tips and facts help you. Please, explore and enjoy these posts. I live with my dog, and it's usually pretty quiet around here, so I am eager for the chance to communicate with the world through the venue of this blog.