The “pelvic floor” describes the muscular network that forms across the opening of the female pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles help to keep the organs in this part of the body in place. If these muscles have a defect from straining, childbirth or aging, they may induce a “dropped bladder,” also known as a pelvic organ prolapse.
What to Know About a Dropped Bladder
Symptoms of Dropped Bladder
Pelvic organ prolapse comes with various subtle signs you might miss in the early stages of the condition. Symptoms of a dropped bladder include:
- Urinary incontinence and difficulty urinating.
- Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region.
- Painful intercourse.
- Lower back pain.
- Frequent bladder infections.
Causes of Dropped Bladder
The primary factor causing a dropped bladder is a loss of strength in the pelvic floor muscles. Think of the pelvic floor as a hammock that supports all the pelvic organs. When the muscles weaken, they lose the ability to contain the organs, resulting in a dropped bladder.
Causes of a dropped bladder
- Vaginal birth stretched the pelvic floor muscles.
- Menopause – causing a loss in the production of estrogen which strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.
- Lifting heavy objects improperly.
- Strain during bowel movements.
Diagnosing Dropped Bladder
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s best to book a consultation with your physician immediately. Your doctor will take your medical history and conduct a physical examination of your pelvis.
Your doctor may order other tests that include:
- Cystoscopy – The doctor uses an instrument to search your urethra for urinary tract abnormalities.
- Cystogram – The doctor injects you with a dye that they then trace through your system and monitor using a series of x-rays.
- Urodynamic testing – Measures the pressure in your bladder to determine urinary sphincter health and the strength of your bladder.
Treatment for Dropped Bladder
Should your physician diagnose you with mild pelvic organ prolapse, they may recommend lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise habits, as well as a series of exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.
Severe cases of the condition require a more aggressive approach and may include a pessary inserted into the vagina to provide bladder support. Your doctor may recommend estrogen therapy as well. In the most severe cases, you may require surgery to correct the prolapsed bladder and rebuild the pelvic floor muscles.
Wrapping Up – Reach Out
Many women suffering from a dropped bladder refuse to visit a physician out of fear. It’s important to realize this is a treatable condition. If you refuse diagnosis and treatment, you may end up with the situation leading to the development of other diseases and disorders within the body.
Adult & Pediatric Urology in Omaha & Council Bluffs
Contact Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology today to make your appointment. For more questions and answers in regards to dropped bladder, click here.