Pelvic floor dysfunction, according to one group of Plano, Texas Gynecologists, is the term used to describe a handful of gynecological and urological disorders associated with the pelvic region and pelvic organs. In a female, one specific type of pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition called a cystocele. A cystocele is referred to as a prolapsed bladder. This condition affects women most commonly between the ages of 50-60 and is the result of a drooping bladder into the vaginal area. Gynecologists in Plano, Texas offer the following information about cystoceles.
A woman’s bladder can droop for a number of reasons. Childbirth and long childbirth deliveries were intense pushing is involved can result in a cystocele in women. Years of straining to have bowel movements, heavy lifting, a hysterectomy and menopause are also causes of a prolapsed bladder. Menopausal women, in particular, are naturally susceptible to this condition because as estrogen decreases in the female body during menopause, the muscles surround the pelvic area become weaker. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common disorder among both males and females, but even more commonly found in females because of the conditions and changes associated with the above scenarios.
Some women will experience a prolapsed bladder/cystocele and not show symptoms, while others will deal with a variety of unwanted symptoms. Symptoms of a cystocele include:
- Bladder infections
- Pressure in the vaginal area
- A feeling of fullness in the pelvic region
- Discomfort in the pelvic area when you cough, bend, jump, lift, etc.
- Urinary incontinence
- Pain or urinary leakage during sexual intercourse
All of these symptoms will vary depending on the stage and type of cystocele that is presented at diagnosis. There are three types of cystoceles. Most cystoceles will start out gradual and mild and can become more severe without the proper treatment. Cystoceles are classified by their severity:
- A stage one cystocele will show mild if any symptoms and it is caused when the bladder droops just slightly into the vagina. Usually, vaginal exercises such as Kegals can help strengthen the muscles causing the prolapse.
- A stage two cystocele is a bit more severe and occurs when the bladder droops until it can actually be seen through the vaginal opening. This type of cystocele causes major discomfort and urinary incontinence. The treatment for this type of cystocele is usually some form of cystocele repair surgery but the cystocele may also be treated with a pessary device. A pessary is a device that is placed against the uterus inside the vagina to hold the bladder in place. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and are made with varying materials.
- Women who are diagnosed with a stage three cystocele will almost always need some type of cystocele repair surgery to correct the condition. This is the diagnosis when the bladder droops low enough to bulge completely out of the vagina. Surgical treatment for this type of cystocele will essentially repair and move the bladder back into its proper place.
Some women will require cystocele repair surgery for the treatment of their cystocele. The percentage of recurring cystoceles is very small after a cystocele repair surgery. In a cystocele repair surgery, which can be performed via open or laparoscopic methods, sutures are used to reattach the fascia thus giving enough support to allow the bladder to remain in place. Patients receiving this surgery should be prepared to stay in the hospital for several days and take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. This surgery is very successful in replacing the bladder thus eliminating the cystocele. The surgery can be performed through open and laparoscopic techniques depending on the grade and severity of the defect.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Pelvic Organ Prolapse are gynecological and urological conditions that can be treated with proper assessment. If you are suffering from discomfort and urinary leakage or incontinence do not assume it could be the result of age, you need to see your doctor. In the early stages, cystocele treatments are minimally invasive and maximally effective.