Uterine Prolapse: What It May Mean For Baby #2

Learning how to treat your prolapsed uterus throughout pregnancy and long after.

Uterine Prolapse: What It Might Mean For Baby #2
Uterine Prolapse: What It Might Mean For Baby #2
 

A prolapsed uterus can be incredibly scary, but it’s very common in women who’ve had at least one baby. If you suspect a prolapse, there are many different things you can do, from surgery to homeopathic medicine to exercise. It’s important to be informed and proactive so that your prolapse doesn’t get any worse. So here’s what you need to know:

What Is It?

After delivering a baby, the muscles in the pelvis that hold the uterus in place can weaken or even tear. Especially after a complicated delivery, muscle weakness can cause a prolapse, where the uterus sags and can drop into the vaginal canal. The condition is often exasperated with age by a natural loss of the hormone estrogen. 

There are four different levels of severity for a prolapsed uterus. They are:

  • First degree: the cervix drops into the vagina.
  • Second degree: the cervix drops just below the vaginal opening.
  • Third degree: the cervix is outside the vagina.
  • Fourth degree: the entire uterus is outside the vagina.

Symptoms:

The symptoms of a uterine prolapse are usually less noticeable in the morning but become more irritating as the day progresses. If you feel heaviness and pulling in your pelvis, or a loosening in the vaginal tissue, it could be a prolapse. Also watch for urinary problems like leakage or retention, constipation, and lower back pain.  

Risk Factors:

Prolapsed uteruses are found most frequently in postmenopausal women, but can happen to women of any age. Here are some factors that increase the risk of a prolapse:  

  • One or more vaginal births
  • Giving birth to a large baby
  • Obesity
  • Frequent heavy lifting
  • Chronic coughing
  • Constipation
  • A Hispanic or Caucasian ethnicity

What You Can Do

Surgery is an option but only in the most extreme cases where the uterus has to be reattached or even removed entirely. Most often a doctor will recommend a custom-fit pessary, a round plastic ring you insert in the vagina to hold the uterus in place. Kaegel exercises are recommended to strengthen the pelvic floor and naturopaths prescribe teas and Chinese herbs to help with the symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating lots of fibre can reduce pain and constipation. You should avoid heavy lifting and straining, try to control any coughing and try to stay within a healthy weight range for your height and body type.

What It Means For Baby #2 

A lot of women are reluctant to get pregnant again after a uterine prolapse, or if they’re already pregnant, are afraid of giving birth. Don’t worry, lots of women report that their symptoms show no change throughout pregnancy and delivery. If you’re concerned, speak to an urogynocologist about whether a natural birth or a C-section is right in your situation and start physical therapy to strengthen your pelvis muscles.

You can also join an online community to share your experiences and hear what’s worked for others. Prolapse Health is a blog and forum started by women for women covering areas of uterine prolapse including pregnancy, diet, exercise, natural remedies, surgery and emotional issues. Who knows, maybe you’ll answer a few of their questions too.  

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