Sunday, January 15, 2006

uterovaginal prolapse

The supports of the uterus and vagina are closely related and should be considered together. Uterine prolapse may predominate but is usually associated with some degree of vaginal wall laxity. Uterovaginal prolapse may be caused by congenital weakness of the pelvic organ supports, following childbirth, stemming from hormone deficiency, or be brought on by the natural aging process. With aging, the hormonal changes, combined with the stress of childbirth many years before, cause the muscles in the pelvis that support the uterus and vagina to start to relax.
Because of the proximity of the bladder, bladder symptoms may occur such as incomplete emptying and urinary infection. Management of uterovaginal prolapse depends on the severity of symptoms. Insertion of a pessary (instrument placed in the vagina to support uterus or rectum) for support may be used. However, in some cases surgery may be indicated.
See also URINARY RETENTION, URINARY TRACT INFECTION.
Brocklehurst, J. C. Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1985.

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