By Stacey Colino & Sara Lindberg, Oct 26, 2023
“Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic musculature, which supports the uterus, bladder and rectum, are weakened, causing the organs to drop and press into or out of the vagina,” explains Kecia Gaither, MD, FACOG, double board-certified in ob/gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine, Director of Perinatal Services/Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx.
Pelvic organ prolapse will affect 40% of women at some point in their life, according to research in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, and the risk rises with age, as body tissues get lax. Pelvic organ prolapse is most likely to strike between the ages of 60 and 69. That said, the most common initiating causes are pregnancy and childbirth. Other factors like family history, hormonal changes during menopause, obesity, chronic coughing, or straining during bowel movements may also contribute to pelvic organ prolapse, according to Dr. Gaither.
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