Dr. Cornella, a physician at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, recalls the symptoms associated with vaginal prolapse and explains that it is a very common condition and is increasing in prevalence.
The symptoms of vaginal prolapse primarily relate to a pressure feeling in the area of the vagina. Patient sometimes will question whether difficulty emptying the rectum relates to prolapse. However, most patients who have difficulty emptying their rectum have a primary issue with the bowel and not the weakness of the vagina.
Certainly there are patients who have a weakness or bulge along the bottom wall or posterior wall of the vagina and that acts as a contributor to difficulty emptying the rectum. In terms of approaching this patient however, it’s a matter of addressing both the bowel and the vagina in terms of making or emptying of rectum improve.
Prolapse may also result in a feeling of urgency, frequency of urination, and thus, a patient may become significantly uncomfortable as the prolapse increases in size.
Prolapse of the vagina or uterus is a very common condition and it’s increasing in prevalence. Karl Luber at Keizer in California has shown that this is going to increase approximately 50% over the next 20 to 30 years.
Amber Olson and Amanda Clark at Oregon Health Sciences Center has shown that 11% of patients will have surgery for prolapse of the vagina, and out of those, approximately 25% may have a repeat procedure down the line.