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Anterior Prolapse

Home Anterior Prolapse (cystocele)

Introduction

Something certain about the human body is that it keeps troubling you every now and then, if not cared for properly. Anterior Prolapse(cystocele) is one such medical situation that can tap the doors of your body unhesitatingly. Nonetheless, the improvements in medical science have made it possible to diagnose cystocele and cure it.

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What is Anterior Prolapse (cystocele)?

Anterior Prolapse, also known as cystocele, is a medical condition in which the urinary bladder obstructs the passage of the vaginal canal, making it narrower. The bladder gets somewhat displaced from its original position and protrudes into the vagina.

Medicos determine the severity of the problem with the help of the Baden-Walker system, which has outlined five stages of protrusion:

  • ● No Prolapse
  • ● Bladder reaches halfway to the hymen
  • ● Reaches the hymen
  • ● Halfway past the hymen
  • ● Complete protrusion

What Causes Anterior Prolapse (cystocele)?

Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) is a common issue among women and becomes more prominent as age increases. Almost one-third of women who have crossed the age of 50 face it in varying degrees. It usually occurs due to the weakening of muscles between the bladder and vagina, which in turn makes the bladder loose and therefore protrudes downwards. Other causes behind the Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) are:

  • ● Childbirth/ Vaginal delivery
  • ● Obesity
  • ● Heavy weight lifting
  • ● Chronic Cough
  • ● Heavy breathing problems
  • ● Constipation
  • ● Practising pelvic exercises incorrectly
  • ● Estrogen deficiency
  • ● Surgical removal of the uterus, also called Hysterectomy
  • ● Family History
  • ● Congenital disability in which there is incomplete closing of the spine

 

Other health conditions that make Anterior Prolapse ( Cystocele) more likely are :

  • ● Joint Hypermobility Syndrome – Having very flexible joints which often leads to pain
  • ● Disorder of the body’s connective tissues
  • ● Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes – These are rare inherited diseases that affect connective tissues.

What are the symptoms of Anterior Prolapse (cystocele)?

Symptoms for Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) vary from person to person. You can be troubled by a prolapsed bladder and still have no symptoms. However, some of the problems you might face are:

  • ● Involuntary urination, i.e., you might face frequent leakage of urine, or you may even feel that bladder is not getting emptied properly
  • ● A constant feeling that something is falling out of the vagina
  • ● A sensation of heaviness around your genitals
  • ● Seeing a lump coming out of the vagina
  • ● Painful sexual intercourse
  • ● Pelvic pain
  • ● Bleeding, in some cases

Though it is not life-threatening, it can turn into it if not diagnosed timely and can even lead to further complications such as urinary tract infections due to retention of urine in the bladder or even kidney damage; in the worst scenario, it tends to affect your life adversely as you might start avoiding social gatherings due to the fear of urinary incontinence.

How is Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) diagnosed?

The most common way used by doctors to diagnose cystocele is through internal pelvic examination. The doctor will examine for any visible protrusions in the vagina. An instrument called a Speculum is used to get a better idea of the situation. An ultrasound can be done if you face trouble while urinating. This is done to determine the amount of urine left in the bladder after urinating. The doctor can also carry out an X-Ray of the bladder to see what’s obstructing the passage of urine.

How is Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) treated?

The treatment can be surgical or non-surgical, depending upon the severity of the problem.

Non- Surgical treatment include:

  • ● Pelvic Exercises – If the doctor finds the condition mild, he may recommend pelvic exercises to strengthen the muscles.
  • ● You should increase the consumption of high fibre foods as they are supposed to ease bowel movements.
  • ● Intravaginal administration of estrogen
  • ● A device called a Pessary might be inserted into the vagina so that it prevents the bladder from invading the space of the vaginal canal
  • In case Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) has reached extreme levels, you might have to undergo surgery, which depends on the level of damage caused to the vaginal wall.

 

Result

You don’t need to worry if the situation is moderate. All you need to do is to exercise regularly and have a healthy fibrous diet. However, if the doctor has recommended surgery, you have all the reasons to be anxious. Additional surgeries may be required within 10 years of your first operation as the failure rate for cystocele repair remains high.

What are the risks associated with treatment for Anterior Prolapse (cystocele)?

The operation for Anterior Prolapse (cystocele) has certain risks associated with it, such as :

  • ● Side effects due to anaesthesia
  • ● Difficulty in having sexual intercourse after the surgery
  • ● Injuries in bladder or urethra
  • ● Infections that accompany the operation
  • ● Intermittent Bleeding
  • ● Urinary incontinence

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FAQ's

Does the Problem of Anterior Prolapse (Cystocele) Increase with age?

Yes, the problem increases with age, especially after menopause. This is because the production of estrogen in the body decreases, leading to a situation called Hypoestrogenism. This, in turn, weakens the pelvic area and enhances the chances of Cystocele.

Can I Inherit Anterior Prolapse (Cystocele) from My Parents?

Yes, it can be inherited. People often get weaker connective tissues from their parents, and this makes them susceptible to Anterior Prolapse.

Is Surgery Mandatory to Cure Anterior Prolapse (Cystocele)?

No, it is not mandatory. It rather depends on the severity of the problem. In minor cases, the problem can be rectified with pelvic exercise recommended by the doctor.

Do all Women Face the Problem of Cystocele After the Delivery of a Child?

Not all of them face this issue. The chances increase in case of vaginal delivery, especially when the newborn has high birth weight. Multiple childbirths also make women more prone to Anterior Prolapse (Cystocele).

What should be Avoided in the Case of an Anterior Prolapse (Cystocele)?

One should avoid the things that can make the situation worse, such as heavyweights should not be lifted. Do not stand on your feet for long spells of time.

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