Some degree of pelvic organ prolapse occurs in up to one-third of women in the United States, a quarter of whom experience symptoms. If you find yourself among this group due to a condition called cystocele (a prolapsed bladder) you can take some comfort in knowing you’re in good company. But that hardly solves your problem, which is where we come in.
At Bela Vida Urogynecology, Dr. Bela Kudish and the team understand the negative impact that cystocele can have on your life. We offer a number of solutions, depending upon the degree of your bladder prolapse. Our goal is to help women in the Oviedo and Kissimmee, Florida, area lead happy, active lives free from the constraints that a condition like cystocele can place on them.
If you’re struggling with cystocele, here’s a look at some of your options.
Before we look at our treatment options for a prolapsed bladder, let’s review what cystocele is and how the condition develops. The female pelvic region houses a number of important reproductive, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract organs, all of which are primarily supported by the pelvic floor. This “floor” is made up of muscles and other support tissues and creates a type of hammock that keeps your organs in their proper positions.
When your pelvic floor is weakened or compromised, it can lead to organs that slip or fall out of place. In the case of cystocele, your bladder drops down into your vagina, which can lead to discomfort and problems with incontinence.
Many conditions can weaken your pelvic floor, including:
- Being overweight
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Straining the muscles when you cough or when you’re constipated
The most common driver of cystocele on this list is simply age. Over time, all of your tissues begin to weaken, and your pelvic floor is no different.
Treating cystocele in its early stages
If you’re just beginning to notice signs of cystocele, the good news is that we can help you strengthen your pelvic floor through targeted exercises, like Kegels. Because your pelvic floor is primarily made up of muscles, exercise is the best way to shore up the support system inside your pelvis.
Many women benefit from hormone therapy, which increases the resources that your support tissues, including your muscles and ligaments, need. After menopause, the sudden drop in estrogen levels can lead to declining tissue health and, in turn, cystocele. By increasing your hormone levels, your connective tissues receive the resources they need to support your pelvic organs.
Treating moderate to severe cystocele
If your cystocele symptoms are affecting your quality of life, our first order of business is to determine the degree to which your bladder has prolapsed. First, we review your symptoms, then we use advanced imaging and specialized testing, including urodynamics, which measures nerve and muscle function, to establish the stage of your cystocele.
From there, we create an appropriate treatment plan to restore your quality of life, which may include of one or more of the following:
- Estrogen therapy
- A pessary — a ring that we insert into your vagina to provide better support for your bladder
Obviously, surgery is the last option we turn to, but it may present the best opportunity for resolving your cystocele. Should you require surgery, rest assured that we use the latest surgical techniques available, including minimally invasive robotic surgery.
To learn more about your treatment options for cystocele at Bela Vida Urogynecology, please contact one of our two offices to set up a consultation.