Prolapsed Bladder | Uterus Endometrium
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine. The pressure created when the bladder fills with urine is what causes the urge to urinate. During urination, the urine travels from the bladder and out the body through the urethra.
In women, the front wall of the vagina supports the bladder. This wall can weaken or loosen with age. Significant bodily stress such as childbirth can also damage this part of the vaginal wall. If it deteriorates enough, the bladder can prolapse, meaning it is no longer supported and descends into the vagina. This may trigger problems such as urinary difficulties, discomfort, and stress incontinence (urine leakage caused by sneezing, coughing, and exertion, for example).
Prolapsed bladders (also called cystoceles or fallen bladders) are separated into four grades based on how far the bladder dropps into the vagina.
Grade 1 (mild): Only a small portion of the bladder droops into the vagina.
Grade 2 (moderate): The bladder droops enough to be able to reach the opening of the vagina.
Grade 3 (severe): The bladder protrudes from the body through the vaginal opening.
Grade 4 (complete): The entire bladder protrudes completely outside the vagina; usually associated with other forms of pelvic organ prolapse (uterine prolapse, rectocele, enterocele).
Prolapsed bladders are commonly associated with menopause. Prior to menopause, women’s bodies create the hormone estrogen, which helps keep the muscles in and around the vagina strong. Women’s bodies stop creating as much estrogen after menopause, and those muscles tend to weaken as a result.
Causes of a Prolapsed Bladder
The following factors are commonly associated with causing a prolapsed bladder:
- Childbirth: This is the most common cause of a prolapsed bladder. The delivery process is stressful on the vaginal tissues and muscles, which support a woman’s bladder.
- Menopause: Estrogen, a hormone that helps maintain the strength and health of muscles in the vagina, is not produced after menopause.
- Straining: Lifting heavy objects, straining during bowel movements, having a long-term condition that involves coughing, or having long-term constipation may damage the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Symptoms of a Prolapsed Bladder
The first symptom that women with a prolapsed bladder usually notice is the presence of tissue in the vagina that many women describe as something that feels like a ball.
Other symptoms of a prolapsed bladder include the following:
- Discomfort or pain in the pelvis
- Tissue protruding from the vagina (The tissue may be tender and may bleed.)
- Difficulty urinating
- A feeling that the bladder is not empty immediately after urinating (incomplete voiding)
- Stress incontinence (urine leakage during sneezing, coughing, or exertion)
- More frequent bladder infections
- Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Low back pain
Some women may not experience or notice symptoms of a mild (grade 1) prolapsed bladder. Please contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks’ office if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Pelvic Pain | Dysmenorrhea
Dreadful menstrual cramps are a sign for some that our period is lurking just around the bend and also occur with the first few days of our cycle. What does it mean when your pain becomes life changing, and alarming, causing the mere idea of getting up and out to send you into a panic? It means you should contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks.
Painful periods, or dysmenorrhea, affects about half of post-pubescent women, and it is most common in women during their early to mid-twenties. The occurrence of these severe menstrual cramps tapers off as a woman ages and most commonly disappears once a woman has reached her thirties. Dysmenorrhea is the scientific name for painful periods, in which a woman describes her cramps to be debilitating. Dysmenorrhea is further divided into two categories one being Primary Dysmenorrhea, and the other being Secondary Dysmenorrhea. Upon visiting with your OBGYN you will be diagnosed among one or the other. Of the 50% of women suffering from painful periods, 85% will be diagnosed with Primary Dysmenorrhea.
Primary Dysmenorrhea is usually the diagnosis if your OBGYN is unable to find any internal obstruction or problem that may be causing painful periods and severe menstrual cramps. Primary dysmenorrhea usually becomes a problem between 12 months and 2 years following a woman’s first cycle. The painful menstrual cramps usually begin a few hours prior to or just after the onset of menstruation. Pain is most severe during the first 2 days of the cycle. Characteristically the pain is described as spasmodic in nature and strongest over the lower abdomen and lower back. In severe cases the menstrual pain is also felt in the thighs. The pain is most commonly referred to as “labor-like” and accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and headache.
Symptoms that occasionally accompany these painful periods are anxiety and dizziness. Seldom do any symptoms persist beyond the third day of the cycle. Though Primary Dysmenorrhea does not appear to be prevented by any amount of or lack of activity, a few activities seem to help with menstrual cramps relief:
Avoid stressful situations
Take a warm bath, or use a warm compress
Go for long slow paced walks
Avoid fatty foods
Participating in Yoga
Secondary Dysmenorrhea will be the diagnosis if your OBGYN finds that the pain is caused by some sort of gynecological problem. Secondary Dysmenorrhea does not begin shortly after a woman’s first cycle, but usually 3+ years following. The painful menstruation is likely to begin at the onset of the cycle and last throughout the entirety of menstruation. The occurrence of secondary painful periods requires medical attention and at times medical procedures in order to help with severe menstrual cramps relief. Unlike Primary Dysmenorrhea, medical treatments are often the only hope for relief from pain. The cause of Secondary Dysmenorrhea will determine the proper treatment of it. A few of the procedures on the market for the treatment for dysmenorrhea include:
Intrauterine Contraceptive (Mirena)
Oral Contraceptives (such as birth control pills)
Vitamin B supplements (For pain related to lack of nutrition)
Antibiotics (for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease—also referred to as PID—or an untreated STD)
Surgery (For a Cyst, or Fibroid Tumor)
Dilation & Curettage (Removal of small amount of uterine lining, often as a cancer precaution)
Hysterectomy (if the pain is caused by a malfunctioning reproductive organ)
Endometrial Ablation (Permanent removal of uterine lining to prevent further pain and/or limit bleeding)
Treatment for dysmenorrhea varies according to severity of the issue and the problem causing the pain. The bottom line is if you are suffering from abnormally painful periods, it is of utmost importance that you check in with you OBGYN and discuss what is causing it, and your options for pain relief.
For many women, having a period may cause a few symptoms that can easily be managed by taking a simple ibuprofen and using some feminine protection—and then just like that, it’s gone. For others, this monthly visit from mother nature is a dreaded and life altering time that sends some women into hiding. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks’s office to schedule an appointment.
MenorrhagiaMenorrhagia is defined as an excessively heavy period, but can also cause extreme discomfort. Periods are different for every woman. Some are short and painless, and some are long and painful. But it is not at all normal for a woman’s period to affect her everyday life or keep her from performing her normal activities. Reasons to see an OBGYN with the suspicion of Menorrhagia are things such as:
Periods that last longer than 5 days
Painful periods with severe pelvic pain
Periods that require double sanitary protection (tampon and pad)
Bleeding through a tampon or pad in an hour or less for several hours in a row
The passing of large blood clots
Fatigue, pain, headaches, nausea
Though depression and social anxiety are not symptoms that point towards menorrhagia, they often are results of the problem. Women such as Amy, who normally have a very active and busy life, begin to invert, afraid of excessive and abnormal menstrual bleeding while in public or the inability to get to the restroom before leaking. Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks’ office to seek treatment for symptoms that bother you.
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States of America.
Menopause is a natural biological process. It ends fertility, yet, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual. Some women feel relieved because they no longer worry about pregnancy.
The physical and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt sleep, cause hot flashes, lower your energy or even trigger anxiety or feelings of sadness and loss for some women. Please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks’ office to seek treatment for symptoms that bother you.
Sexual dysfunction is a difficulty by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity. This includes desire, preference, arousal or orgasm. It is important to understand a patient’s sexual history and assessment of general health and other sexual problems. Assessing guilt, stress and worry are integral to the optimal management of sexual dysfunction. It is important to get a thorough assessment to manage sexual problems.
If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Jon T. Ricks.
There are many symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Every woman experiences differences in severity and frequency of PMS, which can also vary month-to-month. Common PMS symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Trouble concentrating
- Food cravings/overeating
- Mood swings and/or depression
Up to 85% of menstruating women experience some of these symptoms related to their period, while only 2%-10% experience severe symptoms.
Endometriosis is a common health problem in women, and it the tissue lining the uterus grows outside of it on other organs or structures in the body. Most often, endometriosis is found on the:
- Fallopian tubes
- Tissues that hold the uterus in place
- Outer surface of the uterus
- Lining of the pelvic cavity
Other places for growths can include the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. In the most rare instances, endometriosis has been found in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.
Some of the symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Very painful menstrual cramps; pain may get worse over time
- Chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis
- Pain during or after sex
- Intestinal pain
- Painful bowel movements or painful urination during menstrual periods
- Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
- Infertility or not being able to get pregnant
- Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or nausea, especially during menstrual periods
Please make an appointment with Dr. Jon T. Ricks if you are experiencing these symptoms.
To schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Jon T. Ricks’ office.
Comprehensive and Compassionate Care for Women.