Our bodies

Pelvic organ prolapse: a secret issue among older women

Most common among women who have given birth vaginally, pelvic floor prolapse is caused when muscles attached to side walls tear — but the issues that spring from the condition don’t appear until much later, when age weakens the body. A report from the Washington Post reveals that many women don’t speak of pelvic organ prolapse (when a woman’s uterus, rectum or bladder comes through her vaginal canal) or floor disorders (like urinary or fecal incontinence) because of the stigma, though by 80, half of all women have seen symptoms.

A change came in 2015, however. “We suddenly have people looking at women’s pelvic health, going, ‘Why don’t we do more?’,” said Missy Lavender of the Women’s Health Foundation. Exercises for women to build muscle and surgeries are available, but it’s important that the conversation starts among women and their gynecologists before 56 – the median age when women start to notice the disorders.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

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