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Bladder prolapse is a condition wherein a woman’s vaginal wall ceases to adequately support the urinary bladder. The front wall of the vagina gives support to the bladder under normal circumstances but when this wall weakens, it allows the bladder to droop and become prolapsed. This can lead to a wide range of medical problems such as urinary difficulties, stress incontinence (leakage of urine while coughing or sneezing), pain and discomfort, etc.
Prolapsed bladders are generally associated with menopause. Also known as cystoceles or fallen bladders, they are categorized into four different types depending on the extent to which the bladder has prolapsed.
Grade 1: This is the mild stage wherein a small portion of the bladder droops into the vagina.
Grade 2: This is the moderate stage in which the bladder droops far enough to reach the opening of the vagina.
Grade 3: This is when the condition becomes severe and the bladder protrudes from the body through the opening of the vagina.
Grade 4: This occurs when the bladder has completely prolapsed. The entire bladder protrudes outside the vagina and is normally associated with other forms of pelvic organ prolapse such as uterine prolapse (the sagging of the uterus from its normal spot) and rectocele (prolapse of the wall between the vagina and the rectum).
What are the causes of prolapsed bladders?
Following are the factors that lead to the condition of prolapsed bladders:
- Menopause: The vaginal walls are known to become weak upon the onset of menopause. This occurs because the body inhibits the production of oestrogen, the hormone that renders strength to the muscles of the vagina. As a result, the bladder is no longer supported by the vagina.
- Childbirth: The process of childbirth puts a tremendous amount of stress on the vagina and often leads to deterioration of the muscles of the vaginal wall. This in turn leads to the condition of prolapsed bladder.
- Straining: Anything that puts strain on the walls of the vagina can lead to this condition. This includes lifting heavy objects, chronic constipation, obesity, excessive coughing and sneezing or any other factor that damages the pelvic floor.
Symptoms of a prolapsed bladder vary from case to case, depending on the category and extent of the condition. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of the condition are as follows:
Tissue sticking out of the vagina (that may be tender and/or bleeding)
Urology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diseases affecting the urinary tract system and male reproductive organs. The organs that come under the scanner here are the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and the male reproductive organs (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis). Though there is a prevalent misconception that gynecologists are for women what urologists are for men, urology also deals with certain women related health issues. These include overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence. In fact, doctors who specialize in female urology gain detailed knowledge of the female pelvic floor together with intimate understanding of the physiology and pathology.
Here are 9 things you should know as a woman
1. Age related factors affect both men and women: Right around the time when menopause and andropause strike, changing hormone levels affect the pelvic floor, bladder, urethra and vagina in women causing problems like urinary tract infection and incontinence. These conditions are effectively treated by an urologist who can also probe for underlying conditions like kidney stone, polyp, or tumor in severe cases.
2. An overactive bladder is more common than you think: Around 40% women have to hit the bathroom every hour or so owing to this. Simple lifestyle changes like lowering the intake of caffeine and alcohol, in combination with pelvic floor exercises can solve the problem.
3. Women sometimes pee in their pants too: A majority of the female population between 40 and 60 suffer from either stress incontinence (when you cough, sneeze or laugh) or urgency incontinence (leaking when you want to go badly). Urologists want you to know that there are less invasive options and medications available to treat this problem.
4. Walk the exercise path to good health: Exercises for your vagina like kegal are great when done right. You can connect with a practitioner who specializes in toning and the stimulation of pelvic floor muscles to treat incontinence.
5. Pelvic pain: If it is not gynecology then its urology - A general pain in the pelvic region triggers a visit to the gynecologist first for most women. From menstrual cramps to ovarian cysts, all of this may well be taken care of by your gynecologist too. But when the usual culprits are not the cause for your discomfort, it's time you get the urology aspect examined thoroughly too.
6. Know the difference between UTI and STI: Because of cross symptoms, one often gets mistaken for the other. So check with your urologist to understand the cause and cure of your particular problem.
7. Recognize pelvic organ prolapse: This condition is defined by a bit of bladder, rectal, or uterine tissue bulging into your vagina. An urologist can provide non invasive options to deal with this.
8. Women can get kidney stones too: This is true especially when you forget to hydrate yourself in hot climates or high temperature situations.
9. Urology can solve some sexual problems too: Whether it's sexual dysfunction, low libido or trouble reaching orgasm, urology can play its part to help you out.
Lower Urinary tract obstruction refers to a condition of hindrance to urinary flow from bladder outwards. This can occur in all the age groups and affect either sex. The symptoms can be poor urine flow, intermittent flow, straining to pass urine or empty bladder, sense of incomplete emptying of bladder, difficulty in starting urination. Other problems can be increased urine frequency and difficulty to hold on with or without occasional urine leak in clothes. The cause and treatment vary in different age groups.
Congenital Urethral Stricture and PUV: These defects can be detected either before or after birth and need correction at earliest to avoid long-term complications. It is usually brought to attention by parents who observe abnormal urine flow pattern of their child OR found out during evaluation for repeated urinary tract infections.
Neurogenic Bladder: This is caused due to defects of nerves that are responsible for controlling bladder function. This can be due to diseases of brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. These defects can occur by birth or later in life. It is very important to take early consult to avoid long-term complications and progression to renal failure.
Urethral Stricture: This is narrowing in a long tube that starts from bladder to the external urinary opening. It can be idiopathic, post-traumatic, or due to urethral infections. Usually, a person is able to recognise poor urine flow and bring it to the attention of urologist. Treatment for stricture depends on various factors and range from simple endoscopic surgery to open surgeries.
Bladder Neck Obstruction: Bladder neck is a network or a group of muscles that connect the bladder to the urethra. The muscles tighten to hold urine in the bladder, and relax as they release it through the urethra. Urinary tract obstruction occurs when there are abnormalities blocking the bladder neck that restricts its opening during urination.
BPH: This occurs due to enlarged prostate obstruction urine flow out of bladder. Prostate enlargement is mostly age-related and rarely due to prostatic tumors. Urinary stones. This can be usually recognized by sudden obstruction to urine flow in person who was voiding normally. These episodes might be recurrent due to movement of stone in between bladder and urethra.
Bladder Tumors: The are mostly characterized by blood in urine. Sometimes there might be blood clots that obstruct the urine flow. Phimosis: Usually occurring post-puberty, it is referred to as the inability to retract the glans (the sensitive structure at the end of the penis). It is a condition in which the distal foreskin, which was previously retractable, is unable to retract anymore.
Phimosis: Phimosis is another major reason behind urinary tract obstructions.
One of the most significant glands in the male reproductive system is the prostate gland, which is responsible for carrying urine from the bladder. It is located right under the bladder and helps in production of semen which contains sperm.
Food Intake and Weight: Apart from age, the major factor that contributes to the risk of prostate cancer includes food and weight. Doctors suggest that bringing down your intake of calcium and fat that comes from red meat and excess dairy can help in preventing the onset of this ailment. The calcium intake should not go beyond 1,500 mg per day, which is why doctors will usually ask you not to have supplements. Cooked tomatoes with olive oil as well as cruciferous vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower should be included as a vital part of one's diet, while fish should be taken regularly as it is a source of healthy or good fat like Omega-3 fatty acids. In general, you should have fewer calories which should be matched up with ample exercise so that a healthy weight and balance is maintained.
Stress and Blood Pressure: Stress and anxiety are also major reasons that contribute to the onset of this disease. One will need to see a doctor about high blood pressure, especially the kind that is triggered by stress and causes hypertension. Also, you must control your cholesterol and stay out of depression to ensure that your risk of developing prostate cancer reduces. Also, having these conditions along with prostate cancer makes the survival chances that much lower. So, you must get the right medication and treatment for these conditions as well.
Lifestyle: One will need to quit smoking, that can cause a number of ailments including prostate cancer. Also, drinking alcohol in moderation is required in order to have a healthier lifestyle and cut the chances of developing such ailments.
Screening: While your diet and other aspects may be right, there is still a great chance of developing prostate cancer, especially if anyone in your family has been afflicted with this condition in the past. Therefore, it is recommended to get an annual screening done so that you eliminate the chances of finding it out late, and can check the growth of any anomalies as soon as they take place. Getting regular checks ups done and getting diagnosed for the problem when the earliest symptoms begin to show are both crucial for prostate cancer.