After giving birth, your first priority will probably be to head home and begin getting to know your new baby. But even as you settle into motherhood, you still need to pay attention to your own body as it recovers from the trauma of childbirth. Pelvic organ prolapse is a relatively uncommon condition that can require pelvic reconstructive surgery to repair, and it can lead to prolonged discomfort and organ dysfunction if left untreated. In the weeks following your child's birth, keep an eye out for these symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and consult your doctor if they occur.
Incontinence and Frequent Urination
When you experience a pelvic organ prolapse, the complex web of muscles and other tissues supporting the organs in your pelvis collapses, allowing those organs to drop down into your pelvis. This can put pressure on your bladder, and your weakened pelvic muscles may not be able to hold your urine without a few leaks. If you are up all night urinating as well as taking care of the baby, you may be going through a prolapse.
Once your organs have dropped, it is fairly common to feel pain as your nerves stretch with them. This typically translates to abdominal or lower back pain, and you may feel like you have thrown out your back. Whenever you are in pain after childbirth, schedule an appointment with your doctor to confirm that it is nothing serious.
You rely on your pelvic muscles to complete bowel movements, and you may run into trouble if those muscles are weakened. A pelvic prolapse can also extend into the rectum, placing pressure on your bowels and making it even more difficult to defecate. You may be able to find temporary relief from this situation by pressing against your pelvis as you have a bowel movement and by consuming a high-fiber diet.
Uncomfortable Sexual Intercourse
Often, you can actually feel a pelvic organ prolapse through the vagina, where it will register as a distinctive bulge. If you attempt intercourse with this bulge present, you may find the act uncomfortable or even painful as a result. Women need time to recover after vaginal birth, but if that pain persists after you have healed, see your doctor to determine the problem and begin working to correct it.
In more severe cases of pelvic prolapse, you may actually be able to see prolapsed tissue hanging out of you while standing. This pink tissue can be alarming, but it can be repaired with pelvic reconstruction surgery. Some women are squeamish about examining themselves after giving birth, but making regular inspections of your healing process can help you catch issues like a pelvic prolapse quickly, minimizing your discomfort and the potential for complications. If you suspect that your pelvis has been damaged by childbirth, there are options available to you. Call your doctor as soon as possible to begin managing the condition and its side-effects before it can be fully treated through surgery.
For pelvic reconstructive surgery, contact a clinic such as Western Branch Center for Women.