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Treating Sylvia’s Uncomfortable Feeling

More than half of women over 50 years old develop pelvic organ prolapse.

September 26, 2019

Sylvia had felt uncomfortable for some time. “It didn’t feel right down there,” she said. “It felt like something was hanging where it wasn’t supposed to.”

The discomfort made it difficult for the 72-year-old from Rochester to live her life how she wanted, and it prevented her from taking part in one of her favorite hobbies, bowling.

Sylvia visited Dr. Muhammad Tariq Qureshi, a board-certified and Surgical Research Corporation designated “Master Surgeon” in urogynecology. She learned that she had developed pelvic organ prolapse—a common pelvic issue where the uterus slips down and protrudes through the vagina. Sylvia also learned that she wasn’t the only one with the condition.

Dr. Qureshi, Rochester Regional Health

More than half of women over 50 years old develop pelvic organ prolapse, and approximately 1 in 10 women in the United States receive surgery to correct the issue. Risk factors for prolapse can include childbirth and genetic history, and symptoms are lower abdominal pain, discomfort, difficulty controlling bowel movements, and problems inserting tampons.

“Patients are reluctant to talk about prolapse, but it’s a very prevalent condition,” said Dr. Qureshi. “We encourage people to talk to their primary care doctor and seek the treatments that are available.”

Dr. Qureshi told Sylvia about a procedure called colpocleisis. Recommended for women who are not sexually active or who don’t plan on remaining sexually active, the colpocleisis shortens the vagina and preserves bladder function.

Learn the Symptoms of Prolapse

“Colpocleisis is a simple, outpatient procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital and has a very high success rate,” said Qureshi.

“I knew that I was in good hands, and I said ‘okay let’s do it’. There’s no good in putting it off,” Sylvia said.

Six weeks after the procedure, Sylvia was happy to be back living her life the way she wanted to again—and now she’s encouraging other women to speak up.

“Everyone is going to encounter problems with their bodies over time,” she said. “These things happen to all types of women, and it’s often not anyone’s fault, it’s just life. The best thing I learned is not to put it off, because when it’s dealt with you’ll think to yourself: why didn’t I do this before?”

Get More Information About Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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