Menopause and Pelvic Organ Prolapse: What Every Woman Should Know

Menopause is a biological state of a woman’s body that marks the end of the reproductive years. A woman typically hits menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, and it is the year when she does not have periods for 12 consecutive months.

Throughout this period, the body experiences notable hormonal shifts, and falling estrogen levels. These changes can cause symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and dryness in the vaginal area. Moreover, depleting estrogen levels also weaken the connective tissues holding the pelvic organs in place.

When the muscles that support the pelvic organs (like the bladder, uterus, or vagina) are weakened, stretched, and damaged, the organs can slip out of place, causing a pelvic organ prolapse (POP). This condition can be quite debilitating, potentially preventing the woman from performing basic tasks such as sitting for extended periods or controlling her urine.

This blog post will dive deep into this causal link between menopause and POP. The aim is to keep you informed so that you can take proactive steps when faced with this painful condition.

Estrogen and Pelvic Health

Estrogen is probably the most important hormone for your pelvic health. It helps keep your pelvic tissues strong, elastic, and in tip-top shape.

As mentioned earlier, during menopause, estrogen levels naturally start to decline. As hormone production decreases, these tissues gradually lose strength, thickness, and elasticity. It is important to note that this can result in a decrease in pelvic support, which can increase your vulnerability to developing pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

However, declining levels of estrogen can also result in other severe health complications. Inflamed vaginal walls can be a cause for concern. This condition causes the vaginal walls to become dry and thin, which can make sex a very painful experience.

Lower estrogen levels also impact the health of your urinary tract. You can suffer from urinary incontinence if your urethra weakens or loses its elasticity.

However, menopause is also associated with several other complications and symptoms that can disturb your pelvic tissues. One of the most prevalent is weight gain. The extra intra-abdominal pressure puts excessive strain on the pelvic muscles and fascia.

Surgical Treatment Options

As with any medical condition, you will be advised to have a surgical intervention only if your POP condition is very serious. Some methods here involve surgically lifting and placing the organs in their designated areas. Generally, this is done by making incisions in the vaginal walls.

Vaginal Mesh

One of the solutions is implanting a vaginal mesh to hold your pelvic organs in place. The mesh, or the net, is supposed to stay in your body permanently. This might sound like a very promising solution. However, vaginal meshes have come under intense scrutiny due to many women complaining of severe complications. Injuries like mesh erosion and organ perforation can be fatal.

Such cases have resulted in numerous lawsuits. The vaginal mesh lawsuit primarily claims that the complications arise due to the mesh material rather than the surgical procedure. It also alleges that the manufacturers blatantly underplayed the risks associated with their meshes for the sake of profits.

According to TorHoerman Law, these lawsuits involve claims of pain, organ damage, and mesh erosion. The lawsuits have been incredibly impactful, resulting in settlements for over 95% of past cases.


This surgery is recommended for women with a prolapsed womb. To prevent the pelvic prolapse from worsening, the womb is surgically removed. In grave scenarios, the patient might also have her cervix and ovaries removed.

You cannot get pregnant after this surgery, and it takes around 12 weeks to recover. You need to consult your doctor and opt for the type of hysterectomy that is suitable for you.

Non-Surgical Methods to Manage POP 

Your treatment plan will depend on the interplay of a lot of factors. These can include your age, the severity of the symptoms, and whether you want to have children in the future.

If your prolapse is not very painful and does not affect your daily life, you can resort to conventional (non-surgical) methods. Lifestyle changes can go a long way in mitigating POP risks. Exercising regularly and having a balanced diet can help maintain a strong and resilient pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are a proven means of strengthening your pelvic floor.

A vaginal pessary is another widely prescribed non-surgical method. It is generally the first treatment recommended for women with pelvic issues. It is a removable device made of rubber or silicone. It is inserted into the vagina to support prolapsed organs and keep them in their proper position.

The best part about this treatment is that you can easily remove the pessary before sex and can also clean it from time to time.

For some women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be a viable option. This procedure replenishes the depleting estrogen reserves from the outside. You can buy topical estrogen in the form of lotion or gel and apply it to your vagina.

Post Treatment Rehabilitation

Recovery after your pelvic treatment will be slow and will need a lot of patience and self-care. In the beginning, you might feel as if you have been hit by a bus. However, do not panic. It is completely normal for your body to feel overwhelmed—after all, it is the pelvis we are talking about.

Eating healthy meals at proper intervals is a must. Your body is recovering, and it needs fuel. Regular follow-ups with your doctor are non-negotiable too. These visits are important for you to ascertain the status of recovery and the subsequent steps.

Let the first few weeks pass, and after that, if you are allowed, start pelvic floor rehabilitation. These methods usually include specific exercises and biofeedback therapy aimed at strengthening the muscles that provide support for your pelvic organs.

However, please refrain from lifting heavy objects or doing overly strenuous activities until you get the green light. Here, collaborating with a knowledgeable physical therapist can be a game-changer.

To conclude, pelvic organ prolapse is a serious issue that demands prompt diagnosis and care. Menopause brings with it a plethora of physiological and psychological complexities, and POP seems to be the most pressing.

However, you need not worry about POP if you do not see initial symptoms. Not every woman going through menopause has to suffer from pelvic issues. But, in case, you feel that your body is showing signs of distress down there, do not waste even a moment. Get yourself checked.

Be very upfront with your questions and fears when discussing your conditions with your doctor. It is a tricky situation to be in, but you are not alone. There are a plethora of safe surgeries and other conventional methods that can help you at every step of your POP journey.

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