Monday, August 25, 2008


Have you heard of a condition in a female body called CYSTOCELE or FALLEN BLADDER?

"A cystocele occurs when the wall between a woman’s bladder and her vagina weakens and allows the bladder to droop into the vagina. This condition may cause discomfort and problems with emptying the bladder.

A bladder that has dropped from its normal position may cause two kinds of problems—unwanted urine leakage and incomplete emptying of the bladder. In some women, a fallen bladder stretches the opening into the urethra, causing urine leakage when the woman coughs, sneezes, laughs, or moves in any way that puts pressure on the bladder.

A cystocele is mild—grade 1—when the bladder droops only a short way into the vagina. With a more severe—grade 2—cystocele, the bladder sinks far enough to reach the opening of the vagina. The most advanced—grade 3—cystocele occurs when the bladder bulges out through the opening of the vagina."

My mom is diagnosed of grade 3 cystocele and had undergone operation recently. Her OB-Gynecologist said that it may result from muscle straining while giving birth, heavy lifting or repeated straining during bowel movements or when our body stopped making estrogen during menopausal period. She further explained that when we go through menopause our bodies stop making estrogen. The hormone estrogen helps keep the muscle around the vagina strong hence, without it, the muscles around the vagina and bladder may grow weak.

How is  Cystocele treated?

"Treatment options range from no treatment for a mild cystocele to surgery for a serious cystocele. If a cystocele is not bothersome, the doctor may only recommend avoiding heavy lifting or straining that could cause the cystocele to worsen. If symptoms are moderately bothersome, the doctor may recommend a pessary—a device placed in the vagina to hold the bladder in place. Pessaries come in a variety of shapes and sizes to allow the doctor to find the most comfortable fit for the patient. Pessaries must be removed regularly to avoid infection or ulcers.

Large cystoceles may require surgery to move and keep the bladder in a more normal position. This operation may be performed by a gynecologist, a urologist, or a urogynecologist. The most common procedure for cystocele repair is for the surgeon to make an incision in the wall of the vagina and repair the area to tighten the layers of tissue that separate the organs, creating more support for the bladder. The patient may stay in the hospital for several days and take 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully."

Mom undergone treatment for large cystocele. We stayed in the hospital for 4 days and she is now recovering at home. It really pays well for us women to be SELF AWARE of the things that is going on with and within our own body. Giving respect to what our body is telling us could lead to early detection of a sickness or disease and could save our life. 

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