The field of Urogynecology (a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology) is dedicated to the treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders such as urinary or fecal incontinence and prolapse (bulging or falling) of the vaginal walls, bladder and/or the uterus.
Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) is a very common condition affecting at least 10-20% of women under age 65 and more than half of all women over the age of 65.
Prolapse simply means displacement from the normal position. When this word is used to describe the female organs, it usually means bulging, sagging or falling. It can occur quickly, but usually happens over the course of many years. At least one out of ten women will be operated for lprolapse at least once in her lifetime on average.
Prolapse and incontinence frequently occur together. Both conditions are believed to result from damage to the pelvic floor during pregnancy and after delivering a baby. Other possible factors in the development of prolapse and incontinence are age, very heavy lifting on a daily basis, lungdisease (asthma, chronic coughing), severe constipation and obesity.