The vagina and other female pelvic organs -- uterus, rectum, small bowel and bladder -- are held in place by muscles, ligaments and tissues. When they become weak or break, one or more of these organs can prolapse, or drop from their normal positions, explained Amie Kawasaki, MD, a Duke urogynecologist. Without treatment, the prolapsed organs can eventually push the vaginal walls out through the vaginal opening.
“It felt like I had a tampon coming out all the time,” said 65-year-old Dedrick. “It wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable and a nuisance. The vaginal wall would fall down and I’d have to keep pushing it back in. It was definitely a quality of life issue.”
After consulting with her primary care doctor, Dedrick went to see Dr. Kawasaki, one of five board-certified urogynecologists at Duke who specialize in pelvic organ prolapse and other pelvic floor disorders.