A prolapsed bladder is a medical condition whereby the bladder of a woman extends into her pelvic organs.
This condition is also called cystocele, and it is associated with the ligaments of the bladder and muscles in a female vagina.
In females, the front walls of the vagina provide support and strength for the bladder. When this wall gets weakened due to age or other factors, it can give rise to a prolapsed bladder.
Known to affect about 3% of the women in America, this condition is fairly common. However, many people do not like talking or discussing it because of the embarrassment and unneeded stigma around it.
Having a prolapsed bladder is more common than many people think, however it can lead to disturbing symptoms that might make living a tad uncomfortable.
And one of the most important life habits that having a prolapsed bladder can cause difficulty with is experiencing a rejuvenating sleep.
This can inadvertently affect other stages in one’s life. In fact, it has been confirmed that poor sleep quality is prevalent in women with a prolapsed bladder.
Fortunately, there are proven ways and tips that can help someone with a prolapsed bladder enjoy a fantastic night’s rest. This article will explore such tips as well as other helpful information on prolapsed bladder.
Just make sure you get your doctor’s opinion before trying out any ideas you read here – or anywhere online – concerning your condition.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of A Prolapsed Bladder
It may be surprising, but many people that have a prolapsed bladder don’t even realize they have it. This is because the bladder and the vagina share different organs that might not be readily noticeable if they fall into each other.
There are, however, still some noticeable symptoms that can point to a prolapsed bladder. Some of them are listed below:
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvic region
- Constant feeling of discomfort in the lower abdomen and groin
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Difficulty or pains during urination
- Frequent lower back and pelvic pain
- Feeling that the bladder is not fully emptied after urination
- High susceptibility to urinary tract infections
- A feeling of fullness or heaviness in the pelvic region
Causes Of A Prolapsed Bladder
A prolapsed bladder is usually linked to getting older. Indeed, women above 50 years of age are more prone to develop the condition.
However, other conditions can also lead to it.
Menopause is a stage in which an adult female stops menstruation. During this period, the production of estrogen – a hormone that helps maintain the strength and health of the muscles in the vaginal – is reduced, making the walls and the muscles of the tissue prone to collapse.
It’s believed that 40-60% of women who give birth experience a prolapsed bladder. However, it is usually mild that they might not even be aware of it. The process of childbirth usually puts pressure on the vaginal walls, causing them to collapse into the bladder.
Lifting Heavy Objects
When lifting an object from the floor, your pelvis is the main body part at work. So, if you lift heavy objects frequently, you stand at a higher risk of getting a prolapsed bladder.
Coughing for a long period of time and straining the bowels can cause a prolapsed bladder.
Long-term constipation will likely damage the muscles of the pelvic floor as well as put pressure on your digestive organs, such as your bladder.
Prolapsed bladder can occur if there is a growing tumor in the pelvis area.
When you are involved in pelvic exercises that are not supervised by a professional, you may end up doing the wrong thing and collapsing your bladder.
This is a medical condition in which there is a decreased amount of estrogen in the body, and as a result, the walls of the bladder and vagina suffer.
Other Causes Include:
- Pelvic floor injury
- Medical conditions like spina bifida, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Connective tissues disorder
- Ethnicity and family history
How to Sleep With a Prolapsed Bladder
To properly manage a prolapsed bladder in such a way that it won’t affect your sleep, below are some tips that can help. Remember to ask for your doctor’s advice if you’d like to try some of them out.
1. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach
It is a general rule of the thumb that sleeping on your stomach is the worst possible way to sleep. This is because not only does it put pressure on your spine, but in this case, it could also make your prolapsed bladder worse.
The best position to sleep with a prolapsed bladder is believed to be on your back, preferably with pillows underneath your lower back. This sleeping position will help to raise your pelvis and reposition your bladder, thereby limiting the extra pressure on your pelvic region.
2. Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects, Especially Before Bed
One of the main causes of a prolapsed bladder is due to lifting heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects can put a strain on your pelvic region, thus causing your bladder to prolapse.
If you have a prolapsed bladder, lifting objects will worsen it, so doing that should be avoided at all cost. However, if it is important that some heavy machinery needs to be lifted, then make sure you do it some hours before bed so you don’t further cause issues to your bladder.
3. Treat Constipation
Another common cause of cystocele is high abdominal pressure. Constipation, as well as other intestinal conditions, can cause this.
So, if you know you’re prone to constipation or having difficulty defecating, taking some medicine to prevent and treat constipation and loosen your bowel movements may help.
4. Engage In Regular Exercise Before Bed
Exercises can help to strengthen and keep your muscles tight. Regularly engaging in pelvic exercises before bed could be the difference between getting a blissful night of rest or otherwise. However you must speak to a physiotherapist before trying any out.
5. Watch Your Dinner
High fat or sugary meals usually cause feelings of heaviness as well as constipation. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to avoid eating such dishes before you retire for the night.
6. Cover Yourself Well To Avoid Getting A Cough
Another seemingly innocent activity that can worsen a prolapsed bladder is consistent coughing.
Coughing puts intense pressure on your abdomen, which in turn pressurizes your pelvis. In addition, leaving your body exposed during the night will put you at a higher risk of getting a cold, which you definitely do not want.
You may also want to avoid activities like smoking that might worsen it or instigate coughing.
7. Take Warm Baths If You Can
While hot baths feel better, warm baths are actually better because they help to relieve tension in your muscles without raising your core temperature or making you feel uncomfortable.
Treatment and Management of Cystocele: Some Extra Tips
The kind of treatment you get depends on how severe your cystocele is and whether you have other medical conditions. Only your doctor will be able to tell you what stage you are at.
The first stage of cystocele (mild stage) may not need any treatment other than to avoid carrying heavy-weight objects or straining that could make the problem even worse.
However, the more advanced stages may require more in-depth treatment and management. Regardless of the severity of your condition, below are some tips that may help to manage it properly – just make sure you consult your doctor before trying any out.
1. Engage In Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic region.
These exercises are usually done by pretending you want to urinate. Tighten your pelvic floor muscle, hold it for around 5 seconds, relax, take a 5 second break and try again.
Kegel exercises have been known to relieve symptoms of a prolapsed bladder. While they may not decrease the size of the cystocele, they may help to tighten your muscles and provide a reprieve from the symptoms.
To perform kegel exercises, do the following:
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles, i.e. the muscles you use to hold urine.
- Hold on to the contraction for about two seconds and then five seconds.
- Relax the muscles and count to 5, then repeat the process.
- Do it 8-10 times in the morning, afternoon and night.
Make sure you consult your doctor or physiotherapist before trying them out for the first time.
2. Use A Pessary
If the condition is modest, your doctor may recommend placing a pessary in the vagina to hold the bladder in place.
The pessary can not fix the cystocele or cure it, but it can help you hold your bladder in place and make you more comfortable with fewer symptoms.
Pessaries come in various sizes and shapes to ensure a proper fit, so you must talk to your medical advisor about finding the best fit for you. They will also show you how to clean and reinsert it without having to go to hospital each time.
3. Estrogen Replacement Therapy
Estrogen is one of the primary women’s hormones, and it plays several roles, especially in the sexual and pelvic organs.
This method is a proven and effective way to manage a prolapsed bladder. This is because estrogen helps to maintain and strengthen muscles in the vagina.
Fortunately, there are varieties of options available. You can use tablets, creams, vaginal rings, gel or sprays. Just speak to your doctor about the options.
4. Colporrhaphy Surgery
This is usually the last option available for those with a severe case of cystocele.
It is a method used to repair the collapsed wall of the vagina and is something a doctor may recommend in severe cases.
5. Control Your Cough
Chronic coughs or bronchitis can cause and worsen cystocele, so they should be treated immediately.
6. Activities That Can Put Pressure On The Pelvis Should Be Avoided
Activities that can put pressure on the abdomen or pelvis should be avoided as they can worsen the condition.
7. Watch Your Weight
People who are obese stand a higher risk of getting a prolapsed bladder. Therefore, if your weight is above average, talk or discuss with experts about how to control your weight and also get advice on weight loss strategies.
How to Sleep With a Prolapsed Bladder: Our Final Thoughts
Having a prolapsed bladder can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. However, with management and treatment, it is possible to find more comfortable ways to sleep with a prolapsed bladder. As always, consult your doctor if you wish to try out any of the tips above.