It has been an excruciating experience for a 35-year-old mother of 10, Hawau who is battling with uterine prolapse, described as descent of the uterus from its normal position into the vagina and outside the body. Hawau from Gidima village revealed that she notices a bulge and a dragging sensation in her private part which causes pain and unease.
“The reddish protrusion comes out of my vagina three -four times in a week. I experience severe abdominal pain anytime I meet my my husband,” she lamented.
Hawau who lives in a hard- to- reach area of the state, told Daily Trust correspondent who was at the village that she had been suffering in silence and eager to be cured.
She disclosed: “A medical personnel prescribed some drugs for me which only eases the nagging pain temporarily.”
Symptoms of the condition include heavy feeling and discomfort in the pelvis, backache, vaginal bleeding and leakage of urine when coughing or sneezing.
With a mass that comes out in between legs and other indications, affected women say their quality of life is tremendously reduced.
However, despite this, many women with the gynaecological condition feel shy to seek medical attention.
Dr Mairo Hassan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Usmanu Danfodiyo Unversity Sokoto described prolapse as herniation of an organ from its normal position.
“Uterine prolapse is the descend of the uterus from its normal position to a position lower down into the vagina and outside, sometimes as the uterus prolapse, the bladder may also prolapse. There is prolapse of the front of the vagina and prolapse of uterus and rectum which is at the back,” she explained.
She added that it is usually caused by damage to the support of these organs-the uterus, bladder or rectum.
Causes of uterine prolapse, the surgeon said, include frequent childbirth, diabetes mellitus, prolonged labour, trauma and lack of oestrogen seen in elderly women and that sometimes it may be congenital.
She identified risk factor to include obesity, tumour pushing the uterus down, chronic coughing and constipation.
Dr Mairo noted: “The patient will complain of feeling of something coming out of her vagina, by the time we examine her, we will know whether it is first degree, second degree or third degree, depending on the severity and whether there is any associated prolapse of the anterior vagina wall or the posterior vagina wall, depending on what is prolapsing.”
She stressed that prevention is usually by way of having delivery in the hospital with a skilled birth attendant.
“In the hospital, labour is monitored, we know when you start the labour and when you should have delivered but at home she would pass several hours in labour.”
The consultant also recommended pelvic exercise to reduce the risk of prolapse. “It is very good that every woman, that delivers should do pelvic floor exercise so that the muscles and structures would be stronger by the next birth.”
Treatment included treating the primary cause, she asserted, adding for example that diabetes mellitus should be properly controlled if the woman has it.
She said: “Because the uterus has prolapsed outside, it becomes dry and the place that is dry would peel off and you have an ulcer, it cannot even be repaired without treating the ulcer, normally we pushed it back and apply the soothing cream until the ulcer heals, then we do the repair.”
She said damaged uterus or bladder can be repaired through surgery.
Dr Mairo advised people with any medical problem to always to seek remedy in hospital. “Because the injury is in the vagina, some women especially elderly will keep quiet, they will not complain and continue having it for a long time because they are shy. Some think it is part of aging process, of course it may come with aging, but it can be repaired, people should not feel shy to go to the hospital.
Symptoms of uterine prolapse
-Heavy feeling and discomfort in the pelvis
-Leakage of urine during coughing, sneezing.
-Tissue protruding from private part
-Trouble having a bowel movement
-Feeling as if you’re sitting on a small ball or as if something is falling out of you