What's up doc - gynaecology

‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.

Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.

This question appeared in The Crawley Observer to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.

Read the response by Mr Matthew Long, consultant gynaecologist surgeon:

Hi, I recently been experiencing a sensation like a bulge coming out of my vagina, it’s a really strange feeling and is causing me discomfort. Please can you help, what is this? How can it be helped?

Thank you for your question and most women who first notice your type of problem are understandably alarmed.  However, usually this type of problem is not due to any serious health problem. 

Without knowing your age or if you have had children, the most likely cause of feeling a bulge in the vagina is a condition called prolapse.  This is where the supports of the vaginal walls have become lax so that the vaginal skin can move down towards the entrance to the vagina.  In some women the uterus (womb) can also move downward creating similar symptoms.  A number of women find that they also experience a dragging sensation in the pelvic area or some backache.  Urinary and bowel symptoms can occur with prolapse but are variable and depend on which part of the vagina is involved in the prolapse.

Prolapse is usually treated with pelvic floor exercises and physiotherapy.  This usually alleviates most symptoms from a mild to moderate prolapse.  However, when a prolapse is large or still causing problems despite pelvic floor exercises then there are several types of vaginal prolapse repair operations that can be considered.

Other conditions causing a feeling of a lump in the vagina are cysts or polyps (a type of vaginal skin tag), which are also benign conditions.  These are usually treated with a minor procedure.

I hope this is of help but it would be worth seeing a healthcare professional to assess your problem further.

Do you need an appointment?

 Mr Matthew Long, consultant gynaecologist 
 offers appointments at Spire Gatwick
 Park on Thursday. To book an appointment call 
 01293 778 906 or email  info@spiregatwick.com.

 Find out more about our gynaecology services at Spire
 Gatwick Park Hospital.

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