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Overview of Pelvic Relaxation Syndromes

By S. Gene McNeeley, MD

Pelvic relaxation syndromes result from laxities (similar to hernias) in the ligaments, fascia, and muscles supporting the pelvic organs (pelvic floor—see Figure: Pelvic relaxation syndromes.). About 9% of women require surgical repair for a pelvic relaxation syndrome.

Common contributing factors include childbirth (particularly vaginal delivery), obesity, aging, injury (eg, due to pelvic surgery), and chronic straining. Less common factors include congenital malformations, increased abdominal pressure (eg, due to ascites, abdominal tumors, or chronic respiratory disorders), sacral nerve disorders, and connective tissue disorders.

Pelvic relaxation syndromes involve various sites of prolapse and include cystocele, urethrocele, enterocele, rectocele, and uterine and vaginal prolapse. Usually, prolapse occurs in multiple sites.

Pelvic relaxation syndromes.

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