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Have You Heard of POP? Health Info ALL Women Should Know
I recently had a conversation about POP awareness (or rather lack of); this is a topic that tends to put a burr under my belt. I so want recognition of pelvic organ prolapse to go broad spectrum and of course like most health advocates, I want it yesterday. I guess the daily conversations I have with women reinforce my desire for this information to get out there.
Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscle can no longer support the organs in the pelvic cavity (bladder, urethra, uterus, colon, and intestines) due to weakness or injury. Millions of women around the world suffer from one or more types of POP; millions of women suffer in silence with symptoms they don’t recognize or are too embarrassed to reveal to others.
The conversation was one I’ve had many times; the individual I was connecting with felt that pelvic organ prolapse is common knowledge and support is widely available for women with this health issue. I disagree. Here’s my take on it for whatever it’s worth.
Despite on-going studies for many different aspects of POP (at the time this article was written, clinicaltrials.gov indicated 71 studies active or recently completed),
Despite several online support groups currently active,
Despite government acknowledgement of POP as a health condition that needs to be addressed,
The majority of women are still not aware POP exists.
We women are simply not talking about it. The stigma that hangs over our heads is related to the facets of POP that we are too embarrassing to reveal; the fecal incontinence, the urinary incontinence, the sexual dysfunction. Aspects of POP that we simply can’t bring ourselves to disclose. Aspects of POP that make us feel ashamed. Aspects of POP that we should be routinely asked about post child bearing but are not. Aspects of POP that should be routinely checked in menopausal women.
It is up to us as women to bring this topic to center court; when individual women are diagnosed and then treated for POP, they do women as a whole a great disservice by not revealing this health condition to friends, daughters, sisters. Sharing what we learn one person at a time will take pelvic organ prolapse out of the closet. I have no doubt that some women are not comfortable revealing aspects of POP that are embarrassing and the personal choice truly needs to be respected. Personally I will reveal any gory detail that I am asked about; if it assists one woman in her search for health, it is worth it. I feel we are all in this together; a gender united.
NO ONE CAN HELP US AS MUCH AS WE CAN HELP OURSELVES