Women are often frustrated by the multiple ways pelvic organ prolapse impacts their lives and are confused by symptoms they don't understand. Pain with intimacy, incontinence, rectal and vaginal pressure, loss of sexual sensation, as well as other symptoms, cause significant problems with intimate relationships. While women suffer in silence with little understanding of what is happening to their bodies, men often experience isolation. POP is extremely difficult and embarrassing for many women to discuss openly with their partners; this page may help initiate a dialogue about how pelvic organ prolapse impacts your personal relationship. A little bit of information can assist couples through frustrating misunderstood circumstances.

Any of the concerns below should be openly discussed when possible between intimate partners. Conversations of this nature are often difficult to initiate; timing, privacy, location, and atmosphere are important. Never initiate a conversation if you think you may be disturbed by other people. If one partner is having a bad day, hold off initiating the conversation until another time. Supportive tone and words are necessary to have a comfortable conversation.

1. Women with pelvic organ prolapse often experience incontinence (can be either urinary or fecal) and concerns about leakage during an act of intimacy may prevent them from engaging in sexual activity for fear of an embarrassing incident. Open dialogue about this may take the edge off an occurance and enable couples to be more freely intimate.

2. Many women experience pain with intimacy; it is important to respect that a woman revealing it's painful to be intimate is telling the truth, not trying to avoid sex in general. Often alternate techniques will enable a couple to experience intimacy. Experimenting together can reunite a couple by enabling them to explore something new and exciting. Intimacy does not always have to mean intercourse.

3. As the day progresses, gravity has a significant impact on the degree of pain and/or discomfort a women experiences. POP symptoms will get worse as the day goes on, especially for women stand on the job. Consider experimenting with intimacy in the early part of the day.

4. Lack of sexual sensation can occur with POP; it is valuable for men to recognize that intimacy is frequently desired by women as a way to feel close or connected to her man rather than for the physical sensations experienced. Take the time to make the woman you are intimate with feel loved and special-you'll be surprised at the reaction you get. Yes, most women do want to be held.

5. Always remember that POP is a physical condition but it impacts women's lives physically, emotionally, socially, and sexually. If a woman says "not tonight honey", she may have back pain, vaginal or rectal pain or pressure, worries about leaking during the act of intimacy, discomfort from being constipated and bloated for weeks on end, or feel like her insides are falling out. Ask what you can do to make her day easier, you may be surprised at how a little help can go a long way toward soothing intimacy conflicts.