Treatments for pelvic organ prolapse
After a pelvic exam, your doctor may suggest a variety of treatment depending on the severity of your prolapse. The main goal of any pelvic organ prolapse treatment is to create a stronger foundation for your pelvic organs. The type of prolapse and its cause will determine which treatment is right for you.
Pelvic floor exercises
Conservative treatment involves strengthening the pelvic floor muscles by doing Kegel exercises. About 1 in 3 women do Kegels incorrectly, but there are external devices, like ELITONE, that do your Kegels for you. This is effective for the first 2 mild stages.
This vaginal device is an alternative to surgery. Pessaries are made of silicone or latex and range in shape from a ring (similar to a diaphragm) for mild prolapse to a cube for more severe cases. When inserted up into the vagina, a pessary helps support the protruding bladder, rectum, or uterus. Pessaries are fitted to the individual and require periodic removal and cleaning, either at home (mild prolapse) or in a doctor’s office (severe prolapse).
As a last resort, women undergo surgery to remedy the prolapse. The type of surgery depends on the diagnosis and can be done vaginally, laparoscopically, or abdominally.
- Hysterectomy removes the uterus so it no longer puts pressure on the vaginal wall.
- Cystocele/Rectocele repair surgically fixes the offending bladder or rectum, repositioning it and implanting a support material. Pelvic mesh surgery is a controversial topic, and the FDA banned some types of mesh.
- Closure of the vagina may be used in older patients. The vagina is sewn shut, eliminating the prolapse, as well as sexual intercourse.