Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment
Pelvic organ prolapse is a very common urogynecological condition affecting approximately 30% of women. Many women who have prolapse are symptomatic with feelings of pressure, which may progressively worsen towards the end of the day. Women may feel or see a vaginal bulge and in advanced stages of pelvic organ prolapse, you may have difficulty emptying your bladder or bowels completely.
Prolapse, in the vast majority of cases, is non-life threatening and for many women observation is a treatment option. However, symptoms can progress to the point where they interfere with daily life. If your quality of life is affected and intervention is desired, there are many non-surgical and or surgical options that can be discussed.
Pessary is a non-surgical treatment option that can be used on a short-term or long-term basis. Pessaries are made of silicone, which make them soft and flexible. If properly fitted, a pessary can be felt, but should not cause pain. It is similar to a “brace for the vagina”, meaning that while in place the symptoms of prolapse are resolved, but once removed the symptoms will return.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy can not correct the defect in the pelvic floor connective tissue that causes prolapse, but strengthening the muscles that support the pelvic floor can improve symptoms.
Surgical options for prolapse correction are tailored to each individual patient based on health, lifestyle, and life goals. There are two general styles of surgery, which are described as restorative or obliterative. If you desire sexual activity in the future, then restoring the anatomy or “lifting” the prolapse is an option. If you are no longer sexually active and do not desire to be sexually active in the future, then an obliterative procedure may be an approach that you are interested in.