Joanne Has Been Diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse; What Happens Now? “
There are a variety of prolapsed uterine treatment options for women who are suffering from pelvic organ prolapse. The type of treatment selected usually depends on the severity of the prolapse, and any existing health problems. A single therapy or a combination of therapies may be used for best outcomes. Treatments include medications, such as topical estrogen in women who are menopausal, a pessary, physical therapy or prolapse surgery.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse – Medications by WebMD
“Although taking or applying the hormone estrogen will not cure an existing pelvic organ prolapse, it is sometimes prescribed for women during menopause to preserve or strengthen the tissues of the pelvis, which may help prevent prolapse.”
You can more information about medications here: http://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/tc/pelvic-organ-prolapse-medications
Estrogen can be applied to the vagina and vulva through a cream or a suppository. Research demonstrates that estrogen helps women maintain vaginal moistness, reduces irritation, decreases urinary urgency and makes vaginal tissues thicker and softer. A small amount of estrogen will be absorbed into the bloodstream, so it’s important to discuss possible risks with the physician.
What is a Pessary?
“A pessary is a rubber device that fits into your vagina to help support your uterus (womb), vagina, bladder, or rectum.”
Read more about pessaries here: http://www.yaleobgyn.org/urogyn/information/proc/pessary.aspx
A pessary for prolapse looks very similar to the diaphragm used for birth control. It supports the structures of the pelvis and helps keep the bladder, rectum and uterus in place. There are a variety of designs, and the urogynecologic team helps each woman find one that fits well, is comfortable and relieves symptoms. A pessary for cystocele, pessary for rectocele and pessary for uterine prolpase are all available, and a single pessary can work for all three conditions. Training is provided in the doctor’s office on how to insert, remove and clean a pessary.
“Physical therapy may include pelvic floor exercises using biofeedback to strengthen specific muscles of the pelvic floor.”
Read more about physical therapy options here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/pelvic-organ-prolapse/treatment.html
Kegel exercises are and excellent way to help the vagina maintain strength and tone. The muscles of the vagina keep the bladder and rectum in place, and support the uterus. The Mayo Clinic provides a great step by step guide for kegel exercises here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises/WO00119
Used in conjunction with Kegel exercises, biofeedback helps a woman track her progress. A measuring device is placed in the vagina. This device then provides a visual representation of how well a woman is able to contract her muscles and gain strength.
Surgical Treatment Options
“Surgery to repair POP can be done through either the vagina or abdomen, using stitches (sutures) alone or with the addition of surgical mesh.”
Read about a variety of surgical options here.
If prolapse repair surgery is necessary, the approach depends on the type and stage of a prolapse, risk factors and desired outcomes of the patients. As with all treatments there are risks and benefits associated with surgery that should be discussed with your physician.
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