Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Gregory J. Bailey MD, FACOG, FPMRS
6440 W Newberry Rd, Suite 409
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 333-6161

 

 


After being diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse of any type, a woman generally has three options:

  • No treatment – watch how things go
  • Wear a pessary for support
  • Surgery to correct the prolapse

Prolapse generally does not have to be treated if it is not causing bothersome symptoms. The goals of treatment should include improvement of your quality of life. So if the prolapse is not causing discomfort or interfering with the things that a woman enjoys doing, it may not require treatment. One exception to this rule occurs with severe prolapse, which can block the flow of urine and cause recurrent urinary tract infections or even kidney damage. This is an infrequent situation which can be checked for at the time of a physical exam. Since the symptoms associated with prolapse often progress very gradually, the adaptive changes in physical or social activities may go unnoticed until they are extreme.

The decision to seek treatment for prolapse is often based on how bothersome the symptoms are from the prolapse. Symptoms that may lead a woman to seek treatment include:

  • Discomfort (usually pressure, fullness, or pain)
  • Bleeding from the exposed skin that rubs on pads or underwear
  • Urinary symptoms of leakage, difficulty starting the stream of urine, frequent urinary tract infections
  • Difficult bowel movements – the need to strain or push on the vagina to have a bowel movement

Work with your physician or urogynecologist to develop the most appropriate treatment plan that takes into consideration your overall health, lifestyle and personal goals. A Urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to relieve symptoms of prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, or other pelvic floor disorder symptoms. He or she may advise conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your preference, the severity of your symptoms and your general health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic exercises, behavioral and/or dietary modifications and vaginal support devices (also called pessaries). Biofeedback and Electric Stimulation [hyperlink to glossary] are two newer treatment modalities that your Urogynecologist may recommend. Safe and effective surgical procedures for correction of incontinence and prolapse are also available.

Sources
American Urogynecologic Society
Original publication date: May 2008

Women's Pelvic Health, 6440 W Newberry Rd, Suite 409, Gainesville FL, 32605 (352) 333-6161