If you have mild uterine prolapse, either without symptoms or with symptoms that don't bother you, you probably don't need treatment. However, your pelvic floor may continue to lose tone, making uterine prolapse more severe as time goes on. Check back with your doctor to monitor the extent of your prolapse and review your symptoms.
Simple self-care measures, such as performing exercises called Kegels to strengthen your pelvic muscles, may provide symptom relief. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding heavy lifting may help reduce pressure on supportive pelvic structures.
For advanced cases of uterine prolapse, treatment options include:
Vaginal pessary. This device fits inside your vagina and holds your uterus in place. Used as temporary or permanent treatment, vaginal pessaries come in many shapes and sizes. Your doctor measures and fits you for the proper device. You'll learn how to insert, remove and clean the pessary. You may be able to take the pessary out overnight and reinsert it each day; other pessaries can be left in place for longer periods of time.
But a vaginal pessary may be of little use if you have severe uterine prolapse. A pessary also can irritate vaginal tissues, possibly to the point of causing sores (ulcers) on vaginal tissues, and it may interfere with sexual intercourse.
Surgery. To repair damaged or weakened pelvic floor tissues, your surgeon may perform the procedure through your vagina, although sometimes an abdominal surgery is needed. Surgical repair of your prolapse may involve grafting your own tissue, donor tissue or some synthetic material onto weakened pelvic floor structures to support your pelvic organs. Your surgeon may recommend a hysterectomy, which removes your uterus.
In some cases, minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery is a possibility. This procedure involves smaller abdominal incisions, special surgical instruments and a lighted camera-type device (laparoscope) to guide the surgeon.
Which surgery and surgical approach your doctor recommends depends on your individual needs and circumstances. Each procedure has pros and cons that you'll need to discuss with your surgeon.
If you plan future pregnancies, you might not be a good candidate for surgery to repair uterine prolapse. Pregnancy and delivery of a baby put strain on the supportive tissues of the uterus and can undo the benefits of surgical repair. Also, for women with major medical problems, the risks of surgery might outweigh the benefits. In these instances, pessary use may be your best treatment choice for bothersome symptoms.
Talk with your doctor to learn your options, including the benefits and risks.
Oct. 07, 2014
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