Diagnosis & Treatment Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Don’t be discouraged by your condition. Half of all women between the ages of 50 and 79 say they have prolapse symptoms.1 There are different options you can consider to treat pelvic organ prolapse. It is best to consult a physician that specializes in pelvic floor treatments as they will be the one to guide you through your treatment options and help you decide what the best treatment option is for you. Your treatment will depend on the type of prolapse you have as well as your future plans, which may include pregnancy.
How is Pelvic Organ Prolapse Diagnosed?
Prolapse is a very common problem affecting millions of women.2 However, many women believe that their condition is a normal part of aging. Others are unaware of this condition and its treatment options. With the treatment options available today, women no longer have to live with this uncomfortable condition.
After discussing your medical history and symptoms with your physician, they should perform a pelvic exam, using a speculum, to confirm a diagnosis. You may need additional tests to determine the type of prolapse, the cause and the best treatment options for your condition.
Additional exams that might be necessary to assess the symptoms or severity of prolapse include:
- Pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic exam that allows your physician to view the organs and structures within your pelvis.
- A pelvic MRI provides images of the pelvic area to allow closer examination of your pelvic organs and structures.
- Urodynamic study or testing focuses on how the bladder, sphincters and urethra work together to store and release urine.
- Cystoscopy involves your physician using a cystoscope (rigid or flexible) to visually examine your bladder and urethra.
- Defecography is a radiologic study to look at bowel function and any prolapse symptoms that may be present.
What are the Treatment Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
It is important to understand your body and learn about all your treatment options, both non-surgical and surgical, to help find a solution that is right for you. Seek out a specialist who specializes in pelvic floor treatments and discuss your options to ﬁnd the best solution for you.
Non-surgical Management Options
Prolapse may be managed with vaginal pessaries, Kegel exercises, biofeedback, and lifestyle changes. These options may involve long-term treatment, on-going maintenance, and continued expenses, and they may not address your underlying condition.
Vaginal Pessary is a device that’s placed in the vagina to support the pelvic floor and support the prolapsed organ. Your physician will fit and insert the pessary, which must be cleaned frequently and may have to be removed before intercourse.
Kegels are exercises that you can do on your own to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Biofeedback Therapy involves learning how to notice and working to control your body’s functions. While a monitoring device is placed by your physician, you will be asked to use your pubococcygeus muscle to see how much strength you need to contract your pelvic floor muscles correctly.
Surgical Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Surgical repair can be done through the vagina or through the abdomen.
- Anterior or posterior colporrhaphy in which the wall of the vagina is strengthened with sutures so that it once again supports the pelvic organs.
- Vaginally placed biologic tissue is done through an incision in the vagina.
- Sacrocolpopexy and sacrohysteropexy are done through the abdomen to repair vaginal vault prolapse and uterine prolapse with surgical mesh.
Reconstructive surgery of the pelvic floor is performed with the goal of restoring the organs to their original position.
If you are considering surgery with the use of surgical mesh to repair your POP, ask your surgeon these questions before you agree to the procedure:
- Are you planning to use mesh in my surgery?
- Why do you think I am a good candidate for a prolapse repair procedure with mesh?
- Why is surgical mesh being chosen for my prolapse repair procedure?
- What are the pros and cons of using mesh in my particular case?
- Will my partner be able to feel the mesh during intercourse?
- Could my prolapse be repaired successfully without using surgical mesh?
Get More Facts About the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Repair Procedure Here.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Can pelvic organ prolapse be treated?
Yes, pelvic organ prolapse can be treated. There are many different treatment options available for pelvic organ prolapse. It is important to discuss your individual situation with a pelvic floor specialist who will discuss what options may be appropriate for your specific situation.
What are the treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse?
There are many different treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse that include both non-surgical and surgical treatments. Non-surgical treatment options include lifestyle and behavior changes, physical therapy or the use of a vaginal device (pessary). Depending on the severity of your pelvic organ prolapse symptoms and general health, it may be recommended to consider surgery. There are different types of pelvic organ prolapse surgeries, so it is important to discuss your options with your physician in detail to ensure that you find a treatment option that is right for you.
What is a prolapse repair procedure?
Pelvic repair surgeries aim to correct a prolapse by returning the “dropped” organ to its normal position and restoring your pelvic floor support. The procedure can either be performed through small incisions in the vagina or abdomen. While the thought of any surgery is scary, you are not alone. Get the facts about pelvic organ prolapse repair procedure here.
How long does it take to recover from a prolapse procedure?
Every patient’s recovery time is different. It is generally recommended that physical strain, sexual intercourse, and heavy lifting should be avoided for six weeks after surgery, but the patient may resume other normal activities after two weeks or at the surgeon’s discretion. Your doctor will provide specific details about your individual recovery process.
What are the risks associated with a prolapse procedure?
Every surgery carries some level of risk. Mesh reinforced prolapse repair may not be suitable for every patient, and a thorough discussion between you and your doctor will enable both of you to determine if this treatment is right for you. Ask your doctor for more information about potential risks and complications, as well as your specific surgery and situation.
How do I select the right physician to treat my prolapse?
Finding the right physician to treat your prolapse is a very important step in seeking treatment. Several types of specialists may treat prolapse; however, there are physicians within each specialty who specialize in certain conditions and treatment options. Taking time to do your research can make all the difference in the care you receive.
Will my insurance cover the prolapse procedure?
Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover these procedures. Consult your insurance carrier to find out the specific criteria for coverage. The reimbursement specialist at your physician’s office may also be able to help you get answers.
1) https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginal-prolapse#1 Downloaded 10.17.
2) http://www.pelvicorganprolapsesupport.org/pelvic-organ-prolapse-help-andhope/ Downloaded 10.17.