How is Prolapse Diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose Pelvic Organ Prolapse and its severity during a routine pelvic exam.
There are different treatment options available and your doctor will be able to help you find the best solution for you. Treatment will depend upon the type and cause of your prolapse as well as your plans for the future. There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse. In general, non-surgical treatments work best in mild cases. Surgery can provide long-term symptom relief but is not suitable for everyone. You should discuss all treatment options with your doctor.
Kegel Exercises – Pelvic floor muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises, can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This may be the only treatment needed in mild cases of prolapse. For Kegel exercises to be effective, they need to be done daily.
Vaginal Pessary – A pessary is usually a silicone device placed in the vagina to support the pelvic floor and maintain support for the prolapsed organ. A healthcare provider will fit and insert the pessary, which must be cleaned frequently and removed before sexual intercourse.
Estrogen Replacement Therapy – Taking estrogen may help to limit further weakness of the muscles and other connective tissues that support the uterus, bladder or rectum. Estrogen has some considerable risks for some people. Check with your doctor to see if you are an appropriate candidate for estrogen replacement therapy.
Most surgical options are minimally invasive procedures. Depending on the type of repair needed, your doctor can perform the pelvic floor repair surgery abdominally or through the vagina, leaving no abdominal scarring, to repair the pelvic floor. Surgery is performed at a hospital under general anesthesia. A small piece of graft material can be used to augment the repair and is placed on the bulge and sutured in place restoring the pelvic floor to its natural state.
One surgical graft option involves natural biological grafts of donated human tissue which is thoroughly processed, cleaned, and preserved to create a biologically compatible “blank slate” for your body to use in repairing its pelvic floor or stabilizing the urethra. The implanted graft provides strength as a scaffold with a recognized structure, and works in conjunction with your body’s natural regenerative healing process. Your body incorporates its own tissue into the graft to help correct the prolapse, restore continence and improve quality of life.
A second surgical graft option is synthetic grafts or mesh grafts made of biologically inert polypropelene. These mesh grafts are no longer as dense as the mesh used for hernia repairs, but created specifically for pelvic floor repairs and are composed of a very thin, soft, lightweight mesh for low or no palpability. This lightweight mesh graft then incorporates within your body’s own natural tissue, providing the permanent structure to help correct the prolapse, restore continence and improve quality of life.
Each of these natural or synthetic options provide an alternative to the use of the patient’s own tissue for pelvic support. In some cases, a physician is able to perform these surgeries without using a graft. These native tissue repairs require healthy enough surrounding tissue or they may involve a second surgical site.
Each of these options has benefits and risks. Your body and lifestyle will impact your Pelvic Health ID. Discuss which surgical and/or graft option is right for you with your physician.