Non-Surgical Treatments for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
For women living with prolpase, the discomfort and pain can be limiting. Fortunately, the pelvic health experts at Chesapeake Urology have a number of first line therapies that do not include surgery which have helped restore quality of life for many women.
The muscles of the pelvic floor are vital to keeping your pelvic organs in place. When women experience pelvic floor muscle weakness, prolapse and urinary incontinence often become an issue.
Chesapeake Urology's physical therapists will teach you how to perform pelvic floor exercises that will help tighten these important muscles. These exercises are often used to treat mild cases of prolapse or in conjunction with other prolapse treatment modalities.
Your physical therapist may use biofeedback, where monitoring devices with sensors can show on a computer screen whether you are using the correct muscles to perform a pelvic floor muscle exercise. The physical therapist will also be able to see the strength of each muscle contraction as your perform the exercise to ensure you are performing the exercises properly.
A vaginal pessary is a small device that is placed inside of the vagina to support the vagina and reinforce the pelvic floor muscles and surrounding pelvic organs. The pessary is a safe, minimally-invasive option for women and typically will relieve most, if not all, symptoms of prolapse.
Chesapeake Urology’s pessary specialists work with women to create custom fit pessaries for optimal comfort and effectiveness. During your initial visit, our pessary specialist will fit you for a pessary.
You will then return to your doctor’s office in two weeks for a follow-up appointment to assess how well the pessary has worked for you, and whether you have experienced any side effects such as expulsion or discomfort. At this follow-up visit, the pessary will be removed and cleaned and the vagina examined. Your doctor may also prescribe a low-dose estrogen cream to use with the pessary to treat any associated vaginal dryness. Patients who choose to continue treatment with the pessary will be scheduled for follow-up visits about every six to 12 months.
Medical Therapy for Prolapse
For certain women, your doctor may prescribe estrogen replacement therapy using a transvaginal estrogen cream to help strengthen the muscles and tissues in and around the vagina. Women naturally stop producing estrogen after menopause so estrogen replacement may provide relief. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of this treatment and, based on your medical history and health, will determine if this option is right for you.
Learn more about surgical treatment options for prolapse here.