The thought of undergoing surgery can be scary, with many questions and concerns.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with a Pelvic Organ Prolapse, you might be wondering about different treatment options. What’s available to help relieve your symptoms of prolapse? Can prolapse be cured? And how to fix a prolapse without surgery?
Let’s explore different ways to manage prolapse without resorting to surgery.
Different Kinds of Prolapse
When evaluating prolapse treatment options, it’s important to understand that there are different kinds of prolapse, depending on the pelvic organ or organs impacted. There are also different levels of severity when it comes to prolapse.
The basic definition of prolapse is that the muscles and ligaments that support a woman’s pelvic organs have weakened to the point that one or more organs drop lower in the pelvis. This can create a bulge in the vagina, called prolapse, but it can also be worse.1
Here are the types of prolapse:
- Anterior vaginal prolapse, also known as a cystocele or a prolapsed bladder, is when the bladder drops from its usual position in the pelvis and pushes on the wall of the vagina.2
- Uterine prolapse is when the uterus slips down into or protrudes out of the vagina.3
- Vaginal prolapse is when the top of the vagina, known as the vaginal vault, sags and falls into the vaginal canal, or in severe cases, protrudes outside of the body.4
- Bowel prolapse is when your small intestine or small bowel descends into the lower pelvic cavity.
- Posterior vaginal prolapse, rectocele or rectal prolapse is when the tissue between the rectum and the vagina weakens or tears and the rectum pushes into the vaginal wall.
How to FIx a Prolapse Without Surgery
Since there are different kinds of prolapse and some cases can be more severe than others, the treatment options also vary. How you deal with prolapse may also depend on other factors, such as whether you intend to get pregnant and have children, your age, and any other health conditions.
Here are some options how to fix a prolapse without surgery:
1. Pelvic floor muscle training: Combining exercises to stabilize and strengthen your core and those that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, also known as Kegel exercises, can be effective for mild prolapse.
You can also work with a therapist on a number of treatments known as pelvic health physical therapy, combined with possible lifestyle and behavioral changes, such as bladder training for incontinence issues. This type of therapy is usually not successful for moderate and advanced prolapse.5
2. A vaginal pessary: This is the main alternative to surgery for prolapse. A vaginal pessary is a small silicon device, usually round in shape, that is placed in the vagina and supports the pelvic organs, including the vagina, uterus, bladder and rectum. A pessary can be used as a short or long term treatment option for prolapse.5
Pessary therapy requires an appointment with your health care provider for fitting, as well as learning how to manage the pessary. Pessaries are a good option for women who do not want surgery or have medical conditions making surgery risky. They can be used for as long as you want.6
It’s important to discuss these options with your doctor, since each woman’s prolapse is different.
See a Doctor
The first step is to seek diagnosis from a women’s health care specialist, who can discuss your treatment options for prolapse, including those that don’t involve surgery. Then, it’s important to follow up with your doctor as time goes on, so you can monitor your symptoms, the severity of the prolapse, 6 and whether the treatment you’ve chosen is effective.
Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health to help with your treatment plan for prolapse.