Are you suffering from some form of pelvic floor prolapse? Pelvic floor prolapse is a common condition, especially for women who have had difficult vaginal deliveries, women who have had hysterectomies, and women going through menopause or struggling with obesity. While some women may have pelvic floor prolapse and may never even notice the symptoms, others may struggle with uncomfortable and even embarrassing symptoms on a regular basis. The good news is that you have options available. Here are four treatment options for you if you're suffering from pelvic floor prolapse:
Physical therapy. One of the biggest causes of pelvic floor prolapse is having weakened pelvic floor muscles. If your pelvic floor isn't strong enough, it may not be able to support your bladder, rectum, or bowels. Weakened pelvic muscles can be caused by a difficult vaginal delivery or even an inactive lifestyle. Physical therapy can help you rebuild the strength in your pelvic floor so it can support your internal organs.
One effective form of physical therapy is that which uses biofeedback. The therapist places a monitoring device in your vagina and then instructs you on how to perform a variety of vaginal exercises, called Kegels. The device will then display which muscles are being activated. That will help you learn how to perform the exercises and which muscles you need to work out on a regular basis. If you stick with the exercises, your pelvic floor should develop more strength.
Pessary. A pessary is a removable device that a doctor inserts into your vagina to provide your pelvic floor with added support. The doctor will also instruct you on how to remove it, clean it, and then reinsert it yourself, as the device will need to be cleaned regularly. A pessary can be an effective option because it provides support without requiring invasive surgery. While it may feel slightly uncomfortable at first, many women use pessaries and become accustomed to the feel.
One side effect is that you may need to remove the pessary before having sexual intercourse. Also, if you use a diaphragm for birth control, that could also be an issue, as most pessaries can't be used along with a diaphragm. Talk to your doctor about other birth control methods.
Surgery. If your prolapse is so severe that therapy and a pessary don't work, your doctor may recommend surgery. These surgeries are often done using robots or laparoscopic instruments, which limits scarring and reduces your hospital stay. However, you may be uncomfortable for some time after the surgery, especially during intercourse. You may also need to still go through therapy and use a pessary as you recover.
For more information, contact Women's Health Associate - Gilbert A Shamas MD or a similar medical professional.