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Uterine Prolapse

Treating Uterine Prolapse

The treatment options for uterine prolapse depend on how far the condition has progressed. In Stage I, a minimal prolapse, women may not develop any bothersome symptoms and require no treatment. Some women with a more advanced condition prefer observation to other treatments, but should be examined regularly.

Conservative treatments for uterine prolapse include lifestyle changes and the use of medical devices. Weight loss programs are recommended for obese women. Activities that involve heavy lifting should be reduced or stopped. Stopping smoking can reduce problems caused by a chronic cough. Kegel exercises may help relieve symptoms.

A common treatment for uterine prolapse involves a medical device known as a vaginal pessary inserted into the vagina. Placed either temporarily or permanently, it holds the uterus in place, and most women experience good outcomes from the use of pessary. Some complications are possible such as irritation of the lining of the vagina or ulcers of the vagina requiring that be properly fit by an experienced physician.

Surgery for uterine prolapse is usually not considered until the symptoms outweigh the risks of surgery. The specific procedure chosen depends on the extent of the prolapse, the woman’s age and general health, the presence of other medical conditions, and the woman’s desire to retain vaginal function or to have pregnancies in the future.

Surgeons often correct uterine prolapse with a hysterectomy, allowing them to repair sagging vaginal walls, the urethra, bladder or rectum at the same time. Some surgeries do not require removing the uterus, such as a sacrospinous fixation or McCall culdoplasty, which adjust nearby ligaments to support the uterus.

Women with uterine prolapse should consult with a physician experienced in correcting uterine prolapse to review all the advantages and possible risks to make an informed decision the best treatment strategy.