When the muscles and ligaments on the floor of the pelvis stretch and weaken, they may provide insufficient support for the uterus. When this occurs, the uterus can slip down into or protrude from the vagina. This condition is known as uterine prolapse.
While it can happen to women of any age, it is more common in postmenopausal women who have experienced one or more vaginal deliveries. Other contributing factors include tissue damage during pregnancy or childbirth, estrogen loss, and repetitive straining over the years.
If uterine prolapse disrupts your normal life or makes you uncomfortable, you should seek treatment for this condition.
Supervised Exercise and Medications
In moderate cases of uterine prolapse, it may be possible to correct or minimize the condition by maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding lifting heavy objects to minimize pressure on the supportive pelvic structure.
Along with providing advice on a healthy diet, a health care professional can show you the correct way to perform exercises that strengthen pelvic muscles.
Another option is to wear a supportive device known as a vaginal pessary that fits inside your vagina to hold the uterus in place. Used on a temporary or permanent basis, the device is available in different shapes and sizes.
Your symptoms and internal measurements will help the medical team select the appropriate device. While some pessaries can be left in place for extended periods, others must be removed overnight and reinserted the following day.
During the fitting, you will receive guidance on how to insert, remove and clean the pessary.
In cases where other options are ineffective, surgery may be required. The procedure may be performed through the vagina or an abdominal incision. Minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery may also be an option.
Depending upon your age and whether you wish to become pregnant in the future, surgery may be able to repair the uterus.
During surgery, the surgeon may also correct issues with your urethra, bladder, rectum and vaginal walls. In severe cases, the uterus can be removed in a procedure known as a hysterectomy.
If you are experiencing problems due to a prolapsed uterus, contact the office of Dr. Sherry Thomas today to schedule a consultation. We will evaluate your condition and discuss your medical history as well as any concerns you may have. We will work with you to develop the best course of treatment for your individual circumstances.