How do medications treat pelvic organ prolapse?

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The most common medication used to help treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is estrogen. There are more estrogen receptors in the vagina than anywhere else in the body and so when a patient goes through menopause, the lack of estrogen can cause a weakness in the connective tissueof the pelvic floor. This weakness in the connective tissue can make a patient's mild prolapse become much more symptomatic. When I see patient's who are menopausal who have pelvic organ prolapse (POP), I always recommend them starting on some type of vaginal estrogen preparation to help strengthen the vaginal tissue. This will also help with their Kegel exercises and can possibly remedy their problems.

Other patients can use stool softeners or laxatives to help with bowel movements and this will also help decrease the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), but will not remedy the problem. Lastly whenever a patient is scheduled for surgery for their pelvic organ prolapse (POP), I recommend that they be started on estrogen cream to help strengthen the vaginal tissue so the it will heal better after surgery. This will also decrease the chances of them having any types of problems with vaginal mesh erosion after surgery.

Medications are not typically used to treat pelvic organ prolapse as it is an anatomic problem, much like breaking a bone is not typically treated with medications.

In some cases, some symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse might be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. For example, if bowel movements are an issue, your doctor might have you take laxatives to soften your stools. If you are postmenopausal, your doctor might have you try local vaginal estrogen therapy because low estrogen levels can affect the strength of the vaginal muscles. Medications are most likely to be used in combination with other treatment options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.