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What are the treatment options for uterine prolapse?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health

The three main treatments for uterine prolapse are strengthening pelvic floor muscles, a pessary or surgery. There a very few published randomized control trials comparing the three treatments. For women who want to avoid surgery, learning pelvic floor exercises can be improved by use of biofeedback instruments placed in the vagina to measure strength of muscle contractions or with the assistance of pelvic floor physical therapy.  Surgery, for the woman who is healthy enough otherwise for surgery, is likely to give the most prolonged symptom relief.

Dr. Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Kegel exercises can help improve uterine prolapse. Kegel exercises are intended to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. The muscles of the pelvic floor are like a "hammock" and the lift and keep all pelvic organs including the rectum and the bladder in place. Kegel exercises make you "work out" your pelvic floor muscles.

Kegel exercises have to be done consistently so that it works. It is done by mimicking the stopping of your urinary stream and then you do 3 sets of 10 three times a day. If you cannot do all of that, then you could hold your stream for 20-30 seconds and that will also improve your strength. If this does not improve the condition then you could ask your physician to refer you to a physical therapist that only deals with the pelvic floor. It really works!

The treatment of uterine prolapse depends on the severity of the prolapse, as well as several factors related to the person with the disorder, such as her age, general state of health, and desire to have children. In mild cases, treatment is not usually necessary, although it is prudent to use strategies to try to prevent it from becoming worse. These strategies include such things as treating a cough, stopping smoking, avoiding or treating constipation, avoiding lifting heavy objects, maintaining a normal weight, doing Kegel exercises, and considering estrogen therapy. If the uterine prolapse is more advanced, it can be treated with vaginal pessaries or surgery.

There are no medications that directly treat uterine prolapse, but estrogen therapy may prevent or slow its progression. After menopause, the body's production of estrogen decreases, which can lead to weakening of the muscles and connective tissues that support the uterus. Topical estrogen may be recommended to help combat some symptoms. Other medications may be used to treat suspected causes of the prolapse, such as stool softeners for chronic constipation.

Biofeedback is another type of alternative treatment that may be helpful in uterus prolapse. Biofeedback is a process that helps you learn to control your body. For uterine prolapse, it helps you more effectively perform the Kegel exercises for the muscles that support the uterus. Strengthening these muscles may prevent or slow the progression of the disorder.

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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.