Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Nonsurgical Treatment

If your pelvic organ prolapse is mild or doesn’t bother you much, or if you have medical conditions that make surgery too risky, nonsurgical treatment may be a good choice. A device (pessary) to wear in your vagina can help ease your symptoms. You may also be given certain exercises (Kegels) to do. And you may need to make some lifestyle changes.

Wearing a pessary

A pessary helps support the prolapsed organ or organs. It is specifically fitted by your doctor. A pessary may ease your symptoms, but it can’t repair prolapse. The pessary must be removed for cleaning. If you can’t do this, you will need to see your doctor regularly. He or she will remove and clean your pessary. If you have questions or concerns about the pessary, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Doing kegels

Kegels are simple exercises that you can do to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They may ease your symptoms and prevent further prolapse. To do a Kegel, contract your pelvic floor muscles as if to stop the urine stream. (Do this when you’re not urinating.) Ask your doctor how many Kegels to do and how long to hold each one. During your treatment visits, your healthcare provider may place a device in your vagina to measure your Kegel contractions. That way, you can find out whether you are doing Kegel exercises correctly.

Living a healthy life

Improving your health may ease your symptoms or keep your problem from worsening. You may be asked to:

  • Quit smoking to prevent excessive coughing

  • Adjust medications that may cause urine leakage

  • Avoid lifting, which puts pressure on pelvic muscles

  • Exercise and eat well to maintain a healthy weight

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