When you have gone through pregnancy and childbirth, you may assume that everything will go back to normal in your pelvic and abdominal regions. While this is true of most women who go through childbirth, it is not always the case. Some women suffer from a pelvic floor prolapse, meaning the organs in the pelvic area, like the bladder, uterus, and small intestine, may shift due to weakened muscles or damaged nerves. If this happens to you, there are several different treatment options that may be able to help you overcome your pelvic floor prolapse. Get to know a few of these options so that you can plan accordingly and get the help and treatment that you need.
Vaginal Support Devices
One of the ways that you can treat your pelvic floor prolapse (also referred to as pelvic organ prolapse) is through the use of vaginal support devices. These vaginal support devices, also often known as pessaries, are small silicone devices that can be inserted into the vaginal canal to provide better support and structure to hold everything in place.
Essentially, these vaginal support devices make up for lack of muscle strength by taking on some of the structural burden to hold a woman's pelvic organs in place. There are different types of pessaries available to women suffering from pelvic floor prolapse. One is simply a structural frame of sorts and is in the shape of a ring. Others are more solid and take up more space to prevent anything from shifting into that space (cones, cylinders, etc.).
For many women, the use of these devices can solve their pain and discomfort from pelvic organ prolapse. These devices are not meant to be left in the body permanently, however. Women can and should take the pessary out every night before bed and reinsert it in the morning. A few times a week would be acceptable as well though not as desirable.
Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery
If a woman has difficulty using the vaginal support devices or they do not sufficiently relieve the symptoms she has, the next step would be to consider pelvic reconstructive surgery. This treatment option is, of course, more invasive but can also be more a more effective solution in the long-term.
One type of pelvic reconstructive surgery involves small incisions in the abdomen. These incisions allow the surgeon access to the pelvic area without leaving large scars or causing more damage to the area. Through this approach, your doctor can laproscopically reposition the uterus or other upper pelvic organs that have prolapsed down into the vaginal area and reattach the vaginal muscles to ligaments in the pelvis, providing it more strength to hold everything in place.
Other forms of this surgery can be done through the vaginal canal and often deal with organs such as the bladder and rectum that could prolapse inward, pinching the vaginal canal. The organs are moved back into place and the vagina is supported by attachment to ligaments or through other reattachment techniques so that the vagina holds its natural shape.
Now that you know more about some of the treatment options for your pelvic floor prolapse, you can talk to your doctor about your symptoms and get your treatment program started as soon as possible.