Treatment for POP
For the overwhelming majority of patients with POP treatment is completely elective-meaning that if your symptoms bothersome enough, you will want to have it fixed. At the present time there are only two treatment options: a pessary or surgery.
A pessary is a device that is usually made out of a plastic and is usually in the shape of a donut or ring. It is placed in the vagina, like a tampon, to hold the pelvic organs in place. Pessaries come in many different sizes and shapes and need to be fitted by your doctor to the size and shape of your vagina. Pessaries are quite safe, although in some patients they seem to be associated with recurring bladder infections. If a pessary works for you, and it is comfortable, it can be a lifetime treatment. It can be left in place for several months at a time and may be changed by doctor or a nurse. They are not, however, effective in all patients.
If a pessary is not effective, then surgery is the other option. There are operations that are done through the vagina and operations that are done through the abdomen. There are now procedures that can be done on one- day stay or outpatient basis under a local anesthetic where a tape or sling is placed below the urethra that elevates the urethra and the base of the bladder which immediately corrects the incontinence. Most patients can return to all of their activities in 1-2 days after the procedure. They cannot do heavy lifting, have intercourse, or use douches for 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
So if you are considering surgery, be sure that you do your homework and learn a lot about the different surgical possibilities, and the potential risks and benefits of the procedure. If you think you have a dropped bladder contact your urologist or gynecologist for an evaluation and to learn what treatment options are available to you. Remember help is available and you don’t have to depend on Depends!
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