While pelvic organ prolapse (POP) may not be a life-threatening condition, it can certainly be a life-changing one. If you’re struggling with POP, you’re in excellent company, as between 35% and 50% of women develop POP.
If the numbers don’t provide you with much comfort, perhaps the fact that there are solutions for POP can. Here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Fernando Otero and our team have a good deal of experience helping women with POP and, in most cases, the problem can be resolved with one of the treatments we discuss below.
A quick look at POP
Your pelvis houses a number of organs that are held in position by a group of muscles and connective tissues called your pelvic floor. These organs include your:
Your pelvic floor forms a sort of hammock at the bottom of your pelvis that supports the organs and keeps them in their proper positions for optimal function.
If this support system weakens, pelvic organs can shift downward, often through your vaginal canal. This journey downward is often progressive and can become symptomatic, leading to side effects like urinary incontinence.
The primary driver or POP is age and menopause, though your pelvic floor can weaken for other reasons, such as previous surgery or childbirth.
3 treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse
If your POP creates quality-of-life issues, we need to take action. To give you an idea about your options, we’re going to review the three most common.
1. Strengthening your pelvic floor
Since a weak pelvic floor is behind your POP, it makes sense that strengthening these tissues can help remedy the problem. Exercises such as Kegels are the frontline treatment for POP, and they’re excellent for resolving mild to moderate symptoms.
2. Providing a little extra support
If Kegels aren’t enough to draw the prolapsed organ(s) back into position, we can outfit you with a pessary. This is a simple device that you insert into your vagina to hold your organs in position.
3. Pelvic floor reconstruction
If you have severe POP that doesn’t respond to more conservative measures, Dr. Otero is an experienced pelvic floor reconstruction surgeon. Using the most advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques available, including robot-assisted surgery systems, Dr. Otero can reestablish the position and support of your prolapsed organ.
It’s difficult to say here what exactly your pelvic floor reconstruction surgery would entail, as it depends entirely upon the extent of the prolapse and which organ is involved. Rest assured, there are techniques for almost every POP scenario, and Dr. Otero is familiar with them all.
If you want to find a solution for your POP, the first step is to have us evaluate the condition so we can get you on the right path toward pelvic organ support.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.