Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common problem in women whereby the organs of the pelvis fall from their original position, shifting down into the vaginal canal and sometimes even all the way out of it. This can cause issues with voiding and bowel function, discomfort, infection and skin breakdown to name a few. Not all prolapse is severe enough to warrant treatment. There are different treatment options available for patients, ranging from non-surgical to surgical interventions.

When the prolapse is not causing problems for the patient, treatment is unnecessary. Patients can still carry out daily activities and have intercourse. In these cases, we monitor the degree of prolapse and discuss treatment options should it become more severe.

A pessary is a silicone appliance that is fitted into the vagina. It expands once inserted into the vagina and essentially acts as a shelf to hold the organs up in an anatomically normal position. It is periodically removed, cleaned and replaced. Patients often report that they don’t even feel it once it’s in place. The procedure is performed in the clinic.

There are several surgical options available for the successful treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. These treatments involve using the patient’s own tissues, using a synthetic mesh, or permanently closing the vagina for patients willing to forgo future sexual activity. These options are discussed in detail prior to proceeding, and involve testing to evaluate the function of the bladder and pelvic floor prior to surgery.