Effective Pelvic Prolapse Treatment in Denver
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when pelvic muscles become stretched or weakened, allowing organs to sag, protrude, or “fall” into the vagina. More than 3 million women in the United States were diagnosed in 2010 with pelvic organ prolapse, and that number is expected to increase nearly 50% by 2050 due to the aging population, according to a 2009 forecast.
The primary factors for developing prolapse include:
- giving vaginal birth
Despite the prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse, few women seek treatment, even though it can affect daily living and cause pain and discomfort. Pelvic prolapse symptoms can include a feeling of heaviness in the abdominal area, a feeling of something falling out of the vagina, low backache and painful intercourse. Prolapse can be accompanied by other urological issues including chronic infection, incontinence, bowel issues, and inability to empty the bladder.
If pelvic prolapse is causing you discomfort, there are many treatments that can help even if previous treatments have been unsuccessful. The board-certified urologists at Foothills Urology will partner with you in finding the best possible solution.
Evaluating Pelvic Organ Prolapse
At Foothills Urology, we start by understanding your current pelvic prolapse symptoms and any past treatment options you may have tried. Based on your pelvic prolapse symptoms and pelvic exam, we will determine the type and extent of pelvic prolapse present. Pelvic prolapse symptoms can often mimic those of more serious conditions, like bladder cancer or chronic infection, which will be ruled out during your consultation. In addition to your physical diagnosis, we will consider other factors such as age, family planning, and desire for particular treatments in our recommendations.
Although the bladder is the most common organ to prolapse (cystocele), rectum prolapse (rectocele), small bowel prolapse (enterocele), uterine prolapse (procidentia), and vaginal vault prolapse may also occur.
Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse
When possible, Foothills Urology recommends conservative pelvic prolapse treatment before considering surgery. The surgery for pelvic prolapse is sacrocolpopexy, sometimes called sacral colpopexy. If surgery is the most effective option for you, our board-certified urologists offer extensive pelvic prolapse surgery experience.
Pelvic organ prolapse treatments include:
- Watchful waiting – For patients who are in early stages of pelvic prolapse, watchful waiting is the first line of pelvic prolapse treatment. Annual pelvic exams will be used to monitor the condition and we will recommend alternative treatments if necessary.
- Behavior modification – Dietary and lifestyle changes and physical therapy can often provide relief for pelvic prolapse patients.
- Kegel exercises – Designed to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, daily Kegel exercises can be effective, particularly for patients who suffer from mild uterine prolapse. However, it is estimated that half of women perform these exercises incorrectly, possibly even making their condition worse, so we will recommend specialized physical therapy to ensure the best possible results.
- Vaginal pessary – Placed in the vagina, a pessary is made of silicone or latex and helps support the tissue and organs that are prolapsing. A pessary is specially fitted to each woman and require careful, regular monitoring by your urologist to minimize infection and complications.
- Reconstructive surgery – A variety of surgical options are available for pelvic prolapse. Foothills Urology specializes in minimally invasive robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy that uses mesh to secure the protruding pelvic organs in place.
 Mouritsen L, Larsen JP. Symptoms, bother and POPQ in women referred with pelvic organ prolapse. Int Urogynecol J. 2003 v. 14 p. 122-127.