Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) - Diagnosis & Treatment

How is pelvic organ prolapse (POP) diagnosed?

Your urogynaecologist will:

  • Review your medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Recommend further tests for a full investigation, if needed

How is pelvic organ prolapse (POP) treated?

Your doctor will recommend the most suitable treatment, based on:

  • The type of prolapse
  • The severity of your condition
  • Your childbirth plans (if any)
  • Your age

Non-surgical treatments

Your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatment if your prolapse is mild. Mild prolapse can be treated with pelvic floor exercises, such as pelvic floor therapy. Pelvic floor therapy strengthens the muscles supporting the bladder, bowels and uterus to help prevent pelvic floor dysfunction.

As part of pelvic floor therapy, your doctor may recommend the following exercises:

  • Kegels — This exercise involves contracting and holding your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds and then relaxing the muscles for another 5 seconds. Do this exercise 10 times and repeat 3 times a day.
  • Squats — Bend your knees and push your hips and buttocks out until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Do this exercise 10 times and repeat 2 – 3 times a day.
  • Bridges — Lie on the floor with your back flat on the ground and your knees bent. Raise your hips off the ground and hold for 1 – 2 seconds. Do this 10 times and repeat 2 – 3 times a day.

If your prolapse is moderate, you may require a ring pessary to hold the prolapsed organ in place.

Tip: Seek treatment early as the more severe the prolapse, the lower the success rates from treatment or surgery.

Surgical treatments

Your doctor may recommend surgical intervention if:

  • Non-surgical treatments do not provide sufficient relief from symptoms.
  • Your condition is severe, to reduce the recurrence rate from more than 30% to less than 10%.

With the advancement of medical technology, you may opt for minimally invasive surgical techniques to minimise scarring and recover faster.

Examples of surgical treatments

Surgical treatments to lift the prolapsed organ(s) back into place include:

  • Anterior repair of a cystocoele (bladder prolapse) – also called colporrhaphy
  • Posterior repair of a rectocoele or enterocoele – also called colpoperineorrhaphy
  • Vaginal hysterectomy to remove the uterus (womb) through the vagina and repair the vagina
  • Vault prolapse surgery to support the vaginal vault

These are sub-specialised surgeries that require specially trained surgeons to perform. Consult our urogynaecologists to find out more about your condition and the best treatment options for you.

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