Advanced cases of uterine prolapse are treated with a vaginal pessary and surgery, explains Mayo Clinic. Mild cases that produce little to no symptoms do not require treatment and are monitored by a physician.
A vaginal pessary is a device that inserts into the vagina and holds the uterus in place, according to Mayo Clinic. It comes in different shapes and sizes to accommodate a variety of patients and a doctor measures the patient to find the appropriate fit. The device requires regular removal and cleaning and some patients are able to take it out at night. A pessary may irritate vaginal tissues, cause sores, and interfere with sexual intercourse.
The purpose of surgery is to repair the damaged and weak pelvic floor tissues, suggests Mayo Clinic. It can be performed through the vagina, or through the abdomen as an open or laparoscopic procedure. The surgical technique depends on the needs of the patient and the circumstances. During the procedure the surgeon can strengthen the weak pelvic floor with a synthetic graft, tissues from the patient, or a donor.
Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and become weak causing the uterus to drop down into and out of the vagina, explains Mayo Clinic. It can happen to women of any age and is common in elderly postmenopausal women with a history of vaginal delivery. The causes of uterine prolapse include damage to supportive tissue during pregnancy and birth, estrogen loss, the effects of gravity and repeated straining over time.