|What are the treatments?
Treatment of pelvic support problems may involve special
exercises or insertion of a special device called a pessary to
improve support. When a pessary is used, it must be removed,
cleaned, and reinserted on a regular basis to avoid infection. Or,
it may involve a high-fiber diet or drugs to soften the stool and
make bowel movements easier. Keeping your weight under control,
eating right, not smoking, and avoiding activities that stress
pelvic support muscles can also help. Hormones may be given to
improve the quality of the tissues. It can be taken by mouth in a
pill, by a skin patch, or by a vaginal cream. Sometimes a
combination of these methods is used.
Many women with pelvic support problems do not need further
treatment. Some bladder control problems respond best to changes in
voiding habits, diet, and drugs, while others may be treated by
surgery. Surgery is an elective procedure for which you give your
informed consent. You are the best judge of whether symptoms are
severe enough to warrant surgery.
No form of treatment, even surgery can be guaranteed to solve the
problem. The chances for getting some degree of relief, however, are
- Special exercises: exercises called Kegel exercises, or pelvic
muscle exercises, are used to strengthen the muscles that
surround the openings of the urethra, vagina, and rectum. You
may be told to contract these muscles for about 10 seconds,
10-20 times in a row, three or more time a day. In time, your
ability to hold urine may improve.
- Diet: you may need to cut down on caffeine, which acts as a
diuretic. It is found in coffee, tea, and soft drinks. A
high-fiber diet may help with bowel control and to avoid
- Medicines: sometimes a stool softener or bulk laxative may be
given along with a high-fiber diet. There are special medicines
that help to control urination. These drugs suppress bladder
contractions. Other drugs will help prevent leakage by
increasing the pressure in the urethra.