A vaginal wall prolapse, which most commonly occurs in women who have had numerous vaginal deliveries during childbirth, can certainly have an adverse impact on the lives of women worldwide. Fortunately, however, a vaginal wall repair can correct this problematic vaginal prolapse condition.
In our latest article, expert gynaecologist, Dr Avanti Patil, outlines the various benefits to having a vaginal wall repair procedure done, post-operative care recommendations, as well as available non-surgical alternatives.
Benefits of vaginal wall repair
There are various benefits associated with reducing the bulge within the vagina, such as:
- more comfort
- more comfortable and satisfactory sexual intercourse
- the bladder and/or bowels will empty more effectively
- reduction of urinary frequency and urgency
- Mobilisation is key, as using your leg muscles will reduce the risk of clots in the back of the legs (DVT).
- bath or shower as normal
- do not use tampons for six weeks
- avoid douching the vagina
- avoid heavy lifting
What to report to your doctor following surgery
The following post-operative symptoms should be reported immediately to the patient’s doctor:
- heavy vaginal bleeding
- smelly vaginal discharge
- severe pain
- high fever
- pain or discomfort passing urine or blood in the urine
- difficulty opening your bowels.
- warm, painful, swollen leg
- chest pain or difficulty breathing
Non-surgical treatment alternatives
A vaginal wall repair surgical intervention is not always required, and there are many alternatives to surgery. For example, if the prolapse is not too bothersome, then treatment is not necessarily needed. If, however, the prolapse permanently protrudes through the opening of the vagina and is exposed to the air, it may become dried out and eventually ulcerate.
Even if it is not causing symptoms in this situation, it is probably best to push it back with a ring pessary or have an operation to repair it. Weight reduction in overweight women and avoiding risk factors such as smoking (leading to chronic cough), heavy weight lifting jobs and constipation, may help with symptom control. The prolapse may become worse with time but it can then be treated.
The pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs. Strong muscles can help to prevent a prolapse dropping further. PFEs are unlikely, however, to provide significant improvement for a severe prolapse where the uterus is protruding outside the vagina.
A women’s health physiotherapist can explain how to perform these exercises with the correct technique. It is important that the patient attempts various recommended pelvic floor exercises to help manage the symptoms of prolapse and to prevent it becoming worse.
A pessary (a vaginal device) may be inserted into the vagina to support the vaginal walls and uterus. A pessary is usually used continuously and changed by a doctor or nurse every four to 12 months, depending on the type used and how well it suits the patient.
If you are considering having a vaginal wall repair or are, in any way, concerned about the vaginal area, you can book a consultation with highly experienced gynaecologist, Dr Avanti Patil, by visiting her Top Doctor's profile.