Uterine Prolapse: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Female pelvic anatomy, side view

When the uterus moves down in the pelvis and starts to press into the vagina, it is called uterine prolapse. This happens when the pelvic muscles and tissues get weak.

Women often have this problem after they have children or when they get older. It can also happen if you are overweight or you have a long-term cough. These put extra pressure on the uterus.

This problem may cause you to leak urine. Or you may have trouble passing urine or stool. You may feel pain during sex. But in most cases, prolapse doesn't cause more serious health problems.

You may feel better if you change how you do some of your daily activities. And you can try exercises to make your pelvic muscles strong. But if these don't help, you may want to talk with your doctor about surgery.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Do not do activities that put pressure on your pelvic muscles. This includes heavy lifting and straining.
  • Do exercises to tighten and strengthen your pelvic muscles. These are called Kegel exercises. To do them:
    • Squeeze the same muscles you would use to stop your urine. Your belly and thighs should not move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds. Then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times for each session. Do three or more sessions each day.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve), to relieve pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • Talk with your doctor about a vaginal pessary. This is a device that you put in your vagina to support the uterus. Your doctor can teach you how and when to remove it. You will also learn how to clean it and put it back in.
  • If your doctor prescribes estrogen cream for your vagina, use it exactly as prescribed.
  • To relieve pressure on your vagina, lie down and put a pillow under your knees. Or you can lie on your side and bring your knees up to your chest.
  • If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways to lose weight.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new urinary symptoms, such as pain when urinating or urinating often.
  • You have pain in your lower back or belly.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You feel something bulge outside of your vagina.
  • You have irregular vaginal bleeding.
  • You have a new vaginal discharge.
  • You are leaking urine.
  • Your symptoms keep you from doing your daily activities.
  • You have pain during sex.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: February 25, 2016