Vaginal Prolapse: Care Instructions

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Female pelvic anatomy, side view

Your Care Instructions

When the top of the vagina sags near or through the opening of the vagina, it is called vaginal prolapse.

This may happen after surgery to remove the uterus. This is because the uterus no longer supports the vagina.

This problem may cause you to leak urine or stool. Or you may have trouble passing urine or stool. You may feel pain during sex. Or you may feel pressure on your genitals.

Medicine may help you feel better. You can also talk to your doctor about a device you put in your vagina. It may help with symptoms.

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 it. 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?

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

  • You have new urinary symptoms. These may include leaking urine, having pain when urinating, or feeling like you need to urinate often.
  • You have trouble passing stool.
  • You have pain or a feeling of fullness in your vagina.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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