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Uterine Prolapse

Q: Last April I felt something hanging out of my vagina.  Since I had breast cancer in 1999 I was afraid, so I ran to my gynecologist. She said it was my bladder pushing my uterus out. She said I could have a thing inserted to keep it up, but at the time I thought I could put up with it. I work at a factory. After a long summer of 12 hours a day, I could not stand it any longer. I went to the doctor and had this "thing" inserted, but I did not know I had to take it in and out. Well I wore it for one week and it did fine. But when I went to try to insert it and flip it in place with my fingers I could not do it. So I had it taken out. Is there anything else I can do? My gynecologist said to have bladder surgery would be major surgery. What do you suggest?

Dr. Donnica:
The condition you have is called uterine prolapse, and it is fairly common.  The device your gynecologist recommended is called a pessary.  This is a good solution for some women, but inconvenient for others.  This is not a condition that improves on its own; it can often get worse.  Depending upon the extent of the prolapse and your symptoms, surgery may be the best option.  There are several different procedures which can be done depending upon your specific situation, your age, whether you want to conceive another child, and other factors.  There are now minimally invasive procedures which may help you, but you may need a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) as well as a bladder lift procedure.  You should discuss this thoroughly with your physician and get a second opinion as well.

Created: 1/3/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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