Pelvic floor exercises and vaginal pessaries
Regularly doing pelvic floor exercises can improve problems caused by a pelvic organ prolapse. Vaginal pessaries can also help, but they aren’t suitable for every woman.
If the connective tissue in a woman's pelvic floor weakens, her womb, bladder or the last part of the bowel may slip down. Known as pelvic organ prolapse, this can cause a feeling of pressure, problems urinating (peeing), and pain. Many women find that doing pelvic floor exercises and/or using a vaginal pessary is enough to improve the symptoms.
But there’s no guarantee that these treatments will make the symptoms go away. Especially pelvic floor exercises may have a limited effect if the organs have already slipped down far. Surgery may then be an option. In studies on pelvic floor exercises, between 3 and 10 out of 100 women ended up deciding to have surgery after all.
Our decision aid may help when deciding which treatment is most suitable. It summarizes the main advantages and disadvantages of the various treatment options.