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The muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that hold a women’s internal organs in place are called the pelvic floor. The bladder, bowel, uterus, vagina and rectum are held in place by the pelvic floor. Your brain controls your pelvic floor muscles to help these organs function correctly. Several medical conditions, an injury or childbirth can cause a weakness or tears in the pelvic floor muscles called pelvic floor disease.

What happens during pelvic floor repair?

There are several types of pelvic floor repair. Your surgeon may perform several procedures during your operation. You should have a detailed discussion with your consultant to determine which option is the best in your case.

Anterior repair - repairs the weak muscles in the front wall of the vagina that support the bladder (anterior prolapse). An anterior repair is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about half an hour.

Your surgeon will make a cut in the anterior (front) wall of your vagina so they can push your bladder and urethra back into place. They will stitch the support tissues together to provide better support for your bladder and urethra. They may cut away a small part of the vaginal wall to remove tissue left over from the repair.

Posterior repair - repairs the muscles in the back wall of your vagina that support your bowel (posterior prolapse). A posterior repair is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about half an hour.

Your consultant will make a cut in the back (posterior) wall of your vagina so they can push your bowel back into place.They will use stitches to tighten the supporting tissues along the length of the back wall of your vagina. They may need to cut away a small part of the vaginal wall to remove excess tissue. If the muscles on either side of your entrance to your vagina are weak they may use stitches to tighten them as well.

You should expect a slight discharge or bleeding from your vagina but you should let a member of the healthcare team know if this becomes heavy.

Going home after pelvic floor repair

You will usually be able to go home after two to three days. For the first two weeks at home you should rest, relax and continue to do the exercises that you were shown in hospital.

It is best not to have sex for about six weeks or at least until any bleeding or discharge has stopped. Avoid standing for too long and do not lift anything heavy. You can go back to work once your doctor has said you are well enough to do so (usually after six to eight weeks).

Consult your surgeon before returning to any exercise or strenuous activities.

You should continue your pelvic-floor exercises as soon as possible after the operation and keep doing them for life. This will help to prevent a return of any prolapse and reduce the risk of you becoming incontinent.

With any surgical procedure there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots (DVT - deep vein thrombosis)
  • Infection

Specific complications of pelvic floor repair:

  • Incontinence
  • Urinary infection
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Damage to the bladder or bowel

Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns with your consultant?

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555 800
Overall rating Good
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111
Overall rating Outstanding
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 382551
Overall rating Good

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 360 100
Overall rating Outstanding

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good

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Fight urinary incontinence with pelvic floor exercises

A strong pelvic floor can be the key to preventing, improving or curing urinary stress incontinence – as well as a range of other women’s health issues. Rachel Bromley demonstrates simple exercises you can do to help take back control of your bladder.

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