There are many surgical treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse; one that gets little attention is colpocleisis. Women who no longer wish to engage in intercourse may want to consider colpocleisis, a procedure that closes the vaginal opening. Total colpocleisis is the procedure for women who do not have a uterus, LeFort is the procedure for women who have a uterus. Closing the vaginal canal can eliminate pelvic organ prolapse; it can be performed at the same time as a sling procedure to address incontinence.
- Colpocleisis cure rate for POP is 90-95%.
- It can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
- There is little pain with this procedure.
- Recovery time is speedy, little downtime.
- High rate of satisfaction with procedure.
Colpocleisis is typically recommended for who have no future plans for sexual activity, are medically frail, or elderly. We need to redefine women's needs related to colpocleisis; age is a state of mind as much as a number. Often women who cannot have intercourse still have incredible sexual energy, vitality, femininity. Female sexuality is not tied soley to vaginal function; there are multple ways to maintain intimacy with partners both physically and emotionally.
Below are insights from two women who have shared their journeys regarding their paths with colpocleisis. My hat is off to these incredibly forward thinking women.
By Cecilia Laporla
As someone who has had the surgery AND is a retired social worker, colpocleisis is a true gift.
"Will I feel like my former self again?"
"Will I be able to swim, jog, ride a bike again?
"Will I be comfortable and glad I did it?"
"Will I never again have pelvic organ prolapse?"
My only regret is that I did NOT do this sooner. And one does not have to worry about slings being too tight or too loose, mesh problems, etc. I have NO sling with my colpocleisis. I am overjoyed that I did it. I now truly have peace of mind. And I don't have to use pessaries, see doctors for insertion, removal, cleaning, and re-insertion on regular basis, etc. etc. etc. It is a no brainer.
Nuns, single women, widows, and ladies who no longer have sex should definitely consider colpocleisis.....I refer to it as a bird in a nest. The bladder is lifted, and vagina is closed. The bladder can NEVER again fall out (POP), and of course, there can be no intercourse either. However, at my age (75), I am just glad to be "high and dry" again. I find it gives me peace of mind to know my bladder is in place, and that I won't be having back to back urinary tract infections.
Colpocleisis: A POP Treatment Option for the Sexually Vibrant Woman
By Kay Franklin
Last year I saw the handwriting on my pelvic wall..... It all started out when I knew in my heart that we were not supposed to be able to actually touch our bladders. POP means pelvic organ prolapse. I took a few digital shots of my lady parts....and it sure didn't look good.
My doctor sent me to a specialist to talk about my options. I was prepared for a repair job...probably involving the mesh they use. He surprised me by telling me at my age (72) there would be risks of failure. LeFort was the word he included in my options; also known as colpoleisis.
I went home to ponder it all. I finally came to the realistic conclusion that hard driving sex with my bladder hanging out was unlikely. The LeFort method would create what I call "The Highway to Nowhere". The bladder would go up, the rectal wall bulge would be repaired, and the vaginal wall would be removed.......creating what my doctor called "Human Cement".
I called it choosing "Pee & Poop" over "Penetration".
The surgery went well and I am happy with the results. I look normal from the outside.I firmly believe I have taken care of several chronic problems.The rest of my life will be much more enjoyable and carefree.
Since I had not been sexually active in several years, it wasn't much of an adjustment there. I have out lived my vagina....but I am still hot stuff in my own mind.