Updated: Sep 7, 2022
5 easy to do TIPS to improve Prolapse symptoms
Pelvic Organ Prolapse definition is 'a slipping of the pelvic organs out of place'. This can be a slipping of your bladder, urethra, uterus or your bowel or a combination of more than one organ.
Women often describe it as a feeling of a golf ball in their vagina, a heaviness or dragging feeling a bulge down below or sometimes needing to use their thumb to help empty their bowel or bladder properly.
50% of women who have had a vaginal delivery will suffer from some degree of genital prolapse by the age 50. This percentage of women having prolapse then increases with age until over 80% by the age of 80.
Prolapse occurs where there is a defect in the pelvic fascia or the pelvic floor muscles or most frequently a defect of both fascia and muscle.
Risk factors that will increase your likelihood of developing prolapse are
Multiple vagina deliveries,
a long second stage,
a 3rd or 4th degree tear,
having a high BMI,
or suffering from chronic constipation.
Prolapse is unfortunately a very common problem for women.
Although prolapse is not a life threatening complaint it very commonly causes a reduced quality of life and bothersome symptoms-
Below are my 5 tips
Tip #1 - Do not stop the exercise you love but seek help so you can to do it safely.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM URINARY INCONTINENCE OR HEAVINESS, DRAGGING OR A BULGE FEELING WITH EXERCISE SEEK ADVICE FROM A Pelvic Health Physiotherapist ON HOW THIS CAN BE MANAGED SO THAT YOU CAN RETURN TO THE SPORT THAT YOU LOVE
Do not grip with your abdominals during sport.
Being able to control intra-abdominal pressure during exercise is important when you have a prolapse.
watch the video below of the chicken being squeezed producing a bulge in his bottom it represents what happens if you grip your abdominals too tightly and therefore produce excesse intra-abdominal pressure and combined with inadequate support from your pelvic floor/pelvic fascia produces prolapse. Or a different way of describing it would be if you squeeze a balloon too tightly (like gripping your abdominals) it will bulge out at the bottom of the balloon similar to putting strain on your pelvic organs and this excess pressure may make the prolapse worse.
Make sure you keep your tummy soft during exercise and this will minimise the downward pressure.
Avoiding holding your breath during exercise. Instead of breath holding breath out during the hardest part of an exercise/or whilst lifting and this will help reduce intra-abdominal pressure and therefore reduce pressure on your prolapse.
If in doubt, or until you seek advice from a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, the forms of exercise which are low impact , such as swimming or cycling, are recommended as they are unlikely to increase your prolapse symptoms
Tip #2 - Pelvic Floor Exercises. Optimise coordination, strength and length
Make sure you maintain a strong coordinated pelvic-floor. The pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs and if they are weak, uncoordinated or are constantly contracted and so are not functioning normally this can worsen bothersome symptoms of prolapse. You should continue to do pelvic floor exercises daily for life. Many women do not do pelvic floor exercises correctly. Check with your nearest Pelvic Health Physiotherapist to make sure you are doing them right,
Tip #3 - Maintain a healthy weight.
Studies show that the heavier you are the more likely you will suffer from prolapse and the more likely your symptoms will worsen over time. If you have a high BMI you increase the amount of pressure down onto the prolapse. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight seek help from your GP who will be able to signpost you to professionals who can help you with this.
Tip #4 - Consider other conservative options.
An alternative treatments to help reduce or resolve symptoms of prolapse is wearing a silicon pessary. These pessaries are made of medical grade silicon and come in lots of different designs depending on what severity and type of prolapse you suffer from. Some can be left in for 3 months and your medical provider will check and changes them whilst others can be self managed by the patient and some only worn for certain sporting activities. Some you can have sex whilst they are inserted whilst others you cannot. Pessaries are not just for older women and can be an effective management option of prolapse for many women including pregnant or post-natal ladies.
EVB shorts are a type of shorts designed to support your pelvic organs during sport and everyday living which is an alternative to wearing a pessary or some women will wear both.
Tip #5 -Avoid straining on the loo (constipation) Moo when you Poo!!!!!!
Having to strain on the toilet to empty your bowels puts strain on the fascia support in your pelvic and continual strain can make you more at risk of worsening or causing prolapse. To avoid straining use a squatty potty stool and allow your abdomen to swell with a gentle pressure down below to initate the bowel movement and then let the stool move without straining. Making the sound MOO when you POO rather than the sound EEE will encourage you to avoid straining.
Eat plenty of fibre and drink 2 litres of fluid a day to avoid hard pellet stools. If you are struggling with constipation speak your GP or pharmacist who can advice you on taking stool softeners.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY PRIORITISE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING.
DO NOT SUFFER WITH PROLAPSE SYMPTOMS WHEN THEY CAN BE IMPROVED OR RESOLVED.
Make an appointment to see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist or your GP.
To contact Pelvic Physio Guernsey email firstname.lastname@example.org