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6 Quick Tips For The Pelvic Organ Prolapse


Is something falling out down there?

What is prolapse? 

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one of the organs in your pelvis descends and bulges into the vaginal wall. This happens because there is a weakness in the pelvic floor muscles and/or there is laxity in the ligaments that support the pelvic organs.

Many pregnant or postpartum women can develop a prolapse, especially if they have a vaginal delivery. Individuals with previous pelvic surgeries, including hysterectomy, are more prone to prolapse. Obesity, nerve damage, and aging can also put someone at increased risk for prolapse.

What are the symptoms of prolapse?

Women complain of pressure and discomfort in the pelvic region. Some feel a sense of pulling/stretching or even like “something is falling out of their vagina.” I often hear comments that women feel a sensation like they have a “dry tampon inside and it is falling out.” Symptoms of incontinence and constipation can also present with prolapse. Increase of symptoms can occur from poor posture, straining with bowel movements, flawed breathing mechanics, and impaired strength and recruitment of the pelvic floor muscles especially with lifting something heavy (ie children!).

What can you do to help prolapse?

COME TO PELVIC FLOOR PHYSICAL THERAPY! At pelvic floor physical therapy, you will focus on retraining/strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, bowel health, lifting mechanics, breathing techniques, core and glute strengthening, and optimal movement strategies for everyday activities. Depending on your symptoms and severity of prolapse, we may refer you to a urogynecologist if you have not been evaluated by one already.


Quick Tips If You Have A Prolapse

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind if you have a prolapse.

  1. Control constipation with high fiber foods and staying hydrated!
  2.  If you are constipated, limit straining as this applies a significant downward pressure to the pelvic floor muscles and makes prolapse symptoms worse.
  3.  Use proper lifting mechanics during exercise.
          • Lift with your legs, not your back.
          • “Blow before you go.”  When you exert yourself to lift something, blow through your lips as if you were blowing out birthday candles. This will help to increase the recruitment of your pelvic floor muscles and limit downward pressure through the pelvic floor.
  1. 4. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can worsen prolapse symptoms.
  2. 5. Limit breath holding with exercise and everyday activities. Ensure that you are breathing into your belly (ie diaphragmatic breathing) as you inhale to improve the pressure distribution through the pelvic floor.
  3. 6. Get a pelvic exam by your gynecologist or pelvic floor physical therapist. 

Written by Andrea Barberio, PT, DPT

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