Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Let’s talk about the pressure-filled world of pelvic organ prolapse. Have you ever had the feeling of pressure down on your pelvic floor? Have you ever felt like things were “falling out” down there? Do you avoid certain activities that you know will make that sensation worse? Prolapse is kind of like a hernia in the sense that organs are displaced and move down and sometimes even out of the body. This can happen to your bladder, your uterus, or your rectum. Prolapse can feel like something is falling out of your vagina or rectum. Even though it can feel like something is falling out, it doesn’t always mean that you can see or feel something that is actually outside of your body.
Different Levels of Prolapse explained
There are different levels of severity with prolapse. Sometimes the organs stay within the body but have shifted down slightly and you’ll still feel that “falling out” sensation. Other times it can just feel like pressure or heaviness down there. Sometimes they do protrude out and can be seen or felt outside of the body. Prolapse often occurs because of a significant change in pressure- specifically an extreme INCREASE in pressure- things like vaginal childbirth (pushing) and chronic constipation (straining to have a bowel movement), or intense bearing down with weightlifting can often lead to prolapse. Many times people undergo surgery to repair prolapsed organs, but research shows that almost 60% of these surgeries fail. This is primarily because there is no education provided on why the prolapse was occurring in the first place.
What Can Be Done for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Your pelvic therapist can help teach you how to utilize your breath, how to control abdominal pressure, and how to work with the natural rhythms of your body to avoid increasing pressure on the pelvic floor. You can start by not holding your breath to brace with lifting heavy loads (think car seats, groceries, laundry), avoid straining with constipation (if you deal with constipation, you should consult your pelvic floor therapist about that, as well), and avoid childbirth (ha…just kidding!). Once you better understand the mechanics of what’s happening and why, your awareness, coupled with specific strengthening protocols can help you get rid of that “feeling” as well as help you return to sports or activities that you’ve been avoiding because you’ve been worried about if it’s safe or not.
Our Pelvic Health therapists are here to help with Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Get back to enjoying more FREEDOM to live life again!