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Nov 05th, 2018
Nov 05th, 2018 / Nicki Chick
As a women’s health physiotherapist, my goal is to make sure women are informed of the changes that can occur with their bodies in the hope that I can help prevent or reduce their symptoms.
by Jenny Constable for My Baba 5th November 2018
What is pelvic prolapse?
One common problem that I come across is pelvic organ prolapse (POP). This is when either the bladder (cystocele), bowel (rectocele) or uterus (uterine) drops down and pushes into the vaginal wall. As many as 50% of women at some point in their lifetime will have a prolapse.
There are many reasons why women suffer POP. In this article I will explain the symptoms and the lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce them or in turn reduce the likelihood of a prolapse even occurring.
What causes a pelvic organ prolapse?
The pelvic organs are supported by ligaments and the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles sit underneath the pelvic organs, they act like a buoyancy aid and help keep the organs in place. The ligaments then act as an anchor for the uterus.
Certain activities can weaken and lengthen the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments thus allowing the pelvic organs to move down into the vaginal wall.
Activities that weaken the pelvic floor muscles
Make sure you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles before you lift and avoid prolonged periods of lifting, even with lighter weight items.
Being on your feet all day
As the day goes on your pelvic floor muscles get tired and weaker and are less supportive. If you can, have a rest and lie down in the day for 30 minutes to ‘recharge’ your pelvic floor muscles.
Pregnancy and childbirth
A combination of the weight of the baby pushing on the pelvic floor muscles and the hormone ‘relaxin’ lengthening the ligaments means there is no substitute for doing pelvic floor muscle exercises in preparation. Please see an earlier article on how to do these.
Straining and constipation
Over strenuous abdominal exercises and high impact exercises