What is pelvic organ prolapse?
The pelvic floor muscles, fascia and ligaments that support the organs within the pelvis can become weak. This can result in one or more of the organs move in a downward direction. That can be the bladder, the bowels and/or the uterus.
What causes prolapse?
Prolapse is commonly caused by sustained pressure or activities that place significant pressure or strain on the tissues in the pelvic area. This can include things such as pregnancy, child birth, repetitive lifting of heavy objects, constipation and repetitive straining, particularly sneezing, being overweight or obese, having very weak pelvic floor muscles, alongside any local surgeries such as hysterectomy.
What does a prolapse feel like?
So, commonly reported, women complain of feeling the following:
- Feeling of a heavy or dragging sensation in the vagina
- Feeling a bulge in the vagina
- Feeling or being constipated and not emptying their bowels completely
- They might also experience difficulty emptying their bladder.
- Difficulties in controlling bladder or bowels.
- May experience back pain
- Pain or discomfort with penetrative sexual intercourse
So, what can be done?
- First thing is to look after your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support the pelvic organs and it is important to look after these muscles so that they provide adequate support. This can be done by exercising these muscles and this is something that can be shown by one of our physiotherapists.
- Next is to look after your bladder. This can be done by maintaining adequate fluid intake, avoiding drinks that irritate the bladder such as caffeine, fizzy drinks or alcohol. Respond to urges when it comes to emptying out your bladder and avoiding going just in case. Avoid straining to empty your bladder and attempt to always sit down when you’re emptying.
- Looking after your bowels; in particular, avoiding constipation and straining that can put excessive pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and lead to having a prolapse.Looking after your general health. That is, staying within a healthy weight range, having good exercise routine and movement.
- Engaging in low impact exercises such as walking, riding, swimming, or things like Pilates and Yoga.
- If you do have a prolapse, it’s important that you look after it. This means avoiding to have itchiness or irritation, avoiding the skin getting infected and that would entail also seeing a health professional for examination, alongside treatment.
If you would like to find out further information about how physiotherapy can help you in managing your pelvic organ prolapse, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.