You may have a Pelvic Organ Prolapse!
What in the world is a pelvic prolapse?! Many women will experience some degree of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. A pelvic organ prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ (bladder, uterus or rectum) drops down or starts to bulge out of the vagina. Sometimes more than one organ can prolapse at the same time! In many mild cases, people may have no symptoms and little to no impairment in daily function. In other cases, people start to feel a bulge, pelvic pressure, or a feeling like “my insides are dropping down or falling out.”
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can identify the grade of a prolapse (from 1-4, with 4 being the worst), which organ(s) is(are) prolapsing, and what factors are contributing to these symptoms. Even more importantly, together we can come up with a treatment plan to help reverse the symptoms and prevent future problems from arising. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of homework and proper pelvic floor exercising involved.
In general, here are a few ways to best manage and/or avoid pelvic organ prolapse in order to put less strain on your pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs:
Do not hold your breath when lifting objects or when exerting yourself. Instead, gently exhale through the strenuous part of the lift/activity
Use proper lifting mechanics – use your legs instead of your waist or back
Avoid straining with bowel movements and manage constipation
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing appropriate pelvic floor exercises
Control coughing by getting treatment for a chronic cough