By Dr. Tamara Vead
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
“I have Pelvic Organ Prolapse! What can I do?”
There is no “One-size fits all” answer here! Guidelines can be very vague and increase fear and anxiety. Let’s dive into it a little more.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse simply means that one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum) have dropped into the vaginal canal. This can present with symptoms of pelvic heaviness or pressure, sensation of sitting on something, difficulty emptying your bladder or bowels, leaking, discomfort with sex, or back pain. Recent research shows that it can also be completely asymptomatic, meaning it is there with examination, but you are completely unaware of it.
Did you know that pelvic organ prolapse can be seen in up to 50% of women1; however, only 3-12% of women will report symptoms.2 Following a diagnosis of prolapse women can often feel isolated with increased anxiety that movement and lifestyle can/will make the prolapse worse. Common recommendations have included: limited lifting, use of a support device, and decreased participation in impact sports and workouts. So, what CAN you do?
There is good news!
A specialized therapist can assess your ENTIRE body looking for posture deviations, muscle imbalances, and coordination problems that are impacting pelvic pressure and support. Research shows improvement in pelvic organ prolapse and symptoms with conservation pelvic therapy!1
A pelvic floor therapist can work with you to:
– Regulate pressure down into your pelvic floor.
– Improve breathing mechanics
– Decrease scar tissue or muscle tightness impacting organ position
– Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and ALL the surrounding muscles…Abs, back, hips, and feet…that impact posture and joint support.
– Restore proper muscle coordination.
Once your pelvic floor is working synchronously with surrounding muscles and you are stronger and balanced, you can incorporate your activities of choice without fear! We help patients with pelvic organ prolapse very frequently. We have many patients that are athletes that have returned to sport without symptoms. Let us help you experience life again!
1. Hagen S, Stark D. Conservative prevention and management of pelvic organ prolapse in women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Dec 7;(12):CD003882. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003882.pub4. PMID: 22161382.
2. Espiño-Albela A, Castaño-García C, Díaz-Mohedo E, Ibáñez-Vera AJ. Effects of Pelvic-Floor Muscle Training in Patients with Pelvic Organ Prolapse Approached with Surgery vs. Conservative Treatment: A Systematic Review. J Pers Med. 2022 May 17;12(5):806. doi: 10.3390/jpm12050806. PMID: 35629228; PMCID: PMC9142907.