What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the organs in the pelvis, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, drop down or bulge into the vaginal canal. It is a common condition that affects many women, especially those who have given birth or gone through menopause. It can cause discomfort, pain, and incontinence, but it is treatable with the help of a physical therapist.
How Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Help Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic floor therapy is an effective treatment option. It can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which are responsible for supporting the organs in the pelvis. A physical therapist can design an individualized exercise program to help women regain control over their pelvic floor muscles and reduce the symptoms of the condition.
Benefits of Pelvic Floor Therapy for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
There are many benefits of pelvic floor therapy for pelvic organ prolapse, including:
- Reduced Symptoms: Pelvic floor therapy can help reduce symptoms such as pain, discomfort, and incontinence.
- Improved Quality of Life: It can improve the quality of life for women who suffer from this condition.
- Avoiding Surgery: It can also be a viable alternative to surgery for some women, reducing the need for invasive procedures.
- Better Sexual Function: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through pelvic floor therapy can improve sexual function and satisfaction.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Prevention Tips
While this is a common condition, there are ways to prevent it. Here are some tips:
- Protect Your Pelvic Floor: You can minimize the risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse by making sure your pelvic floor muscles and surrounding hip, core, and back muscles are strong.
- Maintain Health Bowel Habits: Diet and Nutrition can be key factors in maintaining healthy bowel movements. Excessive straining or pushing on the toilet can increase risk and overall pressure on the pelvic floor. Using a Squatty Potty and breathing while you push to empty your bowels can greatly reduce strain on the pelvic floor.
- Be Mindful of Your Posture: Proper posture can take undue pressure and load off your pelvic floor. Practice daily check-ins with yourself and perform exercises and stretches to optimize your posture.
- Practice Good Body Mechanics: Be mindful of how you lift heavy objects and pay attention to your body mechanics as you move. Holding your breath while straining to pick up a heavy object can cause pressure to funnel downwards onto the pelvic floor, causing unwanted strain on the muscles and structures of the pelvis.
What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
This is caused by the weakening or stretching of the pelvic floor muscles and tissues that support the organs in the pelvis. This can happen due to various reasons, including:
- Pregnancy and childbirth: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, making them more susceptible to prolapse.
- Menopause: The decrease in estrogen levels during menopause can cause a reduction in the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, making them more prone to prolapse.
- Chronic coughing: Chronic coughing can increase abdominal pressure, putting stress on the pelvic floor muscles and causing prolapse.
- Heavy lifting: Regularly lifting heavy objects without proper breath control or pressure management can strain the pelvic floor muscles and lead to prolapse.
- Genetics: Some women may have a genetic predisposition.
It’s important to note that not all women who experience these risk factors will develop it, but they may increase the likelihood of it occurring.
What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include:
- A feeling of heaviness or pressure in the pelvic area
- Vaginal bulging or protrusion
- Urinary incontinence
- Difficulty emptying the bladder or bowel
- Pain or discomfort during intercourse
- Lower back pain
The Importance of Seeking Treatment
It’s important for women to seek treatment, as it can significantly impact their quality of life. Untreated prolapse can lead to urinary and bowel problems, sexual dysfunction, and even depression. Seeking treatment from a healthcare provider, including a physical therapist, can help manage the symptoms and prevent complications.
Get the Help You Need
Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a common condition that can be treated with the help of a pelvic floor therapist. By addressing the pelvic floor muscles through individualized exercise programs, pelvic floor therapy can reduce the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and improve the quality of life for women who suffer from this condition. To prevent this, it’s important to protect your pelvic floor, maintain healthy bowel habits, be mindful of your posture, and practice good body mechanics. With the right care and attention, women can regain control over their bodies and live a happy, healthy life.
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“Dr. Gabi is a very kind and compassionate therapist.”
“I am so thankful for Gabi and her expertise! I came to her with symptoms that were affecting my everyday life and within two sessions, I could feel a major difference. She is professional, thorough, and was even very accommodating when I had to bring my 6month old son to some of my sessions. I also loved that Gabi took the time to actually teach me about the different functions and purposes of treatment. She definitely has a passion for her work and I would highly recommend her to women in need of pelvic floor care.”