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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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Being diagnosed with a prolapse can sound really scary!
Let’s start with understanding what it actually means.


Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more pelvic organs shift downwards due to weakening, stretching, or tension in the supporting structures, such as the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues. These organs can bulge into the vagina or, in the case of rectal prolapse, towards the rectum.

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Common symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Do you feel a heaviness or dragging sensation in the vagina?

  • Do you feel there is a fullness or bulging inside or outside the vagina?

  • Do you feel pressure in the vagina, like a golf ball or grape?

  • Do you experience urinary retention, post void dribble, urinary incontinence, and urgency?

  • Do you have difficulty having a bowel movement?

  • Do you experience constipation?

  • Do you have pain during intercourse?

The most typical types of pelvic organ prolapse are the uterus (uterine prolapse), bladder (cystocele), and bowel (rectocele). A vaginal vault prolapse  and intestinal prolapse can also occur, though less frequently.

What causes a prolapse?

  • Childbirth can cause weakness or tearing of the muscles and ligaments supporting your pelvic organs

  • Instrumental delivery of your baby can increase your risk of a prolapse 

  • Multiple pregnancies and higher birth weight pregnancies 

  • High body weight and age 

  • History of chronic straining due to constipation 

How can we help?

  • Assessment and addressing the root cause of your prolapse 

  • Spinal and joint mobilisation

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Internal myofascial release to the pelvic floor muscles 

  • Whole body strengthening, especially for core, hip and lower limb strength 

  • Advise on a healthy bladder and bowel routine 

  • Education and lifestyle advise on pressure management to prevent it from worsening 

  • Support and guidance to return to activities and meet your goals 

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If you suspect you have a pelvic organ prolapse, it's essential to seek help.

Visit a pelvic floor physical therapist experienced in assessing and treating pelvic organ prolapse to develop a tailored treatment and rehabilitation plan. Breathing exercises can help connect with your pelvic region and core.

 

Constipation should be addressed promptly, as it is a significant risk factor for POP. Be mindful of your body, and if you experience discomfort, rest and reconnect with your pelvic floor. Additionally, reducing stress can positively affect POP symptoms, so consider stress management strategies if needed.

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Our Osteopaths work very closely with our Exercise Physiologist who is extensively trained in pelvic health. Exercise Physiology helps to integrate your pelvic floor exercises into more functional movements to get you back living a healthier and more independent life! 

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