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June 11, 2022

Prolapse: what it is and what you can do about it

June is pelvic organ prolapse awareness month and we’re here to tell you that we are here for you! 

What is a prolapse? 

Prolapse occurs when one or more pelvic organs (uterus, rectum, urethra or bladder) is displaced from its original location and can cause you to feel back pain, heaviness, or pressure. Many people also have symptoms that worsen as you go through your day and notice a disruption in bowel, bladder, and sexual health.

Although prolapse tends to be common after giving birth (occurs in 50% of postpartum women), or after developing a chronic cough, chronic constipation, etc., we often see patients with a prolapse diagnosis who are in a state of despair. Stress and anxiety can play a big role in how your body manages pressure internally, and when your internal pressure is stronger than your pelvic floor, prolapse has a greater chance of occurring.

Wondering if you have a prolapse? 

The most common symptom of a prolapse is “achy/fullness/heaviness” in the pelvic area.

Here are some common statements we hear from our patients who have a prolapse:

  • “I feel like something is falling out”
  • “My pelvis feels achy/heavy/full”
  • “My symptoms get worse as the day goes on”
  • “I have leakage several times a day”
  • “I have difficulty with bowel movements”
  • “I see/feel tissue coming out” 

Of course, the best way to know if you have a prolapse is an examination by your OB or Gyn. 

I have a prolapse, so what’s next?

Physical therapy can also be a great conservative option to try prior to surgery. We are seeing more and more physicians referring their patients to PT prior to operating, as PT yields very good results with prolapse care. However, many people do have surgery for prolapse, and we can help before and after this as well so that your patterns and pressure imbalances don’t continue to impact you and your organs.

PT can help with prolapse! 

Here’s how: 

  • Pelvic floor muscle lengthening and strengthening 
  • Return to exercise
  • Pressure management, breathing techniques
  • Core strengthening/ correct use of TA (your deepest core muscle) 
  • Education regarding pessaries & toileting 
  • Manual therapy and therapeutic exercises for muscle imbalances
  • Return to exercise
  • Functional movement training 
  • And more! 

We want you to know that we get it. Being told you have a prolapse is disorienting and can feel scary, but this is why we do what we do as pelvic PT’s! We treat the issues that are often contributing to prolapse so that you can get back to the activities and comfort that you need and deserve. 

Whether you are using a pessary, are scheduled for surgery, or just want to improve your symptoms, we are here for you!

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