Pelvic Organ Prolapse

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If the fascia and/or muscles of the pelvic floor tear, stretch or weaken the pelvic organs may lose their support and begin dropping down into the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the pelvic organs drops from their normal position into the vagina, causing a budge in the vaginal wall, or the organ to drop out of the vagina. Approximately 75% of women will develop at least some sort of prolapse during their lifetime. Any activity that produces a downward pressure on the pelvic floor can increase symptoms or put you more at risk of developing a prolapse. For example:

  • Anyone who has given birth

  • Having a history of chronic respiratory conditions or constipation

  • Regular heavy lifting

  • Performs in high impact sport e.g. gymnastics, running, athletics

Sign and symptoms include:

  • A feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area

  • Low back ache

  • Pain or discomfort during intercourse

  • Feeling a bulge in the vagina, or feeling that something is falling out

  • Urinary incontinence, and difficulty emptying the bladder and bowel

  • Constipation

  • Spotting or bleeding from the vagina

Having a pelvic floor that is strong and as importantly co-ordinates with breathing and the strain placed down on it can have a significant effect of a prolapse. Improving your posture and breathing pattern, ensuring good movement patterns (eg. good running technique, lifting technique) with the core, pelvic floor and breathing working together can help to manage and even reduce symptoms.