August 18, 2020

Pelvic Organ Prolapse happens when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder or rectum) become weak allowing one or more of the pelvic organs to sit lower or press into the vagina. 1 in 3 women will experience to some some degree after childbirth, so this is probably more common amongst your lady friends than you originally thought. When you consider how much our bodies change and stretch during pregnancy and childbirth it is not surprising this condition can happen! Both vaginal and rectal prolapse can cause a woman much distress and pain… But the good thing to note is it is treatable with Women’s and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy!

What is the cause of prolapse?

Causes or risk factors for prolapse include;

  • Constipation
  • Pregnancy
  • vaginal delivery (in particular with forceps)
  • prolonged or very quick second stage of labour (pushing stage)
  • a chronic cough
  • repetitive high impact activity
  • heavy lifting
  • pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • obesity

What does a prolapse feel like / how do I know if I have one?

Symptoms of prolapse may include

  • sensation of heaviness or pressure in the pelvic region,
  • low back pain and/or lower abdominal pain,
  • incomplete emptying of your bladder or bowel,
  • slow stream of urine and/or stop/start pattern when emptying your bladder,
  • pain or discomfort with intercourse,
  • urinary urgency,
  • recurrent UTIs.

It is important if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to know that you are not alone, there is help and support available. There is well-documented evidence that a physiotherapist with specialist skills in pelvic health (like myself) can thoroughly assess, diagnose and treat your vaginal or rectal prolapse. Treatment may include pelvic floor muscle strengthening, pessaries and lifestyle changes (like building specific exercise programs for you)… But, ultimately, my simply message to the women reading please reach out and book a Women’s and Pelvic Health Physiotherapy consultation with myself if you have 1) recently given birth, 2) have any of the above risk factors, 3) are noticing any of the above symptoms OR 4) something doesn’t feel right down there.

You can book this specialist consultation via our online portal, calling us on 9431 5955 and/or please leave your number with our friendly reception team and I’ll call you back. Stay well ladies!

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