Picture this: you made it through 9 months of pregnancy and maybe a tough birth, and you’re FINALLY looking forward to feeling like you again. But you’re completely caught off guard by all the changes that are happening to your body postpartum!!
An area of the body that is profoundly affected by both pregnancy and childbirth is the pelvic floor. And there is one condition in particular that is not discussed enough which is pelvic organ prolapse.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to talk about what the heck pelvic organ prolapse is, the different types, and symptoms you should look out for. We’ll also discuss treatment options and how to get back to feeling like YOU!
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom to a toddler, and pregnant with my second baby!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
First things first, what is pelvic organ prolapse?!
Prolapse refers to the descending or dropping of organs. When we’re talking about pelvic organ prolapse, we’re talking about the pelvic organs such as the uterus, bladder, vagina, small bowels, and rectum. They can descend down into the vaginal canal or the anus.
There are several different types of pelvic organ prolapse that can occur postpartum and those are:
Cystocele: the bladder drops down and pushes against the front vaginal wall.
Uterine prolapse: the uterus slips down into the vaginal canal, and sometimes even protrudes out.
Enterocele: the small intestine pushes against the top of the vaginal wall.
Rectocele: the rectum pushes against the back of the vaginal wall.
So how do you know if you’re experiencing any of these types of prolapses?
Here are some common symptoms:
Feeling pressure or a sense of fullness in your pelvis
Feeling like you have a tampon out of place (when there is nothing in your vagina)
Feeling like something is falling out of your vagina
Seeing or feeling a bulge in the vagina
Lack of bladder control (leaking, urgency, etc)
Constipation or lack of bowel control
With all of these symptoms, they tend to get worse as the day goes on (due to gravity!)
Now for some good news -
While these symptoms can be debilitating, you DO NOT have to just suck it up and live with them!
The first thing you want to do is see a medical provider who can diagnose you with what type of prolapse you’re experiencing, as well as the grade of severity.
Once you know what kind of prolapse you’re dealing with, you can start to treat it! Common treatments include pelvic floor physical therapy, as well as the use of pessaries which are small removable devices that are inserted into the vagina to provide support to the vaginal wall.
Some other things you can do are:
Learn how to do 360 breathing and manage the pressure in your abdominal cavity
Functionally strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
Avoid constipation by eating a well-rounded diet and incorporating fiber, as well as staying hydrated
While pelvic organ prolapse can sound scary and can be very overwhelming and frustrating if you’re experiencing it, know that it is common and it will improve over time with proper treatment!! By strengthening your body and specifically your core and pelvic floor, you can see great improvement and get back to feeling like you again!
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.