Pelvic Organ Prolapse Solutions part 2

Last week we looked at things you can do in your daily life to help prevent POP or worsening symptoms - if you missed that you can read it here

Today we're looking at possible solutions to helping with symptoms.

Kegels

This is the lifting and squeezing of your pelvic floor muscles in isolation.  Usually includes a series of lifts, holds and pulses

Advantages:

  • easy to fit in
  • no equipment required
  • can do anywhere, anytime

Disadvantages:

  • not everyone does them correctly - may be bearing down
  • usually done whilst sitting/lying down - so no work against gravity
  • static - so not done with movement, which tends to be when people leak
  • hard to progress
  • if you have a hypotonic (non-relaxing) pelvic floor kegels can make symptoms worse - prolapse is often associated with a hypotonic pelvic floor
  • POP is not due to a weak pelvic floor

If you would like to learn how to properly lift your pelvic floor without bearing down you can join my free 5 day challenge here

Pelvic floor course: 5 Days to Feel Your Floor

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

This is still moving the pelvic floor, but combining it with movements that automatically work the pelvic floor

Advantages:

  • can tie in to any conditioining type exercise you may already be doing
  • works with movement, so more functional 
  • strengthens the pelvic floor to the level that's required when exercising
  • can increase or decrease level of intensity
  • tones the rest of the body too!

Disadvantages:

  • takes more time - can't just do it whilst sat down.  But 10 mins a day is enough to see results
  • takes some co-ordination of breath, movement and pelvic floor
  • have to keep practising to maintain results

Hypopressives

This is a breathing technique with certain postures that help unconsciously switch on the pelvic floor and core muscles

Advantages:

  • whole body toning, including the nerves
  • relieves stress and eases anxiety
  • don't have to consciously engage pelvic floor
  • has been shown to move the bladder, so can help organs realign
  • creates a core that works reflexively, as it's supposed to
  • able to advance the moves

Disadvantages:

  • very specific breathing technique that takes some time to learn
  • need to learn from an instructor
  • need to make time to do it - but 10 minutes a day is enough to see results
  • have to keep practising to maintain results

My next workshop will be in September - let me know if you want to go on the wait list.  Or I offer 1-2-1 sessions in person or online

Pessary

These are silicone or latex cones, rings or cubes that are inserted into the vagina and create a support for the vaginal wall

Advantages:

  • almost anyone can use a pessary
  • supports the organs so can bring immediate relief to prolapse symptoms
  • may actually decrease POP level with longer term use
  • can exercise as you want, including impact and weightlifting
  • can do pelvic floor work whilst it's in - may get a better sensation and better results

Disadvantages:

  • not widely known or prescribed
  • most need to be changed regularly by a health professional
  • doesn't strengthen the pelvic floor
  • not comfortable for everyone

Surgery

There are a variety of surgical options - not all use mesh and not all require a hysterectomy.

Advantages:

  • immediate result
  • best improvement in physical, social and emotional functioning compared to other modes
  • don't have to do any exercises
  • may be the only solution for those with levatar ani avulsion or connective tissue problems

Disadvantages:

  • success rate varies, from 0-92% failure, and 10% needing another surgery
  • time needed for surgery and recovery
  • still need to use one of the exercise protocols to help maintain results
  • may need to limit exercise choices to prevent recurrence of POP

I hope you've found this useful - what is always worth considering is that it is never one size fits all. 

POP happens for a variety of reasons - it is not just about a weak pelvic floor

Strain, connective tissue health, inactivity, injury, scars, immobility all play a part too

That's why my Pelvic Floor Recovery course includes information about all of these, plus exercises you can do to help as well as exercises to strengthen

It can help alleviate symptoms, teach you more about your body, and give you tools to try if you feel symptomatic

The last few days of the sale are on, plus I'm including two group coaching sessions for those who sign up this month.  Feel free to ask any questions, or you can sign up here

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