I am Diagnosed with a Prolapse! Now What?
Information on Prolapse and Management
Prolapse can be an intimidating diagnosis that many individuals are left confused about how they got one, but also what is the next step to getting back to living their life! Prolapse is a term used to describe when an organ drops from its normal position. Prolapse occurs due to stretching out of the ligaments of the pelvic floor, decreased pelvic floor muscle strength, chronic increase of abdominal pressure due to chronic cough or allergies, vaginal births, menopause, etc. There are many factors that play into reasons as to why one may have a prolapse.
In regards to the pelvis, there are many types of prolapses which include:
● Cystocele (Mayo clinic): Tissue between a woman’s bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina.
● Urethrocele (Healthline): Weakening of tissues causing the urethra to press into the vaginal canal.
● Rectocele (Cleveland Clinic): A rectocele is a condition in which the wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina is weakened, allowing the vaginal wall bulge.
● Enterocele (Mayo clinic): Small bowel prolapse occurs when the small intestine descends into the lower pelvic cavity and pushes at the top part of the vagina, creating a bulge.
Some people can feel symptoms of their prolapse whereas others are not aware that they have one- both scenarios which can be highly frustrating! Symptoms can be described as sitting on a “ ball,” heaviness in the pelvic region, low back discomfort, or even feeling of a “bulge.” These do not encompass all symptoms of prolapse as every individual’s body is different, and may respond differently. However, the good news is that there are pelvic floor physical therapists that can help! Many people do not receive help or feel too embarrassed to discuss, but there are many different treatment options!
Treatment is not the same for every individual however most people would benefit from pelvic floor strengthening and stretching if indicated as well as proper breathing mechanics. Your pelvic floor is highly correlated to your diaphragm and proper mechanics are essential for a healthy pelvic floor. Also, remember to avoid any activities that cause you to “bear down” as this increases the intraabdominal pressure and can worsen the prolapse. This includes taking control of constipation, which plays a large role in managing your prolapse.
Managing to live with a prolapse can be overwhelming and challenging however the good news is that there are many additional treatment options and pelvic floor physical therapists that can help you! Schedule an appointment today so that we can get you back to living your life!
Through education, manual therapy, biofeedback, and individualized programming, our specialists can help you to identify and manage your symptoms to help you get back out there and doing what you love! Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/southocpt or give us a call at 949.597.0007 and see how we can support on your road to better health and wellness!
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Morgan Mymon, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Lead Pelvic Therapist
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