Women who have a family history of pelvic organ prolapse or have had a vaginal birth are more vulnerable to this condition. It can be treated if it does occur, but more importantly, there are ways women can prevent pelvic organ prolapse before it happens.
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where pelvic floor muscles become weak or torn and consequently dropdown. This condition can affect the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, or rectum.
In addition to family history and vaginal birth, other causes can include obesity, chronic coughing, straining during bowel movements, giving birth to a baby more than 8.5 pounds, hormonal changes during menopause, and aging.
Symptoms Of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
How do you know this is happening to you?
There are several signs of pelvic organ prolapse, and some of them include the following:
- Seeing or feeling something protruding out of the vagina
- Pelvic pressure that becomes more intense standing too long or coughing
- Feelings of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
- Difficulty inserting a tampon
Preventing Pelvic Organ Prolapse
If you already have some of the risk factors for this condition, all is not lost. There are still ways women can prevent pelvic organ prolapse.
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
No matter your age, any woman can do simple kegel exercises that will strengthen her pelvic floor. Pretend you are urinating and then hold, or flex, your muscles for three seconds. Then release. Do this ten times and several times a day to strengthen your pelvic floor.
Lose Some Weight
Carrying around extra weight puts more pressure on your pelvic muscles. By dropping some pounds you can help to prevent pelvic floor prolapse. Talk with Southeast Valley Urology about a weight loss plan.
Here is another reason to quit! Besides your smoker’s cough, smoking drains your body of needed oxygen which helps to repair muscles and prevent pelvic floor muscles.
Eat Lots Of Fiber
This is an easy one. Whole foods like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, beans, and grains are not only healthy, but they help to make bowel movements easier. Less straining lowers your risk for pelvic organ prolapse.
Add in 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, and you are on your way.
Take Your Time
We mean when sitting on the commode. We are all in a hurry, but this is one activity that should be completed in due course and without haste. Too much straining or “pressing” can lead to your rectum or intestines falling into your vagina.