Ahh this is a huge question from those experiencing pelvic organ prolapse! And one that comes with an “it depends” answer. Sorry! That old chestnut!
Pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegels) are a great starting point to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. However, they may not be appropriate for everyone.
For those experiencing a hypertonic (or tight) pelvic floor, a high volume of pelvic floor exercises may not be the starting point. Signs of tight pelvic floor muscles include leaking, back pain, painful sex, urge incontinence.
I’ve seen clients undertake pelvic floor exercises and get great results and I’ve seen clients not do pelvic floor exercises and also get great results.
Here are some conversation starters you can have with your pelvic floor physiotherapist around pelvic floor muscle training and whether it’s appropriate for you:
- Is it a lack of support from the muscles OR a damage to the ligaments? Or both?
- Do the pelvic floor muscles need strengthening or relaxing?
- Are the pelvic floor muscles tight but weak or tight but masking strength?
- Do your clients have success with a pelvic floor muscle training programme?
- How many should I do? How often? Is there a specific element I need to work on e.g. long holds versus short holds
- I’ve done months of pelvic floor muscle training and made good progress – what is my maintenance plan?
- They feel to easy lying down, can I progress to other more functional positions (e.g. standing, kneeling, on all fours)
Here’s an article in Woman & Home discussing pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) see if you can spot my comments!