Beth Davies Coaching

Is a prolapse diagnosis always helpful?

If you have been diagnosed with a prolapse, it’s likely you’ve been given your diagnosis and told to do your pelvic floor exercises (and perhaps not much else!). You’ve heard the word prolapse (maybe a grade) but you have no idea what this means for your life. It may have come as a shock because it was a routine check and you’re actually symptom-free. Or you may have had a suspicion and it’s now been confirmed. 

But what is the value of the diagnosis? 

Whilst, it’s not about withholding information from someone, it’s about using the prolapse diagnosis to have a helpful conversation. This conversation could include: 

  • The frequency of prolapse diagnosis (perhaps supported by stats, so that someone feels less alone and isolated)
  • The potential for improvement in symptoms (which I think is huge!) 
  • How good your pelvic floor function is or what can be worked on (and there is always ways to make improvements) 
  • What a path to exercise looks like 
  • How a prolapse may not actually change a grade (for want of a better phrase “get worse”)
  • How many women do live a fulfilling and active life with pelvic organ prolapse 

Should a prolapse always be graded?

Prolapses are generally graded from 0 (no prolapse present) to grade 4 (referred to as a significant or severe prolapse). Staging may also be informed by the POP-Q system which takes measurements from 6 locations and 3 anatomical markers. 

The difficulty with grading or staging is that 

  • A prolapse can present differently at different times of the day, month, etc
  • Different providers may report or grade differently (also depending on the above)
  • What value does this add to a client who has a prolapse and no symptoms versus someone who finds examinations uncomfortable and emotionally challenging?  
  • Provides no information on the support structures eg pelvic floor muscles and how well they may be doing their job (which I think can be hugely reassuring, don’t you?) 

Is it more helpful to talk about prolapse symptoms versus a diagnosis?

I think so. In a recent DM conversation, a lovely lady got in touch to say her GP had diagnosed a prolapse and she stopped running and lifting weights. In a session with a physio, it was found that a tight (hypertonic) pelvic floor was driving her “prolapse-type” symptoms. With some conservative treatment and self-management, she could get back to the exercise she loved without the symptoms of heaviness. 

Symptoms are something we can often influence through physio, self-care techniques as well as movement, whereas we can’t always influence the presence or grade of a prolapse.

If you are finding it hard to move past your prolapse diagnosis and get back to the exercise you love, and would like some help. Book in for a 15 minute chat here.  

DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is not a replacement for medical advice you may have been given by your healthcare professional but represents the thoughts and views of the author. 

Beth Davies is an experienced personal trainer and coach specialising in female health, pelvic health, pelvic organ prolapse, and exercise. Her programmes educate, empower and support women back to training or their active life, eliminating symptoms and building strength and confidence. She has been featured in publications such as Stylist, Marie Claire UK, Woman & Home, and Metro

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