Many of the programmes, gadgets or blogs you may read about online, will focus on how to fix pelvic organ prolapse. For example;
“Here’s how I healed my prolapse and you can too!”
“Best exercise program to naturally heal a prolapse”
“This device has helped xx women reverse their prolapse”
I am in no doubt that there are instances where a prolapse has healed, or reversed. Awesome stuff! However, the “I must fix my broken body” mindset isn’t always useful especially if you feel as though you have tried all the programmes, gadgets, tips and tricks! What if we take the pressure off trying to fix a prolapse and instead find ways to improve and reduce your prolapse symptoms? Reducing symptoms often leads to feeling more confident to exercise (and exercise in a way you love). Plus, it provides effective tools for the ongoing management of prolapse. The outcome of this is that you get to live an awesome and active life without your prolapse being a roadblock.
If you are finding that your prolapse is an obstacle for you getting on with your active life, I created a workbook that you can download here.
It includes some written exercises to help you reframe some of the challenges around pelvic organ prolapse.
What if we moved from how to fix pelvic organ prolapse to improving prolapse symptoms?
Firstly, this is going to be different for every single body! So, this is based on my own experience of working with lots of women with pelvic organ prolapse. Here are the ways that my clients experience improvement in prolapse symptoms.
- spend less time thinking about their prolapse
- flare-up of symptoms tend to be predictable and short term (e.g. cycle related)
- improvement in Grade of prolapse
- improvement in the strength of the pelvic floor muscles
- better support for the pelvic organs (e.g. stronger muscles, a well-fitting pessary, external support)
- being free from feelings of heaviness
- visible changes to their prolapse e.g. looks higher and less bulgy
- no (or fewer) symptoms during exercise (that may previously have brought on symptoms)
- spend less time analysing movements and worry they have made this worse
- spend less time self checking their prolapse
10 ways to improve prolapse symptoms
In my blog last week, I talked about the best exercises for pelvic organ prolapse. Within this blog, I talked about:
- Pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
- Functional training for pelvic organ prolapse
- The exercises you feel motivated to do
- The exercises that help make your life easier
Here are 10 more ways to help improve your symptoms
- Breathe! I know that you are breathing because you are alive and reading this! However using breathing strategies for lifting and exercise can be super useful. As can learning how to breathe to relax the pelvic floor muscles.
- Eat well and eat enough! Plenty of fibre and good hydration can help reduce and prevent constipation. This can help reduce straining and downward pressure on the pelvic floor.
- Free yourself from the blame game! A prolapse diagnosis can come with a lot of post-event analysing. Was it giving birth? Or rushing back to Crossfit after birth? Was it genetic? Prolapse is often an accumulation of things.
- Understand your tendencies around tension and pressure, particularly during activities of daily life and exercise.
- Track your cycle especially if you find symptoms creep up at certain times of the month.
- Look for ways to add additional support for the pelvic organs e.g. strengthening the muscles, pessary or external support (such as EVB support garments)
- Talk to friends and loved ones and let them know what kind of support you’d like
- Don’t accept things are just as they are! So many clients feel better knowing they are working towards feeling better and being able to do more.
- Get assessed by a women’s health physio who can assess you in static and in some functional movements. Knowing where you are is a great way to move forward.
- Work with a coach who understands that every single body is different and can use lots of different strategies and techniques to help you.
If you have pelvic organ prolapse and would love to improve your prolapse symptoms and get back to the exercise you love, check out my Positive POP Framework here.