Many women with POP, want to know how to improve prolapse symptoms. This can be to improve quality of life, to be able to move forward without prolapse dominating their life or to be able to exercise again without worrying about POP.
So, first things first, let’s have a look at some common prolapse symptoms.
Common prolapse symptoms
The most common prolapse symptoms include the following
- a visible bulge or one that can be palpated (by yourself or a pelvic health physio, gynecologist)
- vaginal dragging sensation, or feeling of heaviness in the pelvis/vagina
- difficulty with urination or bowel movements (straining)
- difficulty or discomfort with intercourse
- vaginal laxity or looseness
- incontinence isn’t strictly a symptom of prolapse but is often seen alongside it
You can have POP and experience no symptoms or you may be experiencing one or many of these prolapse symptoms.
Does the severity of symptoms equal the severity of the prolapse?
This is super interesting to consider. You may have a very mild/mild prolapse and find your symptoms physically and mentally debilitating. Or you may have a higher grade of prolapse and yet experience few or no symptoms.
So, how do we explain this?
The idea of central sensitivity can be useful in trying to understand this. And to explain why 2 women who have the same anatomical grade yet have completely different symptoms. Or experience those symptoms differently to one another.
Central sensitivity refers to hypersensitivity to painful and normal sensations. A study showed that one-third of women with prolapse, also experience pelvic pain. Those with pelvic pain, had lower grades of POP but found their symptoms more bothersome. It could be that those who already have more sensitization due to pain, and then more sensitizes to other sensations and symptoms.
Ways to soothe sensitivity
If there is greater sensitivity, this often coincides with a ramping up of the nervous system. The body MAY interpret a small change in the position of the pelvic organs as a big change, and symptoms may feel huge in comparison. In addition, lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress, hydration, nourishment, the interpretation of what prolapse means for your life, and your ability to be optimistic can all influence how you experience symptoms.
Understanding the objective assessment of your prolapse as well as taking small steps forward with movement goals (rather than avoiding movement) can be really helpful. Working on improving your pelvic floor function, can help improve pelvic symptoms, Plus, making sure you are eating well, sleeping well, and looking after your mental health can help soother your nervous system.
If you would like help soothing your prolapse symptoms whilst making progress with your movement goals, check out my 12 week Back to Movement programme here.
Or book a FREE 15 minute pelvic floor pow wow