Beth Davies Coaching

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse is defined by The International Urogynecology Association (IUGA) and International Continence Society (ICS) as; 

“A departure from normal sensation, structure, or function, experienced by the woman is reference to the position of her pelvic organs” 

There are different kinds of prolapse (see images)

  • Bladder prolapse (cystocele) 
  • Back passage prolapse (rectocele) 
  • Uterine prolapse which is the prolapse of the uterus 
  • Vaginal vault prolapse (mostly seen post hysterectomy) 

A prolapse may be discovered via a routine check such as a smear test or because of changes to how the vagina looks and feels. 

The most common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse are: 

  • A visible bulge of tissue in the vagina 
  • Vaginal laxity 
  • A heavy or dragging feeling in the pelvis 
  • Unable to keep a tampon in 
  • Discomfort with sex 
  • A change to bowel and bladder habits such as incomplete emptying of the bowels or leaking 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or you’re interested in understanding more about your pelvic health, see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.  A women’s health physio will perform an internal assessment to establish the position of your pelvic organs. They will also look at 

  • Strength and functionality of your pelvic floor muscles
  • Posture
  • Breathing and your ability to connect to your pelvic floor and deep core muscles 
  • They may also check your tummy muscles for diastasis recti and ask about toileting habits 

If you are wondering what a prolapse diagnosis means for exercise, then click here, to find out how I work with prolapse clients and help them get back to the exercise they love. 

Normal anatomy vs pelvic organ prolapse. Image from Burrell Education 2020
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