Beth Davies Coaching

Will Kegels fix my prolapse?

Will Kegels fix my prolapse is a very common question. So, let’s look at the ways that Kegels (or pelvic floor exercises) might help prolapse. Plus, also the ways and reasons why Kegels won’t work, and of course, what to do instead!

 

What are Kegels?

Kegels (we’ll also use the term, pelvic floor exercises) are an isolated contraction, and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. They are done in the following way: 

Inhale

Relax the pelvic floor 

Exhale 

Lift and squeeze the pelvic floor muscles 

Pelvic floor exercises improve strength, endurance, power, relaxation or any combination of all of these (Bø et al, 2017). 

Which is why if you wanting to improve or maintain strength, pelvic floor exercises can be useful. Plus they are well supported by evidence and research. They are still considered the first one of treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. 

So, if you believe your prolapse is due to some pelvic floor muscle weakness, for example, following a vaginal birth. Kegels might be for you! 

What's the problem with Kegels?

However….very often pelvic organ prolapse may be due to a combination of factors. These may include: 

  • age 
  • inability to manage pressure 
  • hormone fluctuations 
  • tightness or a pelvic floor that is “always on”
  • heavy lifting (with poor strategy so creates lots of downward pressure) 
  • number of vaginal births 

So, Kegels can’t help “fix” of all these factors because they aren’t just down to a strength gap. 

As Kegels are isolated pelvic floor contractions, they don’t always improve their ability to work with other muscles. So, you can have a strong pelvic floor, but the pelvic floor muscles must be able to work as part of the core system, jumping into action when they are needed. Research shows that in a healthy core, the pelvic floor reacts and responds in anticipation of movement. This coordination of the pelvic floor with other muscles is really important when it comes to better managing pressure and forces (especially during exercise!). 

What does help prolapse symptoms?

Prolapse symptoms can be complex. I like to think of them as a combination of what’s happening at the pelvic floor or position of the pelvic organs, PLUS how your brain perceives that change in position or difference in tissues. 

Plus, symptoms can be dialed up or dialed down and this can be independent of the position of your organs. 

Read this blog all about symptoms called, What is making your prolapse symptoms worse?

 

 

Should you be doing Kegels?

Any muscles that are not trained and strengthened will get weaker over time, and the pelvic floor muscles are no different. So, pelvic floor exercises can be a useful PART of your prolapse rehab or prolapse healing. But it probably shouldn’t be the ONLY thing that you do. 

Beth Davies is a highly experienced personal trainer and coach specialising in female 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 women’s lifestyle magazines and websites, including  StylistMetroWoman & Home and Marie Claire UK 

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