Jeopardy time! It is estimated that 50% of women over the age of 50 and many women under the age of 50 are living with this condition. If you said "What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse" you answered correctly! Although it is a common condition, it is certainly NOT normal. If you are past the age of 20 and have had a baby, you really should get checked. The problem with Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is that it is progressive if not dealt with. And long before your gynaecologist starts suggesting a hysterectomy, you owe it to yourself to deal with a POP by learning a few simple and effective strategies.
If you've never heard about POP, here is the low-down. By the way, if you're going to do more research online, do yourself a favour and don't Google image search this. Just trust me on this one.
What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)?
A bulging or herniation of one or several pelvic organs into the vaginal wall. It is caused by the pelvic organs shifting out of their optimal position. A prolapse of the rectum, vagina, bladder, urethra, uterus or small intestine can occur. It can be a mild, moderate, or severe prolapse. In the cases of the most severe prolapse, the pelvic organ has slipped right outside of the body.
What causes POP?
It is multi-factorial. Risk factors include:
Ultimately POP is a problem of pressure. The pelvic support system (ligaments, fascia, organ position, and pelvic floor support) is overwhelmed by pressures from above (intra-abdominal pressure) and it cannot cope. This pressure imbalance will cause the pelvic organs to be shifted around and displaced. They will move downwards and eventually out of the vaginal opening. POP is often accompanied by other pressure related problems – incontinence, diastasis recti, or other types of hernias.
Why is prolapse a problem?
Symptoms of POP
How to treat POP
It is a simple formula. Cure = Stop doing things that worsening it! + Start doing what will help to reverse it!
How do you prevent POP from worsening?
How is POP treated by physiotherapy?
Healing from pelvic organ prolapse takes time so be patient with yourself. It will require focused awareness, dedication to your program and some lifestyle changes, at least in the interim. But with the right guidance and an optimistic outlook, you can get back to normal and enjoy your life once again.
For women looking for more information and support, please check out this excellent website: http://www.pelvicorganprolapsesupport.org/
If you are not sure if you have pelvic organ prolapse, contact The Mama's Physio to set up a consultation. We will figure it out together and get you started on the path to healing.
The Mama's Physio
We are a team of experienced physiotherapists with a passion for women's health and well being. We focus on pelvic health in the context of the whole body. We care for pregnant and post-partum mamas and women at all life stages from teens to the young at heart. We are mothers ourselves and we are women. We love what we do and we are here to serve you.