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How to keep pelvic prolapse from interfering with your life

Blaise Kovaz, MD, FACOG

by Blaise Kovaz, MD, FACOG

Pelvic organ prolapse, also called pelvic prolapse, is common, affecting about a third of all women at some point in their lives. Your pelvic region, which includes your vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and bowel, is held in place by pelvic ligaments and connective tissue (endopelvic fascia). When these ligaments and this tissue weaken, your pelvic organs can push against the vagina and the uterus.

Symptoms of this condition include back pain, painful intercourse, constipation, pelvic pressure, and urinary incontinence. Your symptoms depend on which region of pelvic support has been compromised. The reason pelvic organ prolapse is so common among women is that the two primary risk factors include childbirth and advancing age. Genetics, cigarette smoking, and chronic steroid use are additional risk factors. A lifestyle that involves heavy lifting and pushing can contribute to this problem as well.

Can Pelvic Prolapse Be Treated or Prevented?

Fortunately, Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida offers many treatment options, so this condition doesn’t have to interfere with your daily activities and relationships. Even better, you can do simple things on your own to prevent pelvic prolapse. The team at Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida has compiled these helpful tips.

Pelvic exercises

Pelvic exercises, also called Kegels, can help treat and prevent pelvic floor issues. This simple exercise can be done anywhere, anytime, without anyone knowing you’re doing it. You simply squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you were trying to prevent urine from coming out. Perform this muscle squeezing several times a day to build a strong pelvic floor.

Lose weight

Being overweight is a significant risk factor for developing pelvic prolapse. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise regularly

Constipation is a risk factor for developing pelvic organ prolapse. Getting regular exercise can help you get regular in your bowel movements as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.​

Eat a healthy, high-fiber diet

Eating a diet rich in healthy foods and high in fiber, as well as drinking plenty of water, can also help you maintain normal bowel function and prevent constipation.

Quit smoking

Smoking increases your risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse, as well as other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you smoke, quit.

Treatment recommendations depend on the organ that’s prolapsed and the severity of your condition. The least invasive treatment is pelvic floor physical therapy. If physical therapy doesn’t make you more comfortable or reduce your symptoms, a minor office procedure to place a pessary, which is a silicone device that holds loose organs in place, is an option. In more advanced cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair weak tissue or to remove the prolapsed organ.

For more information on preventing, diagnosing, and treating pelvic organ prolapse, call Premier Women’s Care for an appointment today at (239) 432-5858. You can also make an appointment online.