PROLAPSE – DO YOU KNOW?
DID YOU KNOW 75% OF WOMEN DON’T HAVE SYMPTOMS?!
Prolapse can occur as a result of pregnancy and/or child birth. Women with two or more children and who experience a forceps delivery are at greater risk of a prolapse. In fact, estimates are that 50% of women with two or more children and/or a forceps delivery have a prolapse.
So, what is a prolapse?
Well, without wanting to turn your stomach, it’s when the uterus, rectum or bladder starts to ‘fall down’. The connective tissue that holds the uterus, rectum or bladder becomes stretched or lax and doesn’t hold things in. It can be one of those things, two or all three that start to drop.
There are also different grades of prolapse. Simplistically, there is a grade 1 – 4 rating and in essence the higher the grade the more severe the prolapse.
Research has shown that approximately 75% of women who have a prolapse don’t have symptoms. So, women could have a prolapse and not know!
For those women who do experience symptoms these are some of them:
- A heavy or dragging sensation in the vaginal area
- A feeling like there’s a tennis ball, or similar, in between their legs.
Sometimes a prolapse can be coupled with light bladder leakage (pelvic floor dysfunction), but sometimes not.
It is possible to have a strong pelvic floor and still have a prolapse.
A word of warning, while exercise can absolutely improve a prolapse, there are also exercises that can make it worse!
Menopause can be a contributing factor as well, as the changing hormone profile can cause the tissue to become lax.
Arm yourself with knowledge.
Be aware that:
- Most fitness trainers and instructors have no knowledge of prolapse as they don’t do the extra training required
- Most trainers don’t know how to program or modify exercises for prolapse
- High intensity and/or high impact exercise may make a prolapse worse
- Wide and/or deep squats may make a prolapse worse
- Surgery doesn’t always work (it depends on the client) and it has a short lifespan of effectiveness
- There are loads of things you can do to help a prolapse!
What to do:
- Go to see a qualified women’s health physiotherapist to get a check up and see if you have a prolapse
- A qualified women’s health physio can give you an exercise program to help.
- There are also other options for a sever prolapse, such as a pessary
- ASK your fitness trainer if they’ve done extra training on pelvic floor and prolapse.
- ASK your trainer if they know how to modify exercises for a prolapse (if they don’t, run and seek out a new trainer)
- Know that there are exercises and exercise programming that can absolutely help.
- The best combo – a personal trainer or fitness instructor who is undertaken extra training in women’s health WORKING WITH a women’s health physio.
Sonia Hennessy is a personal trainer and wellness coach and operates the Bella Femme Studio in Gisborne, Victoria, Australia. The Bella Femme Studio is a personal training and wellness coaching service specialised in helping busy mums to build confidence, get back control of their body, increase energy and find joy in their lives. Sonia is also a pre and postnatal, and pre and post menopause fitness specialist.
To find out more about the Bella Femme Studio and the services offered click here.