Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when one or more of the pelvic organs descends or collapses into the vaginal canal. This is typically caused by repeated and uneven downward pressure into the pelvic floor.
The type of prolapse is named after the pelvic organ that is descending. Most common:
- Cystocele (bladder)
- Rectocele (rectum)
Prolapse is given a number scale grading to note the severity of which the muscles are descending. However, the presence of symptoms is not correlated with the severity of the POP. You can experience valid symptoms with a grade I and no symptoms with a grade 2 or 3. You can also experience no change or reversal of grade yet experience a relief or reversal of symptoms.
Risk factors for prolapse
- Pregnancy – Nearly 2/3 of people that have given birth have prolapse while the majority remains asymptomatic. Delivery method can definitely increase the risk of prolapse development, but pregnancy itself also plays a role.
- Delivery method
- Chronic cough
- Hysterectomy – A hysterectomy can increase your risk for pelvic organ prolapse depending on the type of surgery performed and the remaining support available for pelvic organs.
- Menopause – The lower estrogen levels during and after menopause can thin pelvic floor and vaginal tissues and increase your risk for developing pelvic organ prolapse.
There are several treatment options available for prolapse, including (but not limited to):
- Pressure management
- Strategies or diet changes to assist with constipation
- Strength training
- Pelvic floor physical therapy
- Hormone therapies
Pelvic organ prolapse can be a scary diagnosis to navigate, but you don’t have to do it on your own.
If you’re ready to make massive strides in your prolapse recovery and start lifting (and living again) without worrying about your core and pelvic floor, FIT for Women Plus is for you. Get the mobility, core and pelvic floor progressions, and strength programming you need to help you navigate your symptoms.
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