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Tips for pelvic organ prolapse from a pelvic floor physical therapist

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) can be scary and intimidating (but it doesn’t need to be!)

Here are 5 of my favorite tips if you’re struggling with POP:



squat with ball squeeze




1. Incorporate thigh ball squeezes into leg workouts for additional support: Your adductor (i.e. inner thigh muscles) insert into your pelvic floor and thus can provide additional support to your pelvic floor when activated. A great way to activate your adductors while performing other exercises is to squeeze a ball in between your legs (ex. Ball squeeze with bridges, ball squeeze with wall squats, etc.).





deep breathing



2. Remember to breathe with exercise (i.e. don’t hold your breath!): Holding your breath places increased pressure on your pelvic floor and can worsen your POP symptoms. Be sure you refrain from breath holding and EXHALE upon exercise exertion to optimize the activation of your core and pelvic floor.





stopwatch

3. Emphasize pelvic floor muscle endurance: Your pelvic floor muscles have both fast twitch (think holding urine in while you cough) and slow twitch (think holding urine in while going for a walk) muscle fibers. With POP, we want to emphasize the slow twitch (aka endurance) muscle fibers to optimize your pelvic floor’s ability to support your organs and prevent leakage and/or bulging over a longer period of time.



toileting posture






4. Avoid straining with bowel movements: Straining and bearing down places increased pressure and stress on your pelvic floor and, like mentioned in point 2, can worsen your POP symptoms. If you struggle with constipation, try resting your forearms on your thighs, use a small stool or squatty potty to raise up your legs, and focus on deep breathing to help your pelvic floor relax.







pessary examples
Source: Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support




5. Use pessary for additional support (if needed): A pessary is like a brace for your pelvic floor. Using one can help provide some extra support and keep you doing the activities you love while still seeking help from a pelvic floor PT for treatment :)








If you do suffer POP, pelvic floor PT can be extremely helpful in managing your symptoms. Contact us today to learn more.



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