Prolapse is a condition where an organ or tissue is displaced from its original position. It can manifest in many forms, including uterine, bladder and rectal prolapses. In mild to moderate cases, it’s sometimes possible to treat them without invasive procedures.
Are you suffering from a pelvic prolapse? Surgery might not be the only option available. This blog post is here to help you discover effective, non-surgical remedies that can alleviate discomfort and restore your daily life to normal. You don’t have to go under the knife – just take our advice on how to say goodbye to you prolapse problems.
What is a Prolapse?
A prolapse is a medical condition in which the supporting tissues around one or more organs within the body weaken or break down, causing the organ(s) to collapse. While both men and women can experience this issue, it is most commonly seen in females.
Prolapses can occur in virtually any organ, but are particularly common in the entities that constitute the pelvis. The uterus, bladder and rectum are all held up by a collective of muscles and ligaments referred to as the pelvic floor. This muscular and ligamentary system provides support for these organs, maintaining their stability against collapse.
Weakening or tearing of muscles and ligaments may lead to the prolapsing of one or more pelvic organs. This is often due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, obesity or a combination of chronic coughing and constipation.
There are many types of prolapse, including uterine, vaginal, rectal, bladder (cystocele), and urethral (urethrocele) prolapse. Treatment for this condition differs depending on the type and severity. Some may not cause any distress but if intense, can result in pain or discomfort.
Causes of a Prolapse
Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles are the most common cause of a prolapse, but there are other factors that can contribute to it. These include childbirth, surgery, chronic coughing and heavy lifting. Additionally, aging can cause the muscles in your pelvic floor to weaken over time.
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Being overweight or obese is a serious problem as it can have many health implications, and there are several potential risks associated with it.
- Chronic cough or coughing fits
- Chronic constipation and straining during bowel movements are frequent occurrences that can be difficult to manage.
- Previous surgery on the pelvic floor
Signs and Symptoms of a Prolapse
A prolapse is a medical condition where organs or tissues such as the uterus, bladder, or rectum abnormally slip out of place. Such an event occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments supporting these organs become weak and stretched. It is commonly caused by childbirth, aging, and activities involving frequent strain on the pelvic floor like coughing, constipation, or heavy lifting.
The most common symptom of a prolapse is a bulge or lump in the vagina. Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling like something is falling out of the vagina
- Heaviness or pressure in the pelvis
- Pulling sensation in the pelvis
- Lower backache
- Issues with urination or defecation, such as struggling to expel the bladder entirely or involuntarily releasing urine, can be bothersome.
If you exhibit any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is imperative to contact your physician to determine the issue and suggest a solution.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Prolapsed Organs
There is a wide range of non-surgical treatments available for prolapsed organs. Depending on the organ in question and the level of severity, one or several of these treatment plans may be recommended. Pelvic floor exercises are known to increase muscular strength which supports the pelvic organs. This practice can contribute to preventing or lessening prolapse.
Losing weight can take strain away from the pelvic organs and assist in diminishing prolapse. To prevent prolapse, you can modify your diet to include high-fiber food and make sure you consume enough fluids. Achieving this will help to avoid constipation as well. Wearing a supportive device, such as a pessary, can offer the necessary support to keep organs in the correct position and help to reduce prolapse.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Your pelvic floor muscles provide support to your bladder and bowel. They are situated around your urethra, vagina, and rectum. Keeping these muscles strong helps to keep your organs in their rightful place and functioning optimally. However, if they are weak or damaged, there may be issues such as incontinence or a prolapse.
Pelvic floor exercises, known as Kegels, can help to strengthen and tone the muscles around your pelvis. This could bring relief from incontinence and prolapse symptoms, whilst also helping to stave off their occurrence in the first place.
To do a Kegel exercise:
Start by locating your pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles you use to stop urine midstream. To find them, try ceasing your flow a few times. After you’ve identified them, you’re able to do Kegels no matter where you are – in the office, while driving or even while laying down.
Tighten and release your pelvic floor muscles ten times, counting up to three each time. Once you find yourself getting stronger, lengthen the duration of your contractions while increasing the repetition for a maximum hold of 10 seconds.
Diet and Nutritional Recommendations
A prolapse is a common condition, particularly after childbirth and menopause, in which one of the pelvic organs—the uterus, bladder, or rectum—drops out from its regular spot and protrudes into the vagina. This can cause pain and disquiet, and in serious situations make it hard to urinate or pass stool.
No singular solution exists for controlling and caring for a prolapse, however, some dietary and lifestyle alterations may be of assistance.
If you are carrying extra weight, dropping some pounds may help ease the pressure on your pelvic floor, and can even reverse prolapse. If you are not sure where to start, reach out to your doctor for guidance on a healthy, safe weight loss plan that is right for you.
Additionally, aim to get plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps to ensure the smooth passage of food through your digestive system and can help you avoid constipation, which can further worsen an existing prolapse condition. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils – try to have around 25 grams per day.
Third, regularly engaging in physical activity is important. Pelvic floor exercises (or Kegel exercises) are particularly beneficial as they aid in fortifying the muscles that uphold the pelvic organs. Additionally, any type of exercise can help by reducing intra-abdominal pressure, which if left unchecked may result in a prolapse.
Use of Supportive Devices and Garments
There are numerous treatments available for a prolapse that don’t require surgery. One popular choice is the use of supportive equipment and clothing. These items can help to keep the affected organ in its proper position and stop it from slipping out. In some cases, they may also alleviate any accompanying symptoms.
Supportive devices and garments are usually crafted from supple, flexible materials that offer a comfortable fit. Whether you wear them all day or only for certain activities that could provoke prolapse, they can provide the support you need. Examples of such items include:
Pessaries can be a great option for those wanting to support their pelvic organs and prevent prolapse. Different shapes and sizes are available, so it is important to find one that suits your body best and feels comfortable.
Various types of underwear with built-in support are available, being potentially beneficial in preventing a prolapse or lessening the symptoms associated with one.
Compression garments are created to give the pelvic organs support and stability. They can be worn either as a precaution or after a prolapse has taken place.
Alternative Treatments to Consider
For those looking to avoid surgery, there are many alternatives to consider for a prolapse. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is among these, which can help to give support to organs and reduce any risk of prolapse.
Kegel exercises are highly effective for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, and can be performed without any equipment in virtually any environment.
Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) can be done at home or with the help of a physical therapist. This type of exercise consists of contracting and releasing the pelvic floor muscles in a specific manner.
Biofeedback is another effective treatment option that involves monitoring the activity of your pelvic floor muscles. This data is displayed on a screen so that you can understand how to effectively contract and relax them.
There are alternatives to surgery for managing prolapse. These include pessaries, which provide support to the organs, and vaginal weights that help to tone pelvic floor muscles.
Many people can opt to fix their prolapse without surgery, and this article offers some helpful advice on how to go about it. You don’t have to resort to surgery if you are feeling uncertain; there are exercises, natural remedies, and lifestyle modifications that could work. To prevent prolapses from occurring in the first place, it is essential to adopt healthy habits such as good posture, a balanced diet, taking time for regular physical activity and including stretching in your routine.
1. What is a prolapse?
A prolapse is a disorder whereby organs or structures protrude through the body’s cavity walls or linings.
2. What causes prolapse?
Pelvic organ prolapse is often triggered by pregnancy, childbirth, hysterectomy, and obesity. Such factors can contribute to the condition’s development.
3. How do you know if you have prolapsed?
Prolapse can present with a range of symptoms. Pressure or fullness in the pelvis is the most common symptom. Urinary incontinence, difficulty urinating, constipation, and back pain are also possible indicators.
4. Can prolapse be fixed without surgery?
In some instances, conservative approaches such as lifestyle modifications and pelvic floor exercises may be effective for mild cases. For more advanced prolapses, surgical intervention could be the best option.
5. What are the risks of not treating prolapse?
If not addressed, prolapse can damage or impair organs. Furthermore, it is known to disrupt sexual intercourse and even increase the likelihood of urinary incontinence.