What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse, or POP, is when the pelvic organs drop from their anatomical position and pushes against the walls of the vagina. Organs affected include the bladder, uterus and rectum, with the bladder being the most common. This can be caused by weak pelvic floor muscles or over stretching the ligaments that support the abdominal organs. While childbirth can play a big factor in developing POP, other causes can include obesity, work-related lifting, chronic constipation and hormonal changes during menopause.
Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Some women have POP and do not realize they even have it. Some women have symptoms of heaviness or a feeling something is falling out of their vagina. In some cases, you may notice a protrusion or feel tissue coming out of the opening of the vagina. This may happen after strenuous activities or after being on your feet for most of the day. Other symptoms can include:
Pressure in the pelvis or low back
Urinary urgency or frequency
The feeling of not being able to empty your bladder, or after rising from the toilet, an involuntary loss of urine
Straining during bowel movement or inability to empty your bowels
Uncomfortable or painful intercourse
Difficulty inserting a tampon or the tampon coming out not staying in place
Many women can feel sad and sometimes talk of feeling “broken” after receiving a diagnosis of Pelvic Organ Prolapse. This diagnosis may happen after delivering a baby or could occur many years later. In some cases they may feel further discouraged when a health care provider gives them poor advice such as never to perform certain exercises again or may automatically recommend surgery.
Please know that there is hope and ways to return to the activities that you love without the fear of making a prolapse worse. By learning the right strategies and becoming educated on what to do (and not do), you can feel in control of your body again.
Indy Women PT can evaluate for and treat the symptoms of POP. The goal is to alleviate some of the symptoms of POP while preventing it from worsening. We can teach exercises to help alleviate the symptoms of heaviness, along with providing lifestyle interventions to prevent it from worsening.
Pelvic Organ Surgery
While surgery sometimes is recommended with pelvic organ prolapse (POP), or incontinence, physical therapy may in fact help to prevent the need for surgery. In one study 79% of patients receiving pelvic floor muscle training for stress incontinence improved sufficiently to avoid surgery. For those that do require surgery, pre-operative physical therapy has been shown to significantly improve the physical outcomes and quality of life after surgery for POP and or incontinence.
Pre or post-surgical evaluations and treatment
We can see you before and/or after surgery to offer education on ways to make the surgery more of a success. This can include a vaginal exam to make sure you know how to both contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles correctly. We discuss ways to return to both exercise as well as everyday activities that will help minimize pressure along the vagina. We also discuss healthy bladder and bowel habits, pelvic floor muscle bracing along with appropriate breathing techniques and voiding/defection techniques without straining. These suggestions can help maintain a healthy pelvic floor while ensuring the benefits of surgery.
Physical Therapy for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
One of the reasons we are such strong advocators of women being seen by a pelvic floor physical therapist after having a baby is to catch any pelvic floor disorders early on, versus waiting many years down the road. By addressing any issues earlier in life, you can hopefully avoid or decrease your chances of having to undergo surgery in the future.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment
Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible during the evaluation and treatment sessions. We focus on educating and empowering our patients with the knowledge and confidence needed to manage their symptoms Our goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible during the evaluation and treatment sessions. We understand the sensitivity to the issues we are treating and want you to know that you always have a voice in our treatment plan.
Let's Get Started!
Call For a FREE Phone Consult
Get a free phone consultation to help determine the next steps in your care.
Schedule an In-Person Evaluation
Indy Women Physical Therapy is scheduling new in-person patient appointments.
Schedule A Virtual Visit
Now offering comprehensive virtual appointments for new and existing patients.
“After being diagnosed with a bladder prolapse, I was told by my OB-GYN not to do squats again at the gym and to find another exercise besides running. I was so confused what I could or couldn’t do and the thought of giving up running made me sad. A friend recommended seeing Camille at Indy Women PT. She taught me how to strengthen my pelvic floor and gave me strategies to return to the gym safely. I am able to run now symptom free!”
“I had a few sessions with Camille for postpartum incontinence and some pelvic pain. I really saw dramatic results and improvement from our sessions and the exercises she gave me! I practice yoga and this has helped me have a greater awareness of my pelvic floor and how to strengthen it. She is professional, kind, builds confidence and is easy to work with – especially given such a sensitive topic/area. I’d highly recommend her!”
Ask a question or book an appointment below. For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital.