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treating pelvic organ prolapse with pelvic floor therapy

What Are the Benefits of Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse with Pelvic Floor Therapy?

Read on to find out.

It’s Pelvic Organ Prolapse Awarenesss Month. Today we talk about something that’s often not talked about and lay out ways prolapse can be avoided and treated with proper pelvic floor physical therapy.

What Is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

"Prolapse" refers to a descending or drooping of organs. Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) refers to the prolapse or drooping of any of the pelvic floor organs, including: the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel, or rectum. These organs are said to prolapse if they descend into or outside of the vaginal canal or anus.

Prolapse is sometimes given these specific names to describe which organ is descending:

Cystocele: The bladder falls backward into the front (anterior) vaginal wall
Urethrocele: A prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine) into the vaginal wall
Uterine prolapse: prolapse of the uterus
Vaginal vault prolapse: prolapse of the vagina
Enterocele: Small bowel prolapse
Rectocele: the rectum falls forward into the back (or posterior) vaginal wall.

To learn more on each type, go to Voices for PFD.

How do I know I have a Prolapse?

Symptoms depend somewhat on which organ is in descent. If the bladder prolapses, urine leakage may occur. If it's the rectum, constipation and uncomfortable intercourse often occur. A backache as well as uncomfortable intercourse often accompanies small intestine prolapse. Uterine prolapse is also accompanied by backache and pain or discomfort with intercourse.

Some people will feel nothing at all and can live with prolapse without affecting it function.

Common symptoms include:

  • A feeling of “something falling out” of the vagina or rectal area
  • A “bulge,” a “ball,” or “pressure” in the pelvic area, usually in the vaginal or rectal area.
  • Low back pain
  • Heaviness in the pelvic area
  • Pain with sex
  • Strong urge to urinate
  • Leaking urine
  • Gas incontinence or air escaping from the vagina
  • Constipation
  • Staining of feces on underwear
  • Spotting or bleeding from the vagina
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Inability to orgasm or reduced intensity/frequency of orgasm
  • Pain with Kegel exercise
  • Sacral pain

What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Prolapse occurs when pressure in the abdomen is greater than the strength of the pelvic floor and deep core muscles that help keep organs in their place.

Common causes and risk factors include:

  • Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth (the most common causes)
  • Assistive birth: forceps, vacuum or a combination
  • Diastasis Recti Abdominus (DRA or Diastasis Recti) separation and weak core
  • Obesity
  • Respiratory problems with a chronic, long-term cough
  • Chronic constipation
  • Poor posture
  • Pelvic organ cancers
  • Abdominal surgeries
  • Hysterectomies
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Genetics may also play a role in prolapse
  • Heavy lifting and manual labor over time
  • High impact sports over time

Treating Pelvic Organ Prolapse with Pelvic Floor Therapy

The therapists at Femina Physical Therapy can help with pelvic organ prolapse!

Some interventions might include:

  • Posture and body mechanics training
  • Diastasis recti recovery
    • A trained physical therapist will provide you with corrective exercises to help stabilize your core and to help the abdominal separation to come back together partially or completely. They will also evaluate you to be sure your muscles are creating enough tension across the midline of your body.
  • Regain core control
    • A functional core is essential to keep your organs in their places. A functional core will also help with essential functions like: walking, bending, lifting, running, even sitting with good body mechanics. Physical therapy can help you regain strength and support through your core muscles to help you get back to the activities you want to do.
  • Breath Control and Proper Body Mechanics
    • Therapy can help you learn invaluable lessons about how you should move to protect your organs and to keep them in the body.
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Contact a Pelvic Floor Therapist

The physical therapists at Femina Physical Therapy can help with pelvic organ prolapse! Get scheduled for an appointment with one of our trained pelvic floor therapists to help return strength, function, and flexibility to the pelvic floor to help you regain support for your organs.

 

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by J.B.

My husband and I were having problems with painful intercourse. My therapist recommended that I go and get a pelvic floor evaluation from a physical therapist. Having never been treated by a physical therapist, I wondered how this really was going to help me. My husband who is a physician was very supportive and agreed that a PT evaluation would be a great idea. So i made the appointment and was blown away by what I learned. I had no idea that pelvic floor muscles could get tight and have trigger points just like any other muscle in the body. I'm a massage therapist and very familiar with tight muscles, and this new thought really amazed me. Heather's program to help relax and strengthen these muscles made such a difference. I can say that I am 100% pain free during intercourse now. Yippee! Going to the PT appointments and doing the at-home exercises was definitely a discipline, but it's 100% worth it! The rewards are amazing.

-- J.B.

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

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