Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a very common occurrence among the female population of the world. POP results from a shift in the pelvic organs, like the bladder or uterus. These organs shift from their normal positions and end up pressing against the vaginal walls.
Research published by the National Institutes of Health reports that up to 50 percent of women will end up developing POP over their lifetime. While it can be distressing, there are ways to manage and recover from POP effectively.
In this article, we will explore a few valuable tips to help women navigate their journey to recovery with greater comfort and confidence.
#1 Seek Professional Guidance
The first step in dealing with pelvic organ prolapse is seeking professional guidance. POP can manifest in various forms and severity levels, and its treatment and management should be tailored to each individual.
WebMD suggests that you take your concerns to a gynecologist or urogynecologist. They can diagnose the extent of the prolapse and then provide you with personalized guidance on the best course of action.
Your healthcare provider may recommend conservative treatments such as pelvic floor exercises or lifestyle changes if the prolapse is mild. For more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.
#2 Surgical Options
For severe cases of pelvic organ prolapse or when conservative treatments are ineffective, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical options for POP include various techniques, like vaginal wall repair, mesh implants, and removal of the uterus. The choice of surgery will depend on the extent of the prolapse and individual circumstances.
Surgery should always be a last resort after trying conservative treatments. Also, remember to always discuss the risks, benefits, and potential health complications of the surgery with your healthcare provider before proceeding.
Of course, you might be wondering what can be used instead of mesh for prolapse. After all, not many people are too eager to opt for transvaginal mesh. Besides, at times, faulty vaginal mesh products can lead to serious complications.
According to TruLaw, many mesh manufacturers are currently being sued as their products are unsafe and inefficient. These companies are spending millions of dollars to fight these transvaginal mesh lawsuits.
Thus, it’s reasonable to look for non-surgical options when dealing with POP. Such options include things like lifestyle adjustments and exercise.
#3 Lifestyle Adjustments
In addition to medical interventions and exercises, making certain lifestyle adjustments can significantly contribute to pelvic organ prolapse recovery. These changes can help reduce symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Some key lifestyle modifications to consider include:
- Weight management: It is essential to manage a healthy weight, as surplus body weight can exert additional pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. If you’re overweight, consult with a healthcare provider to develop a weight loss plan that suits your needs.
- Dietary changes: Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber can help prevent constipation, which can exacerbate POP symptoms. Staying hydrated is also essential for bowel regularity.
- Proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy objects, use your legs and not your back to reduce pressure on the pelvic floor. Additionally, avoid heavy lifting whenever possible.
- Avoiding straining: Straining during bowel movements can worsen POP symptoms. Make sure you have adequate fiber in your diet to prevent constipation, and consider using a stool softener if needed.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking can weaken connective tissues, making POP symptoms worse. Quitting smoking can have a positive impact on your overall health and may help reduce POP discomfort.
#4 Kegel Exercises
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Kegel exercises are an essential component of pelvic organ prolapse recovery. They target the muscles in the pelvic floor and can help strengthen and support the affected organs.
To do Kegel exercises, keep the following tips in mind.
- Identify the muscles: Stopping the urine flow when you’re using the restroom. The muscles that you use to do so are your pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles you’ll be working on.
- Contract and hold: Once you’ve identified the muscles, contract them and hold for a count of up to five seconds.
- Release and relax: After holding, release and relax the muscles for the same amount of time.
- Repeat: Do 15 repetitions of this exercise at least three times a day.
Over time, you should notice improvements in the strength and stability of your pelvic floor. That, in turn, can help alleviate the symptoms of POP.
Pelvic organ prolapse can get very complicated. However, if you take the right steps at the right time, dealing with POP won’t be that big of a problem. Just keep these tips in mind as you begin your journey towards recovery. Slowly but surely, these tips will help you recover from your POP complications.