Talking about OBGYN Care Practices

3 Tips To Minimize Or Prevent Pelvic Prolapse

The pelvic floor muscles are critical for supporting organs located within the abdominopelvic cavity. With increasing age, pregnancy, and vaginal childbirth, the likelihood of pelvic prolapse increases. Although prolapse is not always avoidable, there are ways to minimize improve the condition if it occurs.

Avoid Straining

Straining is a common problem that can weaken pelvic floor muscles or exacerbate weakness. You might strain because of constipation or because you have the sensation of incomplete bowel movements with either constipation or diarrhea. The best way to minimize episodes of constipation is to proactively prevent it through your lifestyle. Eating a diet with many high-fiber foods is important for creating a balance between hard, dry stools and diarrhea. Insoluble fiber is used to bulk up your stool, but too much insoluble fiber can lead to constipation.

Soluble fiber helps absorb water in your large intestine and can make stools softer and easier to pass. In addition to adding fiber to your diet, you need to make sure you drink enough fluids to keep your stools soft. Try to limit caffeine and salt in your diet, since both can reduce hydration. Exercise is useful if you frequently experience constipation because it helps improve gut motility.

Do Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for your pelvic floor may reverse mild prolapse concerns and improve more severe cases. Many women are familiar with Kegel exercises, which can be used as a part of physical therapy to improve pelvic support. However, physical therapy often involves a customized set of exercises that are based on the specific problems you are experiencing. In addition to exercises targeting your pelvic floor muscles, you will also engage in exercises designed to strengthen your entire core.

During sessions, your physical therapist will ensure you are performing the exercises correctly so they target the appropriate muscles. They will also give you detailed instructions on which exercises you should perform at home and how often. Physical therapy is not a quick fix and it may take several months to notice any benefits.

Consider The Effects Of Pregnancy

Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth are contributing factors in pelvic prolapse and can make existing problems worse. Even with your first pregnancy, you may want to consider using pelvic support belts in the second and third trimester. As the baby grows you will experience more weight and pressure on your pelvic floor. The added support from a belt can decrease strain on your pelvic floor muscles. If you currently have significant pelvic prolapse and are pregnant, you may want to speak with your obstetrician about having a cesarean. Once significant prolapse has occurred, subsequent vaginal childbirths can cause long-term complications if your bladder or rectum prolapses.

Pelvic prolapse is a serious concern and can affect the uterus, bladder, and/or rectum. Proactively strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and minimizing stress on these muscles can reduce the likelihood of organ prolapse. To learn more, speak with a specialist like Women's Health Associate - Gilbert A Shamas MD.