Every woman needs to know: The Silent Epidemic

MOBILE: To TRANSLATE scroll to bottom and click on WEB VERSION
Pages      
                         www.FindOutProlapse.com


  • Did you know Kettle bell's are not good for prolapse?
  • The Hidden Waist Trainer Risks to Your Core & Pelvic Floor*
  • New Technique found - Pfilates and Hypopressives Technique
  • Compression Shorts
  • Putting Organs Back in Place
  • Gynecologist talks-Liberated from Incontinence
  • 10 Yoga Poses to Avoid
  • NEW! Chiropractic for Prolapse!

There is a silent epidemic. All women need to know about this. Many women suffer needlessly from Pelvic Organ Prolapse due to the fact that they are simply too embarrassed to discuss their symptoms with doctors and other health care providers.


Pelvic Organ Prolapse facts:

Millions of women worldwide suffer with POP. 300,000 surgeries are performed annually in the US alone, yet most women have never heard of it until they are diagnosed.
* Half of all women over 50 have at least 1 of the 5 types of POP but  the condition can affect any woman of childbearing age.
* Vaginal childbirth is the leading cause, followed by menopause and numerous other causes. 

*It can be caused by a low fiber diet, constipation and you've been straining for years. Never Strain!

* Though the condition has been around for thousands of years, women often suffer in silence with embarrassing symptoms as they are not aware the condition exists.
* It impacts women physically, emotionally, sexually, socially, and financially.



Mum SOS: your vagina after childbirth – how your vagina changes


video

     If you've never had children, there is a way to prevent this! Start doing the exercises! Keep scrolling for more information!

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Our lifestyle --  the high heeled shoes, all effect our bodies. Our posture, slouching, tucking under our buns cause our uterus, bladder and bowel to fall back and down into the vagina. Even those women who are avid runners have a higher propensity toward uterine prolapse. (Bet you didn't know that! I sure didn't) Pelvic organ prolapse is not a gynecologic problem at all. It is a postural problem and can be stabilized and often dramatically improved through lifestyle changes.


General Symptoms


Symptoms of a prolapse, be it, colon, uterus or bladder include the feeling of a small ball being in the vaginal area and the protrusion of the uterus, bladder or colon through the vagina, painful intercourse, frequent urination, low backache, vaginal bleeding or an increase in the amount of vaginal discharge. See a doctor promptly if you experience any of these symptoms.

Symptoms of a Prolapsed Bladder
The first symptom that women with a prolapsed bladder usually notice is the presence of tissue in the vagina that many women describe as something that feels like a ball.

Other symptoms of a prolapsed bladder include the following:


  • Discomfort or pain in the pelvis
  • Tissue protruding from the vagina (The tissue may be tender and may bleed.)
  • Difficulty urinating
  • A feeling that the bladder is not empty immediately after urinating (incomplete voiding)
  • Stress incontinence (urine leakage during sneezing, coughing, or exertion)
  • More frequent bladder infections
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Low back pain
  • Some women may not experience or notice symptoms of a mild (grade 1) prolapsed bladder.
Avoid heavy lifting and straining. With doing proper exercises you may be able to return to your previous activities.
More info at Michele Kenway's site: https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/prolapsed-bladder/

Here is Michelle Kenway's video:
"How to Empty Bladder Contents to Overcome Bladder Emptying Problems"



Here's another technique:

SQUATS for Empyting the Bladder

I found a gynecologist's website,Christiane Northrup, M.D http://www.drnorthrup.com/liberated-from-incontinence/   In order to prevent leakage and urinary problems, you have to develop strong buttocks muscles and get in touch with your pelvic floor. I recommend peeing in the shower.”

"About one in four women suffers from urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine when sneezing, coughing, or laughing. And even more have what’s called “urgency incontinence” when the urge to urinate is so strong that you fear you won’t get to the bathroom in time. Urinary problems in women are epidemic. In fact, the number one reason why older women have to go to nursing homes is…drum roll…urinary incontinence! "

 When a woman goes to her physician , usually she is told one of two things: take a drug or do Kegel exercises. The drugs stop “urge incontinence” by blocking some of the nerve endings on the bladder’s main emptying muscle (the detrusor). When the muscle is less irritated, it’s less likely to contract involuntarily—and cause you to lose urine at an inconvenient time. These drugs have bothersome side effects, though, like dry mouth. And besides, like so much of modern medicine, they don’t really cure anything. They just mask the symptoms.

The Kegels strengthen the PC (pubococcygeous) muscle, which closes the sphincters of the pelvic floor and stops the flow of urine. Kegels are a step in the right direction. But they don’t address the function of the entire pelvic floor—they strengthen only one muscle. A strong, rigid muscle isn’t necessarily a functional, strong, flexible muscle.

That’s where the squats in the shower come in. When you squat to urinate as opposed to sitting up straight on the toilet, you automatically engage your butt muscles. And your pelvic floor naturally stretches and tones. Moreover, because your urethra is now pointed straight down all you have to do is relax for urine to flow out easily—as opposed to sitting up straight and having to strain to empty your bladder. The same thing is true with moving your bowels.

Before going on, I want to bust a popular myth that childbirth results in urinary incontinence. This is not true. Many teenage girls have incontinence. And so do nuns who have never had children. Yes, childbirth—especially when conducted without knowing how to push correctly—may weaken the pelvic floor for a time. But that is reversible.



So what does the doctor recommend if you have urinary incontinence or are worried about it?

 See a women’s health physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor. This relatively new specialty uses Pilates and other exercises to assist you in reclaiming a healthy and functional pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is all the muscles and tissue between your pubic bone and tailbone, and it holds in your bowels, bladder, and genital organs. When this part of your body isn’t strong or toned, your organs tend to fall out! That’s known as a prolapse. Prolapses can often be treated well with physical therapy alone. You don’t always need surgery.




How to EMPTY YOUR BLADDER

When you sit on the toilet, put your elbows on your knees so that you are in a squatting position. Notice how much easier it is to empty your bladder or bowels. Better yet, get a stool and put it under your feet so that your body is comfortably seated in a squatting position. (Check out the squatty potty video to see what the proper position is. The Squatty Potty is the BEST and they're very reasonable.



Read The Bathroom Key: Put an End to Incontinence by Kathryn Kassai and Kim Perelli  (Amazon)or go to www.thebathroomkey.com for more resources and to locate a physical therapist in your area.

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I recently went to a chiropractor and she told me that chiropractic can help! It's soft tissue technique and you need to find someone who knows how to do it. I laid on my back and she told me to bring both legs up and she was pressing on what seemed my pubic bone and area. Then she told me to lower my legs, bend my knees a little than bring them back up. She did this several times.
She also said homeopathy can help. The example she said was a woman whose bladder was out of her body and within 4 months the prolapse was corrected. I'll find out more information and post it!
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Along with Kegel exercises and taking herbal supplements, certain vitamin and mineral supplements may help prevent and/or alleviate pelvic prolapse.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays an important role in promoting bone health by helping the body absorb calcium and phosphorus more efficiently. A study published in the April 2010 edition of the “Obstetrics and Gynecology” states that one in four women in the United States have some form of pelvic floor disorder, and higher levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen which is an essential component of the ligaments that hold the pelvic floor and pelvic organs.

Calcium: Calcium helps strengthen teeth and bone, including pelvic bones.




RECTOCELE

With RECTOCELE or prolapsed colon you lose the feeling and ability to push for a bowel movement. You learn to "go" a different way. It's pushing with the stomach or blowing air out of your mouth. I have found high fiber supplement HELPS! I take a supplement with 12 grams per serving. Metamucil doesn't even touch that.  

The fiber helps to push things along. I use a great 12 gram fiber supplement. If you just take a stool softener it doesn't move things along. You must have the fiber in your diet. Be sure to drink a lot of water. Adding MAGNESIUM also helps! Suppositories help to get the "urge" back. Try Senna tablets, 1 or 2, or "Smooth Move Tea". Definitely a healthy diet of lots of fruits and vegetables to get the additional fiber. You definitely have to change things up with this but once you get a routine you'll be fine. If you don't do these things, you will be digging things out which is a no no! All prolapses require NOT STRAINING, especially so if you have Rectocele. It's about protecting the prolapse and trying to prevent its worsening by not allowing its distension or forcing its worsening.





I found Michelle Kenway's Pelvic Exercises You Tube Channel. There are so many free instructional videos and a link to her website. She is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
I recently ordered her DVD InsideOut Strength Pelvic floor safe strength exercises for Women from her website and will let you all know about it when I receive it. It was not too expensive considering it's shipped from Australia to the US. $30. You can check out her store at her website. UPDATE: I got her video. It's basically what the title says. A safe work out for your entire body. There's no pelvic floor exercises but an overall workout which I found very good so we know how to position ourselves and do exercises properly without aggravating the prolapse.

I love my new bracelet!
You could wear a memory too!


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Colonoscopy and Rectocele  

I recently had a colonoscopy and there was no effect on the rectocele.


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Women going through menopause or after menopause can develop symptoms!

Incidence is directly related to age, and since women are living longer, increasing numbers of women are destined to suffer from uterine prolapse. It's not unusual for women with only a slight prolapse to be unaware of the problem until they go through menopause. Vaginal and pelvic tissues depend on estrogen to maintain their strength and elasticity. The decline of estrogen, which occurs at menopause, can result in a sudden worsening of symptoms. Estrogen helps strengthen and maintain muscles in the vagina. The cream has very little systemic absorption and has a potent effect locally where it is applied. Topical administration has less risk than the oral preparations. The application of estrogens to the anterior vagina and urethral area may be very helpful in alleviating urinary symptoms, such as urgency and frequency, even in the face of prolapsed bladder.

A natural estrogen replacement by Smoky Mountain Naturals, doctor recommended, and with all positive reviews! Check it out on Amazon here.
There's a great review in comments below about this product.

I myself haven't tried it. It's not expensive and worth a try.  


I found some more information on other herbs:


 Raspberry leaf, comfrey and especially horsetail (equisetum) are all good choices for rebuilding connective tissue. These can be taken in tea or tablet form.  Gotu kola helps to increase blood flow to ligaments to maintain their integrity. If you experience incontinence because of ligament weakness, try couch grass to strengthen your bladder sphincter.
Ask your doctor about taking estrogenic herbs–herbal supplements that act like the hormone estrogen–if you have already reached menopause. According to MayoClinic.com, estrogen contributes to strong pelvic muscles, which in turn can keep your bladder from falling. The March-April 2002 issue of the journal Menopause reports that black cohosh and ginseng are among the herbs that reduce menopause symptoms due to their estrogen-like properties. These herbs may be helpful in overcoming problems associated with pelvic prolapse.

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That's my daughter and I on the left 15 yrs ago. Boy does time fly by!
What are you waiting for!

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I wish I had known that just by strengthening the pelvic floor and adjusting my posture, I could have alleviated this disorder. Why hadn't my doctor told me about it? Why had I not heard about it at all???
Thankfully mine is mild. I want my daughter to know...every girl, every woman to know, so this doesn’t happen to them. If it has already occurred there is a way naturally that may help it.


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DVD/DOWNLOAD
I found the Hab-It / Pelvic Floor Exercise DVD. I can say I noticed a difference quickly after a week! Tasha Mulligan, Physical Therapist, explains in detail about this disorder.
  
Do these exercises as a preventative and do after childbirth! 
I found the DVD at Amazon. Tasha now has a digital download here!! In order to do the exercises, you must purchase a 12-inch elastic band on your own, such as Thera-band brand, in stores or online)
You'll need an Exercise Ball to do many of the exercises too. She shows you that you can also use a chair but you are positioned properly on an exercise ball.

Michele Kenway shows how to fit the right size Exercise Ball for your seated core and prolapse exercises.



 Tasha Mulligan has a website and forums where you can ask questions and read an extensive amount of information on prolapse.
Click here: Tasha Mulligan

How Many Kegels is the Right Number?

There are also some excellent and helpful forums at:
The Whole Woman Village Forum There are sections on toileting that are really helpful. Tasha Mulligan definitely does not agree with Christine Kent, RN. I tried both videos. The First Aid for Prolapse DVD helped me learn how to stand and vacuum properly and the ballet type exercises seemed to help "pull up" everything. I sit cross legged and that really has helped and sitting up with curved spine such as with a back support in the car or chair.  I don't really do Christine Kent's posture of a flopped belly when walking, but the ballet moves on the DVD really do help me. You can buy the DVD on her website or Amazon. I recently checked out the price for the video on Amazon and it's $49 which is ridiculous! Knowing how women need this information I think she's taking advantage of so many women. I bought my DVD in 2013 and it was so much cheaper! I've checked libraries and they don't have it. I would contact your library and ask them to order it.

Here is her explanation of the Whole Woman Posture:

Alignment means restoring the natural female shape, which unfortunately has little in common with the posture your mother or ballet teacher probably taught you: bottom tucked under, belly pulled in, shoulders back.  

This posture is a cultural contrivance, and completely unnatural for the female skeletal and anatomical form. It promotes chest rather than belly breathing, and puts the hip joints and pelvic organ support system at risk.

Do a search for photos of women in so-called primitive societies who spend their days sitting on the ground, preparing meals, working or caring for their children, or walking with heavy loads balanced on their heads. Their posture is entirely different.  

They have no comfy sofas, easy chairs or recliners to which they can delegate the work of supporting their upper bodies. They sit comfortably for hours, often on the ground, without any back support, or carry heavy loads balanced on their heads without injury, all because they are in their natural female postural alignment.


1. Lift your chest. Stretch it up.

2. Relax your belly. Notice when you do this, your abdominal muscles stretch out into the gently curved belly characteristic of the natural female shape. Six pack abs are for men.

3. Lower the shoulders away from the ears but flat across the back, not pulled back.

4, Lift the back of the head by slightly tucking the chin. Not so much as to compress the voice box.  
Knees straight but not locked.

5. Feet parallel when standing and walking.

Note that your lumbar curvature, essential for proper pelvic alignment, naturally asserts itself in this posture because the curvature is built into the shape of the lumbar vertebrae. If you try to stick your bottom out, you will just cause pain in your sacroilliac joints.

The real work of alignment is remembering to remember to pull up into the posture. It takes time and some effort, but usually within a few months, if you are diligent, the posture will become utterly natural. In time, you'll discover how comfortable the posture is, and that anything else feels wrong and uncomfortable.

It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of this posture for the health of your pelvic organ support system, hip joints, and urinary continence system.    

The posture is not difficult. You can do this, thousands of women have done so already. You can read their results on the Whole Woman forum.  


Pay attention to your body. You will find yourself refining how you show up in life, no matter what your activities, because your body will teach you what is right for it and what isn’t. Your body possesses deep intelligence.  



Tasha Mulligan and Christine Kent do not agree with each other on technique but I feel both have helped me.


You just really have to see what works for you.  Tasha Mulligan is a trained Physical Therapist and that's important to me. She really works on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. It's in great detail. (For Rectocele someone asked her a question about rectocele and Tasha said to do  Workout 1 on her DVD, but of course do ALL the workouts as they work together to strengthen all the muscles.)

Tasha is back to doing triathlons and that definitely says something about the success of her program! 

Here's an excerpt from Tasha Mulligan's website explaining the differences:


I want to make a very strong point.  Christine Kent of Whole Woman and I DO NOT agree on posture, Kegels, breathing, muscle activation, and more.  The path she prescribes is very specific, which simply does not work for a physical therapist who is always evaluating various treatment paths, depending on the patient’s symptoms, lifestyle, activity level, etc.  In other words, I believe it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of different paths available to get to the same point.  
To address my approach to Kegel exercises:  I believe it is naive to think that Kegels are all one has to do to control incontinence or prolapse symptoms.  But, Kegel exercises are certainly a very important piece of the puzzle.  An appropriate Kegel sequence, as I teach and as Brianne Grogan atwww.pelvichealthplus.com teaches, includes both squeezing the muscles and elevating the muscles.  This 2-step process is necessary to activate all of the fibers of the pelvic floor.  It is this pelvic floor that is the soft tissue barrier closing off our pelvic outlet.  Our pelvic floor lends support to our rectum, vaginal canal, our bladder, our uterus, and urethra.  These are not passive muscles…they actively contract in a healthy body and when we lose the ability to contract these muscles efficiently and effectively, we begin to see symptoms of incontinence and/or prolapse. So Kegel exercises are one of the main components of an effective rehabilitation program.

To address my approach to posture:  Christine Kent and I strongly disagree on posture.  I teach a neutral spine which is a natural, subtle lumbar curve that requires activation of both the multifidi muscles of the low back and the transversus abdominus (lower abdominals).  Co-contraction of these two muscles will automatically turn your pelvic floor “on” so that you naturally hold a healthy tone in your pelvic floor throughout your daily activities.  This neutral spine position gives a slight lift to your tail bone, putting your pelvic floor muscles at the perfect length/tension to contract efficiently and effectively.  I teach posture that requires muscle activation to hold and support our body in its optimal position.  This same posture has a positive impact on bone health, breathing, and muscle function throughout our bodies.  Christine’s posture instruction puts clients in an extreme position of extension in their low back and asks women to simply let their belly hang out and fall forward.  I don’t think there is a physical therapist that would support this instruction and I would be willing to say that every woman adapting this posture will suffer from mechanical low back pain, if not immediately, then down the road at some point. 
I hope I have not spoken too strongly, but I definitely wanted to draw a clear line between programs I would refer you to such as www.pelvichealthplus.com and www.prolapsehealth.com, versus others that I would avoid.  Let me know of any other questions you have.
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Here's a great video demonstrating an exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor.


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I've found another approach for pelvic prolapse exercise called

 HYPOPRESSIVE (TM)-Low Pressure Fitness. 
There are a few websites.  http://coresetfitness.com/videos/ The Coreset Fitness training by Trista Zinn is in Canada and there is no purchase of DVD's etc.but classes to take.  


A Short Tutorial on the Hypopressive Technique

A graphic video shows how this hypopressives technique pulls the prolapse completely up. 
Search on YouTube: Effects of hypopressive exercise and cough on pelvic floor


Hypopressive exercise (also known as hypopressive gymnastics, hypopressive technique, hypopressive method, hypopressive abdominal exercises, hypopressive abdominal technique) refers to a type of physical therapy developed in the 1980s by Marcel Caufriez, studying urogynecological postpartum recovery. The exercises were developed after Caufriez was performing a vaginal examination on a patient with uterine prolapse. He observed reduction of the prolapse during diaphragmatic aspiration.[1] Since the development of the exercises, there have been a handful of initial studies which suggest the exercises may be of benefit in pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. The exercises are also claimed to be of benefit in sports and prevention.[2]

What Tasha Mulligan has said is to never hold your breath so I'm not sure of this technique. The video shows it works. It looks like the yoga FireBreathing where you exhale completely and suck in the stomach to create the vacuum and pull up in a kegel at the same time. I tried it and my prolapse felt worse. Plus if you have high blood pressure it was noted that you should avoid this technique. (Christine Kent shows Firebreathing in her DVD First Aid for Prolapse.)

There are training videos on this technique but they are in Spanish.
This is the explanation.





I was able to find a book explaining the Hypopressives Technique for $29.95

There is also a doctor training exercises below called Pfilates which are very helpful for those who have hypertension and can not do the Hypopressive exercises..

What is Pfilates?

Pfilates is a 10 – 15 minute exercise program developed to help strengthen the pelvic floor and prevent or recover from pelvic floor disorders. It is a 6- 8week mat exercise program consisting of 10 easy-to-follow mat exercises that can be done at home or in the gym.
Once the 6 – 8 weeks are complete, you then choose 2 or 3 of the exercises to add to your weekly fitness routine. These would be the “maintenance exercises”. By choosing a couple of the exercises that you connect with best and incorporating them into your regular routine, you will  maintain the strength you worked so hard to achieve .
Go to their YouTube Page and there are several videos with exercises.


Pfilates DVD
http://www.amazon.com/Balanced-Body-Pfilates/dp/B004AWX3QM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438885848&sr=8-1&keywords=Pfilates



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Tasha Mulligan on her forums suggested T-Tapp Placing Organs in Place


 The manual technique of mobilizing your bladder/uterus is similar to mayan massage. There can be a lot of restrictions within the connective tissue of your pelvis and the concept of mayan massage as well as the Wurn technique is to release these restrictions. The T-Tapp technique looks like an attempt to do that for yourself. I like the idea of feeling your own body and the gentle mobilization this may provide, so go for it!
However, following up this technique with crunches is exactly the opposite of what I would recommend. Remember I want you throwing crunches out the window because of the downward pressure a crunch and rectus abdominus activation places on the pelvis. Instead of following your pelvic soft tissue mobilization with crunches, I would substitute your 8 two step kegels following by some TA work.

Starting position
Lie on back with knees bent and feet close to buns. Feel how the internal organs naturally flatten out against the spine with gravitational pull. Tuck butt slightly and feel how the organs shift upward towards the rib cage.






First Step
Keep butt tucked, place hands inside left hip bone and push into abdominal cavity. Then push the organs towards center of the tummy. Repeat.









Second Step
Keep butt tucked, place hands inside right hip bone and push into abdominal cavity. Then push the organs towards center of the tummy.

















Third Step
Keep butt tucked and place hands on lower abdomen, just below bladder (lower than photo). Push fingertips into abdominal cavity and roll palms flat as you continue to push into abdomen. You may feel some discomfort as the organs move up towards the rib cage.















Fourth Step
Hold palms flat into abdominal cavity and "tighten" the muscles underneath. Hold for 8 counts. Once strong enough, hold position for an additional 8 counts without hands on tummy. Keeping butt up, continue to do "butt tucks" never touching the floor for a total of 20 tucks. Lower hips and rest 8 counts. Repeat entire sequence. Then Proceed into "Half Frog Sequence".






                                 http://www.t-tapp.com/articles/flatstomach/index.html



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Compression Shorts
Tasha Mulligan has an article on the compression shorts.

Easing the Strain On Your Pelvic Floor: 

A Couple of Tips

I want to share a couple of tips that many of my patients have found helpful in their journey through pelvic floor rehabilitation and return to activity: triathalon shorts and a high fiber diet. The high fiber diet seems logical to reduce any added strain on our pelvic floor, but the triathalon shorts…pretty random right? I agree, but so many women have shared these tips with me that I must pass them on.

Let’s start with the tri short. The benefit of the tri short is two-fold. Number one, they hug tight to your hips and buns as any spandex short would, but the light pad included in the triathalon short provides a comfortable compression to your pelvic floor.

Why is this helpful? There is something called proprioception that we work on a lot in the physical therapy clinic. It’s your body’s awareness of where it is in space. It has been shown that providing compression to a joint or muscle can improve the proprioception of stabilizing ligaments or tendons and the muscles, helping them to fire more efficiently and effectively. You see many athletes using the compression sleeves on knees or elbows to provide this effect to a joint that is weaker than its counterparts. The triathalon short provides this same proprioception to our pelvic floor muscles.

The second benefit of the triathalon short comes from the same light padding that improves our muscle firing with compression. The pad can also provide some absorption for minor leaking without having to wear a pad as you work to get your pelvic floor muscles strong enough to allow walking, running, or hiking symptom-free. And even if your leaking is a bit more than the pad can absorb, these shorts will hold any absorption product in place because of the tighter fit.

Although, the use of these compression shorts hasn’t been medically researched, enough of my patients swear by them that I don’t hesitate to recommend them. I personally like the low rise DeSoto triathalon short (check Amazon too) as I wore these first while I was pregnant and the low rise waist band was a perfect fit under my pregnant belly. To be honest, they continue to be my favorite to this day!

The second tip that I want to share that will ease the strain on your pelvic floor is a high fiber diet. This suggestion comes from the desire to alleviate all downward pressure on our pelvic floor muscles. A high fiber diet along with plenty of water will alleviate the tendency to breath-hold and push when voiding. The benefits of a high fiber diet include better motility through our bowel and may translate into lower LDL cholesterol levels. These benefits make a high fiber diet an easy recommendation.

When looking for high fiber food choices, keep in mind that fruits and vegetables are some of your best choices. Foods with oats, beans, and whole wheat will also increase your fiber intake. If you don’t see the benefit of easing your bowel movements with food choices alone, you may choose to add a daily spoonful of Metamucil or Benefiber to a glass of water for that extra burst of fiber in your diet. Remember, the potential benefits of a high fiber diet include lower risk of colon cancer, lower LDL cholesterol levels, typically more heart healthy food choices, and of course, easing the strain on your pelvic floor.

Good luck everyone. Hope these two tips help you on your path to better pelvic floor health. Any other tips out there are welcome. We will all benefit from the stories of what works for you!
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Something I wanted to add, stay away from high heels. I noticed that when this first happened, high heels would aggravate my condition...meaning I felt it. After doing the Hab-It video for about a month I tried wearing heels again and it felt like the heels aggravated it. After the second month of doing the Hab-It video, again I tried wearing heels and I didn't notice anything. I only wore the heels for the one time during the week. I only wear a slight heel now or clogs.

Here's Tasha Mulligan's information on adjusting exercises so they do not aggravate prolapse. I'm adding it here because it was hard to find on her website. This is her review of the Insanity DVD.

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I found this information on another website. It took some searching so I'm posting it here as well!
http://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/unsafe-abdominal-exercises/  They really have some great information too.

Exercises to avoid with prolapse and after prolapse surgery

exercises to avoid with prolapse
Training your pelvic floor with the wrong kind of abdominal exercises.
This expert physiotherapist article teaches you:
  • 12 unsafe abdominal exercises likely to worsen prolapse symptoms and contribute to recurrent prolapse after prolapse surgery.
  • How to identify unsafe abdominal exercises if you have pelvic floor dysfunction
  • The 3 myths you need to know about abdominal strength exercises.
If you intensely exercise your upper abdominal muscles (i.e. your six pack muscles), you will increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor.
Recent studies show that when women with pelvic floor dysfunction do sit-up exercises, their pelvic floor is forced downwards. If you repeat this often enough, you will overload your pelvic floor and potentially worsen prolapse symptoms.
Avoid doing the following upper abdominal muscle exercises if you have a pelvic prolapse or when  exercising after prolapse surgery to minimise pressure on your pelvic floor

DO NOT DO THESE EXERCISES IF YOU HAVE PELVIC PROLAPSE.
I did not know these exercises could cause more problems!
1. Abdominal crunch/curl or sit-up exercises (shown right)
2. Incline sit-ups
3. Abdominal curl machine
4. Oblique sit-ups
 Exercises to avoid with prolapse
5. Oblique machine
6. Ball sit-ups
7. Ball-between-leg lifts (shown above)
8. Bicycle legs
9. Double leg raise
10. Hanging knee raise
11. Pilates "Table Top" exercise Exercise to avoid after prolapse surgery
12. Intense core exercises such as "Plank" or "Hover" (shown right)

Here is a PDF from her website you can print out with more details on exercises to stay away from and also how to modify them correctly. https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/7-Unsafe-Exercises-for-Women-with-Prolapse-after-Prolapse-Surgery.pdf

*Michelle Kenway has a video actually demonstrating how to modify regular common place exercises so they do not cause prolapse to worsen and how to tone your tummy safely. 


 Here's her website with more information. I like having all these links here in one place so I can easily find them and go back for further reference. 
https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/core-strength-exercises/

10 Yoga Poses to Avoid

If your pelvic floor is weak or not working well, some Yoga poses are best avoided.
This general information is intended to help you continue enjoying your Yoga practice and protect your pelvic floor.

It’s important to remember that those Yoga poses appropriate for some women may not be suited to others depending on individual risk factors for pelvic floor injury.

Yoga Pose 1 – Boat Pose
This is an intense abdominal core strength pose.
Try to avoid Yoga poses involving double leg raises if your pelvic floor is weak or at increased risk of injury.

Yoga Pose 2 – Half Boat PoseHalf Boat Pose

Modifying Boat Pose with bent knees doesn’t make this pose a pelvic floor safe exercise – it remains an intense upper abdominal core exercise.

Yoga Pose 3 – Garland PoseGarland Pose

Deep squat position compresses the abdomen onto the pelvic floor increasing pressure and strain on the pelvic floor organs and muscles.


Yoga Pose 4 – Scale PoseScale Pose

Weight bearing through the upper body involves the abdominal muscles working intensely – this pose is best suited to individuals with good upper body and pelvic floor strength.

Yoga Pose 5 – Plank

Full Plank pose is an intense core abdominal pose. This is a very challenging exercise for a pregnant woman’s pelvic floor to withstand!
Some women may find that they can modify Plank pose to reduce pelvic floor loading.

Yoga Pose 6 – Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Deep forward bend increases the downward pressure of the abdomen onto the pelvic floor muscles and organs.

Yoga Pose 7 – Chaturanga

Chaturanga Chaturanga or Yoga push up to Plank involves intense core abdominal muscle activity.
Some women can modify Chaturanga to reduce pelvic floor loading by kneeling rather than weight bearing through the feet as shown above.

Yoga Pose 8 – Locust Pose
Women with prolapse problems often report increased prolapse symptoms (bulging) associated with this pose.
Some women report increased prolapse symptoms associated with doing this pose however this remains anecdotal.

Yoga Pose 9 – Fish Pose (Legs Raised)

Fish Pose with legs raised increases pressure within the abdomen that is transferred to the pelvic floor.

To modify this exercise perform without legs raised for a pelvic floor safe alternative to this double legs raised pose.

Yoga Pose 10 – Crow Pose

Crow Pose 
Intense upper body strength exercise … and it’s wise to avoid doing any Yoga poses on the ledge of a balcony!

This list of 10 Yoga poses that may increase pressure on the pelvic floor is by no means exhaustive.
Some women have sufficient pelvic floor strength and function to perform these Yoga poses without straining their pelvic floor.


Other women with weak pelvic floor muscles, prolapse problems, after prolapse repair surgery or with pelvic floor muscle tension may find that they benefit from avoiding or modifying these poses.

More information on yoga poses can be found at Michelle Kenway's site: https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/yoga-poses/


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Inside Out Michelle Kenway
For much more information on safe abdominal exercise if you have a prolapse or after prolapse surgery refer to
Inside Out by Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway and Urogynaecologist Dr Judith Goh. 

(This looks like an AWESOME book to get!)

 

 

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Tips for how to identify unsafe abdominal exercises …

Try to avoid any abdominal exercises that involve raising both legs off the ground at once and/or exercises involving raising your head and shoulders off the ground whilst lying down on your back. Both these types of exercises will increase the downward force on your prolapse and your pelvic floor. These exercises require very good pelvic floor strength to counteract the downward pressure associated with them.

3 myths about abdominal core strength exercises

Myth 1. Abdominal exercises will flatten the appearance of my stomach

Unfortunately our society has a culture of abdominal strengthening. Women are often led to believe that the more abdominal muscle exercises they perform, the flatter their stomach will appear! We know that it is not possible to spot reduce fat – to flatten your stomach you probably need to lose fat. It does not matter how many sit-up or abdominal strength exercises you do, they will never flatten your stomach. The way to flatten the appearance of your stomach is to lose body weight by reducing your fat intake and increasing appropriate exercise.
For professional guidelines for how to lose weight with pelvic floor problems refer to Inside Out- the essential women's guide to pelvic support by Michelle Kenway and Dr Judith Goh.

Myth 2. Pilates exercises will strengthen my pelvic floor

In some cases women mistakenly believe that doing abdominal exercises including Pilates exercises will actually strengthen their pelvic floor. Abdominal strength exercises or intense core exercises will not strengthen your pelvic floor if you have a prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact the more intense abdominal exercises women perform, the more downward pressure they place on their pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor is not working as it should, it will not be able to withstand the downward pressure of abdominal exercises and your pelvic floor (and your prolapse) will be forced downwards as shown here in the diagram below. This is potentially a huge problem for women who have had prolapse surgery in the past. If you have a prolapse including bladder prolapse (cyctocele), bowel prolapse (rectocele) or uterine prolapse, the wrong kind of abdominal strength exercise is likely to make your pelvic prolapse worse.
Abdominal exercises after prolapse surgery

Myth 3. I need to brace my stomach muscles (pull them in strongly) constantly when I exercise and as I walk around

Advice to brace your abdominal muscles strongly is not correct advice. If you constantly pull your stomach muscles in firmly, then you constantly increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor and your prolapse. Your deep abdominal core muscles are designed to work gently all the time and this is how they should be trained.




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Exercise with Prolapse

Now I've been using the Hab-It DVD by Tasha Mulligan: Physical Therapist and Personal Trainer. On her website you can ask her questions (rectocele, cystocele, prolapse bladder, prolapse uterus) and she really does answer them!

 I was glad to hear that she said that Leslie Sansone's Walk Aerobics was a good program!

Here's her reply to my question.

"Tasha,
I have been doing the Leslie Sansone Walking workouts, 3 miles and 5 miles. I do low kicks 45* angle. Can I go to 90* angle or is that putting too much pressure on pelvic floor? Leslie says to pull in the stomach. I pull up in the kegel the whole time which also pulls in the stomach. She does side steps, side knee lifts and twists and back kicks.
I’ve also been doing Denise Austin. I do back lunges with 5 lb weights then squats with 5 lb weights. I’m thinking the weight might be too much.
Thank you for all you do and any suggestions!




Julie,
Looks like you have found a good program.  Her cues to pull your belly in is great and your knowledge of pulling “up and in” is even better.  You can definitely do 90 degree leg kicks, just be sure you are able to hold neutral spine and do NOT breath hold, not even for a second.  The same holds true for your squats and lunges with your weights.  As long as you can do them in neutral spine and without any type of breathhold you are good to go!
You may be interested in my 7 Day Advanced Stabilization program for even further strengthening of your pelvic basket!
Tasha"

I've switched now to a stationary bicycle since I neglected doing the exercises and don't feel comfortable with the marching light jog of Leslie Sansone right now.
 Michelle Kenway says this is a safe way to workout without straining your pelvic floor.


Stationary bike is great form of fitness and weight management exercise that can help women exercise and avoid pelvic floor strain.

Stationary bike is low impact providing a safe effective workout for women with prolapse and/or incontinence problems. 

This stationary bike video shows you how to set up your bike and ride to protect your pelvic floor when cycling. It also describes the most effective stationary bike exercise for weight loss.

What are the Benefits of Stationary Bike?

Potential benefits include:
-Cardiovascular fitness
-Weight management and weight loss
-Pelvic floor protection
-Joint protection (i.e. knees, hips, ankles)
-Lower limb muscle strengthening
-Lower limb muscle endurance
-All weather
-Convenient

When to Avoid Stationary Bike
Avoid stationary bike exercise:
- With pelvic pain (usually aggravated with sitting)
- With increased pelvic floor tension
- Some lower back conditions (e.g. acute disc injury, sciatic nerve irritation)
- With numbness or tingling in the area you sit on

Stationary Bike Set Up
To set up your bike:
-Position the bike seat so your hips are higher than your knees throughout
-Your extended leg remains slightly bent when fully extended
- The arm rests support you sitting your body upright on the seat

Stationary Bike Techniques to Avoid for Pelvic Floor Protection

Some stationary bike techniques can increase pelvic floor loading and are best avoided if the pelvic floor is at increased risk of injury: 

- Using high gears causing heavy resistance and straining to move the pedals
- Standing out of the saddle when cycling

Stationary Bike Techniques to Choose

-Stay seated in the saddle
-Keep leg resistance manageable 
-Alternating cycle speed with fast,moderate and slow pedal revolutions

Best Stationary Bike Technique for Weight Loss

Stationary bike may help you exercise for longer duration than you might otherwise be able to with pelvic floor problems.

Stationary bike helps some women exercise at a higher intensity than they otherwise may not be able to achieve

Using the stationary bike with alternating high and low intensity provides for highly effective weight loss exercise - without the need to diet.

Stationary Bike Regime for Abdominal Weight Loss

Research at the University of NSW has investigated stationary bike weight loss exercise using a regime known as "Life Sprints".

The most effecting weight loss stationary bike training regime involved:
- Exercising on 3 alternate days of the week
- Performing 20 minutes alternating high and low intensity exercise (following 5 minutes warm up)
- Alternating 8 seconds high intensity vigorous cycling with 12 seconds low intensity cycling known as "interval sprinting"


Summary for Stationary Bike and Pelvic Floor Safe Exercise 

-Set up your stationary bike so your hips are higher than knees
-Sit your body upright
-Choose light to moderate resistance
-Avoid high resistance
-Avoid standing out of the saddle when cycling
-Cycling with short sessions of alternating high and low intensity can provide effective weight loss exercise


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There's always new exercise fads and gadgets but NO ONE..... NO ONE EVER addresses Prolapse! So many exercises can aggravate and CAUSE PROLAPSE!

Kettle Bell Gym Exercises 

Some kettle bell exercises have potential to overload the pelvic floor; like many exercises using kettle bells safely requires an understanding of pelvic floor safe strengthening principles. Low load kettle bells may be used by some women to add resistance to train pelvic floor safe exercises.
Kettle Bell Exercises techniques can increase the load on the pelvic floor including:
  • Lifting kettle bells from ground level
  • Lifting heavy kettle bells ( facilitated by the handle grip)
  • Bending forward exercises holding the kettle bell in front of the body
  • Deep squat exercises holding kettle bells
  • Kettle bell weighted exercises to avoid include:

    • Kettle bell squat (shown left) 
    • Two-hand swings (squat and dead lift),
    • Clean to rack (squat and raise over shoulder),
    • Push press (squat and press overhead),
    • Lateral lunge holding kettle bells
    • Unmodified Plank or push ups using kettle bells
    • Kettle bell burpees
You can find More info to see what exercises you can and cannot do with the kettle bell at :https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/gym-exercises/ 
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The Hidden Waist Trainer Risks to Your Core & Pelvic Floor.
There's a new celebrity "fitness" craze called Waist Training. 
It's basically wearing a tight corset.
I believe these celebrities are just uninformed of the repercussions of these devices, especially using them after childbirth or having weak pelvic floor muscles.

But beware … at a glance waist trainers may seem the miracle no effort solution for waist trimming but in reality wearing a waist trainer can pose an array of risks to your body – some serious!

These corsets are cleverly marketed by some as enhancing fitness training results.Maybe you’ve heard about women in the Victorian era who fainted because of their tight corset causing shallow breathing?

Difficulty deep breathing is only one of a number of risks with waist training. 
Waist trainers are designed to cinch in or narrow the waist.
Cinching in the waist increases the pressure within the trunk. This pressure is directed upwards and downwards within the body from the waist (shown right).
Just like squeezing a tube of toothpaste in the middle- the contents are forced outwards!
Wearing a tight waist trainer can have a two-fold effect on the trunk:
  1. The diaphragm and stomach contents forced upwards
  2. The abdominal contents and pelvic floor are forced downwards.
This can then aggravate or even worsen bladder prolapse, rectocele or uterine prolapse.

Wearing a corset makes the abdominal core muscles lazy.Rather than toning the abdomen, prolonged wearing of a tight waist trainer will detrain the deep core abdominal muscles making them floppy and weak.
Wearing a tight waist trainer for extended duration will:
  • Weaken abdominal core muscles
  • Weaken postural muscles
  • Increase the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Delay postnatal recovery
  • Increase the risk of gastric reflux
  • Increase respiratory (breathing) risks if worn during aerobic 
  • exercises – particularly intense exercises that have a high oxygen demand.
So stay away from them. Use the safe core exercises included in the dvd's and books.
More information at: 




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I was searching for more information and found the Kegel Queen.  It was a waste of time...she charges over $300 for the information!!! Just try Tasha Mulligan's DVD so reasonably priced or some information on the You Tube Channel.


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This can’t be kept in the closet. Women need to know. I’ll shout it from the mountain tops! The good news is that there is help!

Follow me by email at the bottom of this page. I'm always adding new information and links to help!

Please comment below and let others know if this information was helpful.

Make it a great day!

 



30 comments:

  1. Wow, Julie! I had NO idea! Thanks!

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  2. I wanted to include that not just women who have given birth can get this, ANY WOMAN can get it! I really hope I can help everyone with this information.

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  3. Tasha Mulligan even after her prolapse is now a Triathlete!

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  4. Thanks for the information-it will be put to good use!

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  5. Why does this and how does it happen? I've never been pregnant or under menopause. Im only 23. I have a healthy diet and ive never had anything like this or ever heard about this. Is this common for a person like me?

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    Replies
    1. Prolapse can happen to runners-it's tremendous pressure on the pelvic basket running, it can also be caused by constant straining while going to the bathroom which is from diet...not enough fiber. Actually doing sit-ups puts a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor as well as Pilates. High heeled shoes and our posture also plays a part in all of this. Physical therapist Tasha Mulligan explains it in her videos. I hope this helps but I can tell you, doing the exercises makes a MAJOR improvement. I hardly if at all feel my prolapse now. These exercises are and will always be a part of my life.

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  6. This information is just wonderful! You've really helped so much! Thank you!

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  7. I recently started feeling this weird sensation. Its terefiying. I'm going to the Dr. to check my self. It's becoming so bothersome. Just to let u know intercourse actually helps the sensation. But the nexy day I feel it. I can feel this weird thing while showering like something is peeking, when i clean myself after going to the bathroom. I recently became afraid of doing my business. It started about a month ago. But today I finally decided to search for a cause. This seems to run in my family. My Mom said my grandma use to go pee nd have her whole womb come out nd she would just push it back in. Im am terrified of this I unfortunately cant afford for this exercise vids no mattrr how cheap they r. I thank u for this article I just learned alot. Wish me luck. I want kids nd I dont know if this will ruin my chances. So sad, nd more so scared. :(

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  8. I'm so glad this information could help you! You can see free videos on YouTube. Michelle Kenway has quite a few that you can follow and do everyday. http://www.youtube.com/user/MichelleKenway?feature=watch

    Ask your library to order the Hab-It DVD by Tasha Mulligan. I'm sure they can get it. Stay posted as I will try and post other videos!

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  9. I completely agree that there isn't enough public info about this condition. My mother at age 50 has just heard of it because a close friend was just treated with surgery. I am dealing with it at the age of 32 after just pushing out my 3rd baby who was posterior. Thank you for the many resources you provide on your site. I will be checking out that video now. And mentioning your site on Facebook, if that's ok.

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  10. Hi Jennifer! I'm so glad you were able to find this info. I really hope it helps...I KNOW it will help! And Yes you can post my blog article on your FB. Thank you!

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  11. Just wanted to say THANK YOU. Your information has been encouraging. I'm 48 and didn't know what to do. Now I have direction, other than kegel or an operation. I also have daughters that I can inform to avoid what I'm going through. I had never heard of this, and until now, I hadn't found much useful information or even know what my problem could be. Thanks again.

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  12. I am so happy you found this information! I was where you are at one time...not knowing in what direction to go but I can honestly say all the information I've found has truly helped and I know it will help you too! Keep spreading the news to our daughters and friends! Julie

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  13. Thank you for putting all this information in one place! I'm 51 and didn't know what to do but now with this information I have hope that I can deal with this!

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  14. Julie,
    The ballet-like exercise you mentioned in Christine Kent's DVD, which one is it in, as she has 3? I'd like to try that. Thanks for you postings. They are very informative.

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  15. Hi! I'm so glad I'm able to help! The video is "First Aid for Prolapse" which is pictured above. I can't explain it but it really helped "pull up". When I feel that "sagging" feeling I'll just get up on my toes as she instructs and walk around that way and it really helps!

    I'm always searching for more information so check back and also please SHARE!
    Take Care!!

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  16. I can't thank you enough for putting all this information and websites in one place! I've bookmarked it. Thank you!! Thank you!

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  17. I tried the Hab-It DVD and this has helped! Thank you so much for steering me in the right direction!

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  18. I like Hab-It because there seems to be real science behind it and it's helping! Thank you for posting!

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  19. Tasha Mulligan DVD helped me! Thank you so much for compiling all of this information in one spot! Also thank you for getting this information out there, none of the exercise instructors mention this and I've been doing everything wrong. Thank you thank you!

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  20. I'm just flabbergasted! I can't believe this! I just clicked on the link and read this and I'm thinking why didn't my doctor tell me about this! I can't thank you enough for putting all this stuff up here.

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  21. I have been using Smokey Mountain Naturals for several months. I was having hot flashes, night sweats and also found my skin to be very dry. After of few months of using their Estro-Life, Progesto-Life and DIM my hot flashes are gone and the night sweats at minimal. I also use the Estro-life cream on my face and have seen a decrease in wrinkles especially around the eyes. My skin feels in much better shape. This company is great and the product costs are very low. I cannot say enough good about them.

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  22. I had no idea about the waist trainers! I was just starting to look online to purchase one. Thank you for posting this information!

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  23. I love all the new information you've added! You've done all foot work and given us so many options to help ourselves! Thank you!

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  24. Thank you for all the references. I keep coming back!

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  25. You've done a great service to women everywhere by compiling all this info.
    I had come across much of this info but your critical and experiential review is so authentic it will save me and other women time and aggravation in trying things that don't work.
    I also agree that Christine Kent's over-priced products should be avoided, even though her intentions may be good on the whole.
    Thanks again

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  26. I'm glad I was able to help! :D

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  27. Thank you for all the information. I was so scared when this happened. I feel better knowing I have tools to help it.

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