Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)
Updated: Jun 29
Approximately 50% Of Women Globally Develop Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Caused By Childbirth!
Imagine your pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock. This hammock generally supports 3 organs in females: the bladder, uterus and rectum. The hammock is designed to stretch but still be supportive. If the “hammock” is damaged or weakened, it may lose support and strength and may not be able to support all the organs. These organs may start to drop into or through the vaginal walls, which otherwise known as pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ such as the bladder, uterus, bowel, or rectum descends from the normal anatomical position. A prolapse can descend within the pelvis or protrude from the body as well.
So, what can put you at risk to develop a prolapse? Several risk factors exist, including systemic hyper-mobility and obesity. Several types of prolapse exist, including:
Cystocele (prolapse of bladder)
Urethrocele (prolapse of urethra)
Uterine prolapse (prolapse of uterus)
Rectocele (prolapse of small rectum)
Enterocele (prolapse of small bowel)
Most common symptoms include:
Feelings of pressure, bulging, pain, or fullness in vagina, rectum, or both -- sometimes you may even see a physical bulge coming out of the vagina or rectum
Incomplete bladder or bowel emptying
Urinary incontinence & frequency
Low back/pelvic pain that worsens with standing or exercising and is relieved with laying down
If you do have a pelvic organ prolapse, there are many conservative options to manage your symptoms, including pelvic floor physical therapy.
Pelvic floor muscle training is the #1 recommended intervention for pelvic organ prolapse. Recent high quality studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle training can significantly improve feelings of heaviness, reduce vaginal position and bulging, and also reduce urinary and fecal incontinence. A pelvic floor physical therapist can educate you on pelvic floor muscle training and teach you strategies to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life!