15 Oct POP goes the bladder, uterus or bowel!
“What is P.O.P.” you ask?
Pelvic Organ Prolapse. But what does it mean? Loss of support for the uterus, bladder or bowel so that one or more of these compartments can find themselves in the vagina. This can have an enormous impact on a woman’s health, affecting bowel, bladder and even sexual function.
What is the risk for POP? As you age, your muscles weaken increasing risk, which doubles with every decade of life. Pregnancy and childbirth also increase risk, with the more deliveries, the greater the risk. Obesity puts increased chronic pressure on the pelvic floor. Heavy lifting, coughing associated with smoking, chronic constipation, menopause, and a family history of POP, all put you at increased risk.
Not everybody has symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, but estimates suggest up to 40% of women will experience some level of POP in their lifetime, with approx. 11% requiring surgery. Symptoms can include discomfort in the lower back and groin, a weak leaky bladder, an untrustworthy bowel, and painful sex.
So, what can you do? Physiotherapy is a great starting point, and the earlier the better. The qualified physios at Western Women’s and Men’s Health can instruct you in the correct performance of pelvic floor exercises, which, combined with lifestyle changes, healthy weight maintenance, and a high fiber diet may prevent the need for surgery, as long as the condition is not too advanced. The experienced physios at Western Women’s and Men’s Health can also show you techniques for lifting to avoid further strain on the muscles of your pelvic floor. We are also equipped to prescribe and monitor pessary use, which is a small ring inserted into the vagina to help support the walls of the vagina and manages POP conservatively.
Want to avoid the risk of POP? Make an appointment to see one of the helpful physios at Western Women’s and Men’s Health, and make it sooner than later!