Pelvic organ prolapse is not my favorite feature! It causes a lot of frustration, and finding an exercise option that doesn't make things worse took MANY years! I use yoga for pelvic organ prolapse because it's gentle, it stretches the muscles, AND I've learned how to build strength to lift my problematic organs.
Pelvic Floor: Weak muscles here can result in prolapse, which means the pelvic organs drop out of their ideal position.
My type(s) of prolapse
Post birth, all of my organs below the belt dropped down to varying degrees. Fortunately, if there is a fortunate point to this, the only real symptom-causing organ involved is my bladder. This is called an anterior or cystocele prolapse.
Organs that can drop with pelvic organ prolapse: bladder, uterus, rectum.
My prolapse symptoms
Pelvic organ prolapse sucks! At the start of my story, my bladder pressed out of me about 1/4" (TMI, but there you have it). Sitting felt like I was balancing on a ball, and everything "down there" was dry and uncomfortable. Now, after physical therapy and learning better management techniques, nothing is external. My ongoing symptoms when I overdo things include a constant heaviness in the pelvic floor, feeling as though something wants to press outward, and a constant feeling as though I need to urinate. I also have sharp vulvar pains that last for a few seconds at a time, but this does not happen often.
How I manage/lesson my symptoms
I lost 25 pounds and find that at 165 Lbs I'm comfortable and symptom free, but at 170 Lbs I am always feeling pressure below the belt. Physical therapy for my pelvic organ prolapse has taught me how to safely get into a sitting and standing position, and doing this movements incorrectly cause problems. I eat a vegan diet to ensure my IBS doesn't cause a flare up of my prolapse, normally sticking to the Forks Over Knives (FOK) plan, but I do eat eggs about once a month with the family at breakfast.
The biggest help in managing my symptoms is yoga! I'm not just saying this because I teach yoga classes online, but because I genuinely believe that yoga is the reason most of my days are symptom-free. I find that doing yoga on my own on Wednesday and then teaching Saturday and Sunday keeps me comfortable, even if I do jumping jacks or run on a tennis court. When I drop to just one or two yoga sessions a week, my symptoms always return, so I stick to the plan of having three 45min sessions of yoga for the pelvic floor every week.
My favorite exercise option is to use yoga for my pelvic organ prolapse
People often don't understand that prolapse isn't something you can "cure." The muscles are already damaged, and doing one round of physical therapy and not continuing with the exercises means you'll likely return to the state you were in before you started treatment. Being symptom-free with prolapse requires a little bit of work. You need to know what activities trigger your symptoms, and you need to make a plan and stick to the methods that work for you.
Yoga is my top pick, always, for managing prolapse symptoms. This type of exercise for the pelvic floor, when done correctly, helps lift the organs upward by toning the muscles. It's an exercise that can keep you calm, focuses on the breath (which is SUPER IMPORTANT to maintaining a healthy pelvic floor), and you can practice at home. For me, it only takes about 30minutes, and going over an hour tends to make my pelvic floor too tired.