It's estimated that 34 million women worldwide are affected by vaginal prolapse; but as many are reluctant to discuss their symptoms, this number could be much higher.
The idea of having a vaginal or rectal prolapse (or both) can be highly embarrassing for women, with many enduring the symptoms for years unknowingly thinking it cannot be rectified. But it can!
How does it happen?
Normally, the pelvic organs are held in place by the pelvic floor muscles which act like a sling to hold the bladder, uterus and bowel. However, when the pelvic floor becomes weakened or stretched, they can become too slack to hold these organs effectively.
The uterus is the only organ that actually falls into the vagina, whilst when the bladder and bowel fall out of place, they push up against the vagina. Factors contributing to weakened pelvic floor include:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Ageing and the menopause
- Obesity or large fibroids
How will it affect me?
Although prolapse is not life threatening, it can cause a great deal of discomfort and embarrassment; it's not uncommon for women to have a double prolapse which can lead to both urinary incontinence and faecal constipation. Symptoms include severe backache, pain during intercourse and sometimes a 'dragging down' feeling in the pelvis.
If the prolapse is severe, surgery may be the viable option and can be done freely on the NHS. However, some forms of prolapse can be rectified by vaginal pessaries and kegel exercises.
What you can do?
The best cure is prevention; kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles can help avoid prolapse, we recommend the Kegel8 Ultra 20 electronic pelvic toner. With its 20 clinically proven programmes, including 2 programmes especially designed to help prolapse sufferers, it works to strengthen your pelvic floor in such a way that it can better support your pelvic organs to prevent your prolapse from getting worse and help you to manage the everyday symptoms of prolapse too.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time
- Do frequent and effective pelvic floor exercises
- Prevent constipation by incorporating enough fibre in your diet
- Wear a girdle: this can help make you feel a bit more secure
- Try yoga: great for toning your core muscles
The bottom line here is - prolapse can be avoided, so get working those Kegel8 exercises! If you think you may have a prolapse, or have any of the symptoms described above, we highly recommend you get checked out by your GP.