Pelvic organ prolapse resources
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a hernia of the pelvic organs to or through the vaginal opening.
Pelvic organ prolapse happens when the muscles and tissues supporting the pelvic organs (the uterus, bladder, or rectum) become weak or loose due to childbirth or age.
Since this is a topic that is fairly a taboo that can have severe consequences we put together a list of resources that can be helpful. We strongly encourage you to do your own research and if you like to add to the list please contact us.
Here is what we found.
- See a urogynecologist not an obgyn €“ urogyns are the prolapse experts
- MANY women successfully manage their POP without surgery. Ask your doctor about a pessary...if they won€™t give you one, get a second opinion. Sea sponge is another option.
- Do not rush into surgery, especially with mesh €“ at least one group member has died due to mesh€¦take time to explore all alternatives €“ prolapse is frustrating but not life threatening.
- Ask for a referral to a pelvic floor PT€¦NOT ALL WOMEN SHOULD DO KEGELS. If you have an overly tight pelvic floor, kegels can make that worse.
- Look into hypopressive exercise.
- Do not accept bladder leaking as normal; pelvic floor PT can often help.
- If a doctor says something to you like, €œYou are too young for€¦.,€ keep pressing €“ they are often wrong in such statements
- Try to avoid lifting anything heavier than a milk jug.
- Always use stroller base for baby€™s car seat.
- Get smaller laundry baskets or use small laundry bags...ask the grocery baggers to put less in each bag...carry way fewer bags into the house at a time.
- Avoid lifting after surgery for at least 6 weeks and ideally 3 months -- surgery has a significant failure rate, and too much lifting during recovery is one driver.
- If you have young kids/grandkids, when they want up, when possible get down on the floor with them instead.
- High-impact exercise is possible but may be risky €“ alternatives include power walking, cycling, swimming, aquabics, XC skiing, snowshoeing, etc.
- Never strain during bowel movement €“ address constipation (increase soluble fibre/drink more water before turning to meds) - Michelle Kenway has a great video on how to avoid straining.
- If you have to cough or sneeze, bend over, cross your legs, and suck up your pelvic floor (takes practice).
- Be very cautious about exercise/movement that creates downward pressure on your pelvic floor...can happen, for example, when doing double leg lifts, pushing a buggy/cycling up a hill, lifting weights, doing some types of housework, raking, etc.
- Let's Talk About Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Facebook Group)
- Pelvic Exercises (Website and Youtube videos)
- Johnson & Johnson Settles Pelvic Mesh Sale Claims for $117 Million
- Gynecological mesh: The medical device that has 100,000 women suing
- Vaginal mesh has caused health problems in many women, even as some surgeons vouch for its safety and efficacy
- W5: How safe are surgical mesh implants?
Special Report: The Mesh Scandal