I want to discuss a topic that isn't always discussed outside of my community but affects many of us: pelvic organ prolapse. If you're a woman in your 20s and beyond, chances are you've heard about it or even experienced it firsthand. The mere mention of prolapse can send shivers down your spine, conjuring up fears about exercise, sex, having more children, and the need for surgery. But fear not! I'm here to debunk those myths, address your concerns, and help you navigate life with confidence. Women must realise that half of what they hear regarding prolapse and how it impacts our lives is untrue. And this scaremongering must stop!
Myth #1: Exercise Will Make It Worse:
One of the biggest fears women with prolapse have is that exercise will exacerbate their condition. But let me tell you, ladies, staying active is vital for your overall well-being! Contrary to popular belief, not all exercises are off-limits. Most exercise is in fact, very much on-limits. Regular physical activity can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which play a crucial role in supporting your organs. To begin with, focus on low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, cycling and Pilates. If you'd like to do more adventurous activities like weight lifting and running, then consider working with a pelvic health physiotherapist to ensure you're doing the right exercises for your specific needs. If you live in the Ketton, Stamford area, get in touch to visit my award-winning clinic.
Myth #2: Intimacy Will Be Forever Compromised:
Ah, the topic we often tiptoe around – sex and prolapse. First things first, a prolapse doesn't mean the end of your intimate life. With some knowledge and good communication with your partner, you can continue enjoying a fulfilling and satisfying sex life. Sex won't make your prolapse worse in fact it is an excellent workout for your pelvic floor muscles so highly recommended. If you feel uncomfortable during intercourse, experiment with different positions that put less pressure on your pelvic organs, and don't be afraid to talk to your partner about what feels comfortable for you. Remember, intimacy goes beyond intercourse; there are many ways to foster a deep connection with your loved one. And if you can work on both, that’s the winning combination.
Myth #3: No More Babies for Me:
If you dream of expanding your family but worry that prolapse will make it impossible, please stop panicking. While it's true that prolapse can be more noticeable during pregnancy and childbirth, it doesn't mean you have to forego the joy of having more children altogether. Discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider, who can offer guidance on managing your prolapse during pregnancy. Options like pelvic support devices and specific delivery techniques can help minimize the impact on your pelvic floor.
Myth #4: It Will Only Get Worse:
Prolapse is not a one-way street to irreversible discomfort and misery. The truth is the progression of prolapse varies from woman to woman. While some experience worsening symptoms over time, others find that their symptoms stabilize or even improve with proper management. Taking proactive steps to care for your pelvic health, such as doing pelvic floor exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding poorly managed heavy lifting, can help you control your condition and improve your quality of life.
Myth #5: Surgery Is the Only Solution:
Now, let's address the big ‘s’ word: surgery. While surgical intervention may be necessary in some cases, it is by no means the only option, and should not be your first port of call. Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and supportive devices can often relieve and improve symptoms significantly. In most cases this is all you will ever need. It's important to remember that surgery is a personal decision that should be discussed with your healthcare provider, considering your circumstances and preferences. It is also not a quick fix – or necessarily long-term – solution. Surgery isn't a guaranteed solution, with a variable rate in success, it is not a decision to take lightly. Exhaust all other options first and then decide whether it is right for you.
Myths aside, it’s hard to stay positive…
Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial when dealing with prolapse. Remember, your worth and value as a woman extend far beyond your physical body. Embrace self-care practices that uplift your spirit, such as meditation, journaling, or indulging in activities that bring you joy. I have always embraced a whole body and mind approach; for many, it holds answers to their success.
It's also essential to have a support system in place. Reach out to friends, family, or online communities where you can connect with other women who understand what you're going through. Sharing experiences, tips, and even moments of laughter can be incredibly empowering and remind you that you're not alone in this journey. If you are looking for a community, why not join 5K other women in the Pelvic Power Movement Community working towards the same goals…happiness and health.
Now, let's inject a little fun into the conversation! How about we explore some unexpected benefits of dealing with prolapse? Yes, you heard me right – benefits!
Kegels for the win: While we've discussed the importance of pelvic floor exercises for managing prolapse, let's not forget that regular Kegels can have an unexpected bonus. Strengthening your pelvic floor can enhance sexual pleasure and lead to stronger orgasms. So, while you're on your journey to managing prolapse, remember that you're also nurturing your inner goddess!
A newfound appreciation for your body: Dealing with prolapse can be challenging, but it can also spark a profound appreciation for the resilience and strength of your body. You'll better understand the intricate connection between your physical and emotional well-being. Embrace this newfound awareness and use it as fuel to prioritize your health and self-care.
Becoming a champion of self-advocacy: Managing prolapse often involves navigating a maze of medical appointments, treatment options, and decisions. This experience can turn you into a master of self-advocacy! You'll learn to speak up, ask questions, and make informed choices about your healthcare. Remember, you are the captain of your ship, and your voice matters.
What does the future hold?
Living with prolapse doesn't mean giving up on the things you love. I hope I've given you the confidence to embrace life to the fullest by dispelling these common myths and fears. Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Seek support from pelvic health professionals, connect with fellow women facing similar challenges, and above all, be kind to yourself. Remember, you are strong, beautiful, and capable. Prolapse doesn't have to limit you; it can become an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Keep the conversation going, and keep learning.