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Pelvic Organ Prolapse and often abbreviated to POP, is unfortunately still an issue not discussed openly and frequently enough.
Here is a list of common phrases women use to describe pelvic organ prolapse:
There’s no need to panic, and although the earlier your doctor, pelvic health physiotherapist or gynaecologist can diagnose the type and severity of your pelvic organ prolapse, the sooner you can begin to treat the condition and get back to a life with fewer symptoms.
POP is a “vaginal lump” resulting from bladder, uterus, or rectum falling through the vaginal opening. This occurs due to pelvic floor weakness which can be caused due to several factors:
Many women first hear about Pelvic Organ Prolapse from their mothers, some having ‘reconstructive surgery’ due to their organs ‘moving around’ and needing to be ‘put back in place’. Unfortunately, close to 50% of these women then experience it for themselves after childbirth2. Unlike the previous generation, women are talking about it and writing about it, like this best seller “The Day My Vagina Broke: What They Don't Tell You about Childbirth” by Stephanie Thompson or the other great book on the subject “Pelvic Organ Prolapse: The Silent Epidemic” by Sherrie Palm."
According to research conducted by Elvie.com - a women’s health tech company that manufactures Elvie Trainer - an award-winning pelvic floor muscle training device:
Because few women talked about pelvic organ prolapse in the past, everyone thought they were the “only one” resulting in lack of support and POP being a stigmatised condition. Although not dangerous, pelvic floor weakness erodes confidence and everyday joy. Women stop exercising because it tends to worsen the condition – especially exercises involving impact like running or jumping or weight bearing activities involving weights, sit-ups or squats. Many women avoid sex, afraid that prolapse or incontinence will repulse their partners.
“In the U.S. more pads are sold for incontinence than menstruation…it is a problem because we don’t have enough trained experts [in pelvic floor issues] to handle the aging population…It’s a very new field in the US…In France, women receive ten sessions [with a physical therapist] starting in the hospital after every vaginal delivery.”1
Without treatment any type of prolapse can become painful if the organs pull on ligaments and it can become dangerous if the prolapse causes a blockage in the tubes between bladder and kidney.
“Urinary incontinence is one of the top reasons people end up in nursing homes - people don’t want to deal with the smell,” said Cheryl Iglesia, director of MedStar Washington Hospital Centre’s Section of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and a professor of gynaecology and urology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, noting that it is often the last straw for caregivers.”1
Things are now changing rapidly in the positive direction:
The number of support groups around the world for Pelvic Organ Prolapse is also growing, here are just some useful links:
- There are many more support groups both local and international on Facebook.
Women may consider using a pessary based on their doctor’s or Women Health Physio recommendation if:
Another innovative solution is the use of a specialised compression garment, a non-invasive external support like SRC Restore, made for those that are experiencing symptoms of light Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and mild Bladder and Uterine Prolapse. Tested to assist specifically with Stage 1 or 2 Stress Urinary Incontinence, and to help with Stage 1 Bladder Prolapse and/or Stage 1 Uterine Prolapse. SRC Restore are also ideal for wearing during exercise. Here’s a review from just a few delighted customers, and there are plenty more on the website
“I wish I had purchased these years ago!
They are very comfortable and they really help with the heavy bulging feeling. I feel so much more comfortable and supported. I have had a ring pessary for years and I like to have a rest from it occasionally but as time has gone by that hasn’t been an option anymore. I purchased these briefs and I can take the pessary out and I really can’t tell the difference. I feel so well supported and confident. They are well worth it!” – Leanne C.
I have a stage 3 prolapse so thought this garment would not be of any use. I work in retail doing 6 to 9 hour shifts with lots of bending down and lifting putting downward pressure on my pelvic floor. I use a pessary but it often became dislodged causing discomfort so I stopped using it at work and just kept it for home and my days off. When I stopped using the pessary at work I started having bleeding issues then had to wear sanitary pads again (I'm 59). So in desparation I bought the Restore support garment to use at work and it has made all the difference to my day! No more bleeding - at all. And I don't feel the presence of the prolapse at every step I take. I know its still there but its in the background now. Am so glad I found this. Highly recommend it.” – Kathie T.
IF the prolapse is not serious or if pessaries are simply not suitable or not working and you want to see if surgery, the last option can be avoided, then trying an external support garment in conjunction with Pelvic Floor Muscle Training with a trained Pelvic Health Physical therapist should be high on your priority list.
Sadly most, and there are not many, external support garments look like they have come out of a medieval torture chamber being bulky and awkward and restrictive. Going to the toilet becomes a difficult exercise, and one where accidents may happen especially for those with Prolapse and Continence issues.
Of course, we also have the evidence to prove the effectiveness of our garments and many happy customers and testimonials on our website for the SRC Restore Shorts AND to take away any risk from purchasers of the shorts we provide a 100% Money Back Guarantee so that you have nothing to lose.
Regardless of the type of pelvic prolapse you may have, please seek assistance from a pelvic health physical therapist, do not resign to living and enduring these conditions. So much can be done. Please check out some of the links above as well as our SRC Restore product with its 100% Money Back Guarantee.