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Pelvic Prolapse? No. Way.

I have thought a lot about what I want this article to say. Mostly, I have tried to figure out my point. & I think my goal is simple: to start a conversation. Pelvic Organ Prolapse (or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, or Pelvic Floor Disorder) is not a topic you’ll see floating around the Internet unless you dig for it. It’s uncomfortable to talk about (for some) and if you are squeamish about medical stuff, then go ahead and just skip it now. I am going to share details that I longed to find discussed by a real person, or even on the internet–and they might make some blush. In our house, we talk about the body a lot. I see a lot of gross textbook pictures laying open on my coffee table. Nothing really fazes me anymore. So here is your warning: this is educational. I am not going to sugar coat stuff!

Pelvic prolapse is, what some will describe as, one of the last hush hush topics in gynecology. Seems like we can now talk freely about most anything with our girlfriends–and we do!!! But I have yet to have an educated conversation with a non-medical professional about a prolapse. And for a problem that affects as many as HALF of women, why is that? It’s not just an “old lady” problem. I’m in my early thirties. I have pelvic prolapse. And I think we need to have a discussion–and more importantly, talk about improving our chances of preventing it! My goal is simply to share my story–because you may have a similar one. I had NO IDEA that the symptoms I have been experiencing (some for years!) were a clue to my path to prolapse. I don’t want any of you to end up like me–formerly clueless, engaging in heavy physical activity, and then sidelined with a serious pelvic floor issue. It’s depressing and frustrating and it did not have to be this way. So let me tell you my story.

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If you follow this blog, you know I have had two deliveries. Both were quick, once they got going. Both were tough on my body, for different reasons. I recovered from both slowly, gently. I never jumped right back into exercise, but I did get there eventually. After my first delivery, I had some incontinence issues, but nothing so bothersome, that I sought treatment. Back then, I was crossfitting in my own way, and my “should have seen it” clues were in my jumps. Burpees, Box Jumps, Jump Rope. All equaled leakage–but I thought, eh, consequence of having a baby. There is nothing I can do about it & I want another baby, so I’ll put it off until I “have my body back” for good. Mistake #1!! You can ALWAYS work on strengthening your pelvic floor–and this helps with incontinence!!

My second pregnancy came with a lot more discomfort than my first. I had some vaginal vein issues and my discomfort made me get off my feet for the first time in my life. It was not fun, and I assumed it would go away after delivery. Most of it did, but some of it did not. My second delivery was fast & furious, and while it was exactly what I wanted, it was really the start of this whole thing. At least that is what I think.

Fast forward about a year, and I got back into a regular and rigorous workout routine. I would do my yoga (like, drip sweat on your mat because it’s so hard yoga) twice a week. Then on Saturday I would lift really heavy (like out-lift most of the dudes in my class, heavy). It was mentally freeing. I take great pleasure and pride in getting and being strong. I feel best about myself when I am strong. Lifting myself and other heavy stuff is essential for my well-being, but it was damaging my body–not because I was doing it, but because of the way I was doing it. I went on, not knowing there was a problem for nearly a year. Until one day…something was different.

I had done two heavy barbell classes in a row. One Saturday we’d done some PR (personal record) lifting. I had my instructor help lift and rack my weight because I couldn’t rack it myself–that’s how heavy I’d gone. We did tons of squats. Tons of lunges. All really heavy, until failure. After unwinding in yoga on M/W, I went back for more. We lifted heavy again, but this time it was heavy deadlifts. We had to have done over a hundred deadlifts that day. I completed the class. Felt great. Then the next morning, I felt IT.

I felt like I had a tampon that was falling out. I did my own physical exam and wouldn’t you know–my cervix was like…right there. I used to have to work really hard to check my mirena threads in my cervix. You know, squat in the shower to reach them. Now it was like, RIGHT THERE–what was happening?!! I freaked out (something I normally don’t do) and consulted with my husband, who said I was likely experiencing prolapse. So I googled it (because I had no idea what that was!) & then I really lost it. This pretty much explains it.

I saw my Gynecologist (who happens to be a pelvic floor specialist!!) and she confirmed with some measurements, that I had exactly what I thought I did. Except it was not only a uterine prolapse, everything was moving south. There were words like hysterectomy and pelvic sling and pessary on the table. Whaaat?? I am healthy. I take care of myself. I exercise. What went wrong? What happened here?

& the answer was simple: I neglected to strengthen my pelvic floor. & then I repeatedly did several exercises that are known to significantly increase pressure on the pelvic floor. & I did them with heavy weight on my back. So therein lies my recipe for disaster! No pelvic floor muscles + lots of intra-abdominal pressure = everything falls down. And this can happen to ANYONE, regardless of how they treat their body. While prolapse cannot be reversed (without surgery) you can sometimes improve the symptoms by strengthening the pelvic floor.

So I was referred to an amazing Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (can you believe there is such a thing??) and learned a whole lot about my body. & I want to share some of that with you. Let’s start with the symptoms, because maybe you can relate.

My Prolapse “Clues”

  • Posture: I noticed that after carrying Everett, my belly always stuck out a little more than my bust. This was not the case with Caroline. What I learned was that I had such weak abdominals (despite my exercise–I had been totally overcompensating with the other muscles!), that I was still carrying my body like I was pregnant–sticking out my bum a bit & rolling my hips toward the ground, slightly bearing down at all times. Try standing in the typical “hands on my back because I am so pregnant” stance–are you still doing this after delivery?? Time to strengthen those transverse abdominals!
  • Bearing down: like you have to “push.” I was constantly bearing down–to lift, to walk, to breathe, to cough, to bathe my kids. This is a major sign of a weak pelvic floor.
  • Breathing: I was a belly breather. I did not engage my diaphragm much. I would breathe down, not up into my diaphragm.
  • Bracing to get out of a chair: My quads were very strong, but my hamstrings were weak and I couldn’t even get out of a chair without using my arm strength. Try sitting on a firm chair & without any assistance, using your legs to get up. Can you? I am still working at this. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it was another red flag that I am still working hard to correct.
  • Incontinence: Inability to stop urinary flow. Always feel like you have to go to the bathroom. Leak, even after you think you have stopped the flow or urine. Trampolines & treadmills=bad news.
  • Vagina “Farts”: are you laughing yet? This one is soooo embarrassing. I googled this for so many years, and NONE of the sites I found ever came up with prolapse as an explanation. So as mortifying as it is, let’s talk about it. So you’re in yoga. You go into down dog. You lift your leg to three legged dog, and then curl it into scorpion and then as you head back up, & back to mountain, OMG. Noise!! MORTIFYING. Well. If you have a prolapse, this is what happened: your uterus slipped from its prolapse into normal position while you were inverted, and created an awesome vacuum. Then, as you returned to your upright position, your uterus fell back down (thanks, gravity!!) and shoved all the extra air you accumulated right on down with it. & out it went. So there you have it, my four year long mystery, solved. Does this happen to anyone else?? No one ever talks about it, so maybe I am a minority? It was a very real problem for me–and actually kept me away from yoga for a time.
  • Low, painful periods: After Everett, I had increasingly painful periods. Some of this is surely related to my endometriosis, but some of it was new because of the location of cramping. My periods were not painful in my abdomen anymore–they were painful much, much lower. As painful as those vaginal varicose veins during pregnancy. Makes sense, now that I know that my uterus is so much lower than it should be.

So then what? What happens if you do have prolapse? Is there any hope for improvement?

Let me encourage you–yes!! There is a lot of wishy washy info out there on google searches. I am currently going to Pelvic PT, where I have my progress & strength monitored under untrasound, so I can see just how to do things like kegels and the other strength exercises. I can tell you that in the last couple of months since I started Pelvic PT I have seen a major improvement in how I carry my body. I am still symptomatic, but I do my PT exercises every single day & I am adding in more yoga as the weeks pass & I can hold the poses while engaging my pelvic floor/abdomen correctly. This is a skill that has to be acquired & practiced, & my PT has helped me identify how to fire the muscles correctly. It is also encouraging to see, under ultrasound, how much more control I have over these muscles–and that I can actually fire them now. I could not even see my kegel on ultrasound when I started–that’s how weak mine was. I have also done vaginal e-stim–which is quite a strange experience. But it works! I am learning how to control the muscles that have completely lost function. There is so much work that can be done to improve the function of the pelvic floor muscles, but I will emphasize “work.” It takes dedication!

styleberry_yoga_900 Is there a treatment? What are you doing long term?

I am still at the beginning of treating my prolapse. I am in no rush for a hysterectomy, though I am sure it is in my future. We are learning more about my body as the treatment goes on–and how much of my problem is muscle weakness vs. ligament damage. Ligament damage (which is a result of both pregnancy and childbirth) cannot be reversed. Ligament damage is permanent & I did have two significant tears with my deliveries, so there’s likely some damage. However, the muscle improvement is ongoing, and will never be considered done. Like any other muscles, I will need to work on them the rest of my life. Even after a hysterectomy, a woman needs a strong pelvic floor. No surgery can strengthen my muscles–so I will exercise them regularly!

I am also using a pessary, which has been great! My doctor calls them a “bra for your vagina” and that’s exactly what it is! It is a soft silicone device that you insert like a diaphragm. It comes in a bunch of shapes & sizes; yours is determined by your doctor during a fitting, based on your anatomical needs. It is tricky to get out sometimes, but after a while you get the hang of it.

I have to say, the idea of using a pessary made me really sad for a long time. I thought about how much of a pain it would be to take it in & out every day. Was this my new normal? I need something to hold my insides up? I am too young for this!! & I was sweaty and in tears one night, at the beginning, when it got stuck. I swore I would never get it out. But I did. & you know–the internet has no tips for getting a pessary in & out. So while we’re talking about everything uncomfortable in this article, I will share that I’ve found it is easiest to remove in the shower (relaxed!!), standing. Squatting does not work for me. At all. I cannot get it in well sitting down, either; standing is best. It is so awkward at first, but for anyone who may be seeking encouragement here, you get the angles down eventually and it does become second nature. It isn’t ever “comfortable” but it gets easier. Just experiment with new angles until you find one that makes it easy.

The best part of the pessary? It works!!! I can’t feel it when it’s in. It relieves my symptoms (most of the incontinence too!) and I can even breeze right through that three legged dog hip opener–SILENTLY. That may be the greatest achievement of all. :) Yoga, with no noises! WINNER!

Exercise in the future is still up in the air. Many experts will tell women who have been diagnosed with prolapse that their exercise routine should include only exercises where you can keep at least one foot on the ground at all times. This means zero impact exercises. No running, no jumping. Nada. I can tell you that I will probably never be comfortable running again–just because I do fear making my prolapse worse and being forced to have surgery. Weights is something that will get introduced back into my regime over time. I don’t think I will ever lift as heavy as I used to, but with the right form & being really mindful of those pelvic floor muscles, I hope to get to a place where I can include at least light lifting again. For now, I am going to continue my yoga practice. I’ve bumped that to three times a week and hope to add even more. There is so much strength that can be gained from moving your own body around. & bonus, a new study even comments on the pelvic floor benefits of yoga. But as I have learned, you have to know how to properly engage your pelvic floor muscles or you could be doing it all wrong!!

So what can I do? What do I do??

If you show no signs of a prolapse and are looking to prevent it in the future, work on your kegels & pelvic floor strength! My doctors have always checked the strength of my kegel at my annual–which is a great place to start. Don’t ignore their advice, like I did!! squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. See if there are any local PTs that offer informational seminars in your area. There are also a bunch of resources on YouTube! Do an exercise search. Here is a search for pelvic floor exercises for women.

If you suspect something is up, see your gynecologist. Seek treatment from a specialist. I would find a Urogynecologist, board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Bonus if they are affiliated with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. If I had the chance to rewind to right after Caroline’s birth, I would have sought the help of a Women’s Health Physical Therapist immediately. I think their work is incredibly valuable. Don’t put it off–seek expert help ASAP. & make sure they examine you standing up. This is important–as everything can move back when you are laying down!

Additionally, if you happen to live in San Antonio, lucky you!! My doctor and my Pelvic Physical Therapist are putting on a fun evening program this Friday night, open to the public, to discuss all things related to Pelvic Floor Health. This is an amazing opportunity to learn more from the experts. I cannot even begin to say enough good things about Dr. Dooley and Dr. Rodriguez. Go & learn from them! Ask your questions! They will have a q&a box if you are too uncomfortable to ask your questions in front of everyone. It is open to the public, not just military, even though it is on Ft. Sam Houston. Seriously, take advantage of this opportunity!

Pelvic Floor Info Night

I have read the internet up, down and sideways. Here is a collection of the articles about the Pelvic Floor that you may find particularly useful. :)

IMPORTANT RESOURCES:

  • Find a nearby Urogynecologist HERE
  • Find a Women’s Health/Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist HERE
  • Take the Floor, The American Urogynecologic Society non-profit organization that supports all things PFD HERE
  • The best article I found on Lifting Weights & Prolapse HERE
  • A random source, but excellent overview of prolapse & symptoms & therapy HERE
  • 12 Unsafe Abdominal Exercises for Prolapse HERE
  • Pelvic Exercises (& a really great Pelvic Floor info website!!) HERE
  • 7 Yoga Poses, safe for your pelvic floor HERE
  • My favorite Pelvic Health Blog HERE

Did you make it this far? Holy smokes. That was more than I thought I would write. If you have anything more you wish to add, as always, let’s make this article a resource for women who may stumble upon it on a freaked-out google search. I’d love to hear how you’ve handled a diagnosis or what you are doing to rehab. Or even if you are part of the noisy yogis club. HAhaha. No, really. It’s not funny. But it is. Sort of. Not laughing about it yet? Maybe you need a pessary! ;)

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  • Sara - Oh my goodness Shawna, THANK YOU for posting this! Every time I jog, I have to wear a pad because I leak urine. I thought it was just the consequences for having birthed four children. And those farts-yes, you’re not alone:)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Oh my goodness…some of this sounds so familiar. Just had my post Pierce appointment and now I’m worried my OB isn’t proactive enough. He referred me to a specialist but the DO NOT accept my insurance in network. Not sure what the heck to do now. I may just pay out of pocket and be up front with them about having to rehab at home. THANK YOU THANK YOU for bringing all this to light. I feel like I have ZERO muscle — the standing without using arms story is all me! :(

    Clicking on all the links you posted…ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - Sarah, go on Friday, if you can!!! I know it would be tricky with the baby–but bring him!ReplyCancel

  • Kate B - Can I just say you are so awesome! Such an inspiration to so many women. You’re not afraid to “go there”. But I think truthfully a lot of women need this. Your posts are not only informative (VERY) but quite entertaining. Vagina farts… you’re not alone. ;)ReplyCancel

  • PJ - Bar method could be your workout solution. One foot on the floor at all times and it will make muscles you didn’t know you had extremely sore. It’s legit.ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - PJ-I have heard that! We do a lot of isolation in my yoga practice, but I have always been curious about Barre!ReplyCancel

  • Becca - I have a bladder prolapse and had a lot of the symptoms you list. Went thru 8 weeks of therapy that my gyno offered but it was mainly for incontinance. Which wasn’t my main issue. So it helped with that small issue and I learned the correct way to do a kegal. But I still have a prolapse and have a pessary and feel frustrated about it.
    Have you looked into Aligned and Well by Katie Bowman? What do you think if her techniques? She has written extensively on prolapse but it’s pretty overwhelming to start looking into it. I would love to hear if anyone had done her excercises and how it worked for them!ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - Becca, I have not heard of this! I am sorry you feel frustrated. I do too. That is probably my favorite word to describe it. :( It just…sucks. Going to go read now…ReplyCancel

  • Soah - I think I’ve already started down your path. I’ve only had one baby, but I leak when I do jumping jacks, and any sort of headstand or exercises where I lean over in certain ways result in… noise. And just when you think you’re done… nope, here’s another.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that during the first day of my period, it feels like I’ve been kicked between the legs. I remember some women saying they felt that during pregnancy, so I just chalked it and everything else up to postpartum life. Thank you for this post because I will definitely be more proactive addressing my symptoms now.ReplyCancel

  • Susan P. - Oh, Shawna, this was such an educational post~thank you! 32 years ago I had a difficult delivery with 2 hours of hard pushing, a fourth degree tear/laceration and cracked tailbone. A few months later I discovered the pelvic prolapse and have had mild symptoms through the years, but nothing significant. Now , with age, have come some additional symptoms. last year my gynocologist said “it’s not really that bad” but she did refer me to a pelvic floor therapist to which I responded wwhhhaaaattt? now that I have read more on your links, I will definitely activate the referral. my advice to younger women is to not ignore the early symptoms as aging adds to your list. Thanks again for your pro active approach to staying healthy!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Shawna, I am so thankful for your post, I have been researching for the past 4 weeks about this exact issue. I don’t know the extent of my problems, only that my uterus is indeed prolapsed. I go to my gyno for my 6 week postpartum check up in a week. I have spent the whole day trying to find a urogynecologist in my area. I’m in Louisiana and the closest I’ve found who is board certified like you suggest is New Orleans or Houston. Both are about equal distance from me.
    I’m in extream pain and some days can’t even function.

    Thank you again,ReplyCancel

  • PR - Thank you so much for posting this. I am 10 weeks PP and was recently diagnosed with a prolapse. It came as a complete shock because I had also NEVER heard of this and had no idea that this could be a complication after birth. It has felt devastating and I have been trying to wrap my mind around how to not have these feelings. It is very helpful to read about how other women are coping. My OB referred me to PT, however, the wait time is 2 months so I have been doing the Hab-It DVD in the meantime. How are you feeling? Have you encountered any other of your friends/family that have dealt with this? I have also read that 50% of women will experience some degree of prolapse, but have not really spoken to many who have experienced the same symptoms as me (feeling like a tampon is falling out). I am finding the emotional part is worse than the physical. Thank you again for your post. Any encouragement is GREATLY appreciated!!ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - Very helpful and interesting information. Thank you! I do have a question though… You mention that even though treatment is going well for the prolapse, you’re sure that a hysterectomy is in your future. Will it be necessary strictly due to the pelvic prolapse? If so, I find this odd; if indeed half of women have this condition, and a hysterectomy is prescribed as the ultimate “cure”, I think that someone is misleading you! While pelvic prolapse is probably a “normal” effect of childbearing and age, it cannot be normal or natural for half of women to need a hysterectomy! Am I misinterpreting what you intended to convey?ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - Mimi–yes, you are misinterpreting me! While many women may have a mild or moderate prolapse, many will never be symptomatic. Hysterectomy is only advised for those with a severe prolapse, often when it surpasses the hymen and is near or on the outside of the body. The recommendation by a urogynecologist will be based on the severity of the prolapse & any symptoms that interfere with quality of life or health. Last week I found out my prolapse has actually improved–yay!! I am pretty symptomatic, so if I continue to rehab & experience issues with exercise, despite regaining as much muscle control as possible through pelvic PT, that is when I will seek a hysterectomy. Even then, I will have to be really careful when I exercise, so I don’t “blow” the sling, as is what happens to women who overdo it & aren’t careful with the kind of exercise they do. Make sense?ReplyCancel

  • Cori - You are AWESOME! I so admire your research, candidness, and willingness to start discussions. What an eye-opener this is.Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Renea - HOLY CRAP. I NEVER knew…any of that.ReplyCancel

  • Deb McNamara - Thank you for your honesty and for sharing this much needed info. I just wrote about it on my blog too after my third son was born this Winter: http://unraveledword.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/falling-forward-falling-back-what-nobody-wants-to-talk-about/

    Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Miranda - Thank you for sharing! I have experienced yaginal farts since the birth of my first child (which caused massive tearing). After each subsequent delivery (I’ve had three more) I have had them. They are really bad just after birthing and then over time get better until they happen less frequently but never going away completely either. After my second child I went in to the doctor because I was concerned about it but I was told it was no big deal. I don’t have any other symptom that you listed but you have encouraged me to not ignore this problem. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Seasons » styleberry BLOG - […] Q: How has your Pelvic Floor rehab been going? Any updates since the article? […]ReplyCancel

  • Ash - Pelvic prolapse can happen to anyone. I’m 24 and a mother of two growing boys and yes, I’ve been suffering with my prolapse for a year now. Worst part is that once one thing falls it’s like a domino effect causing all kinds of urinary and bowel issues. It’s definitely not an “old lady” thing.ReplyCancel

  • Marijana - Thank you for this, I wish more women would speak up so we don’t feel so alone in our problems. Besides farts, I also have water come in when I swim:( I too had to turn to swimming instead of running which ia m not happy with but what can be done..I was wondering when you say one foot down at all times do you apply that in abs exercises as well? I read about it somewhere but find it very hard to strengthen my abs if one foot has to be down at all times..I do mostly pilates now, was concentrated on centralization, engaging the muscles in the right way in order not to bare down..it is amazing how much I didn’t know…it should be thought in school so all women know!ReplyCancel

  • Wendy Allan - I thank you for this bit of frankness about this whole. I am now 61, with four children, I had the first 2 when I was in my early 20s and was made to lie down to deliver them. Because of my youth I did not seem to notice much difference in my body. After I had my second 2 children aged 36 and 39 and I have (silently) noticed and experienced many of the problems that have been described and experienced a lot of fear and unhappiness.

    Because of my family background, an ‘abuse’ situation, speaking about things associated with ‘down there’ has always been difficult. I, too, did the wrong exercises, joining an ‘abs’ class and being told how to do sit-ups and told I could just put my feet under the sofa and pull myself up …. I think this is what finally did for me. Even after I had diagnosed myself with a prolapse I found it hard to go and ask for help. I made a tentative foray to the GP and was faced with a young child of a doctor which did not help – I know they have to start somewhere but the surgery receptionist just told me that all the women GPs could help with women’s problems when I asked to see one, I don’t go to the surgery often so I don’t know which doctor is which. Eventually I saw an older woman doctor which was more helpful but I could not do much again with their help for another 18 months or so because I was so mortified to have to talk about what I saw as a personal weakness.

    I am very active with 2 horses and all that that entails which is very heavy work so another challenge to my body. One person that I received help from was a body worker who works with the facia system in our bodies and who also teaches pilates She helped me to identify ways of using my body correctly, how we have natural ways of being squint in our body and most of all how to breathe properly and use my breathing to aid my movement and so so much more. I had 1:1 sessions with her, did mat classes and now do pilates on a machine in a class. I am now so much stronger in my body than I ever have been in my life because I do daily exercises which are gradually building my strength an on going process. I am lucky because I can afford to find out about this and buy this service for me and I can feel myself becoming passionate about making this available for others.

    About 6 weeks ago I had a trauma to myself doing some really heavy (wet hay) lifting without thinking/being mindful about how I was using my body and everything got strained and I must have been bearing down and it got so awful that I plucked up courage and I went back to the GP who said she could help and put in a ring pessary, I was so amazed at how much this helped – in the space of 10 minutes – but I did not like the side affects, slight pain sometimes and quite a lot of discharge and it made me a bit incontinent which was not something I had experienced. My first mistake was to do far more that I should have done and popped the pessary out of place. This caused me even more trauma because it made me realise that I was still very vulnerable. So I have done a little more research because I felt that I could not have sex with this ring in and this was a bit of a problem – I find it is quite a bit thing inside of me. My other findings were that at some times of the day my symptoms were far more noticeable and I did not feel that I needed the ring in all of the time – it is more if I am tired or if I know I am going to be doing something more energetic. The other thing I had not done was to find out exactly what was wrong with me, the GP s diagnoses because every visit was too traumatic to take in any other information. I have both a cystocele and a rectocele and a, the doctor’s words, a ‘baggy vagina’ – well great that bodes well for me.

    Sorry this seems to have become a bit of a therapeutic writing now, my apologies to you all but at least this is somewhere where I can voice things that are not easy to say to many if not most people.

    So having done a bit more research I found a website call ‘stressnomore’ where there are a number of different pessaries which are more like tampons which I have now been using for a week. You can take them out and re-use them. They seem to be working. Unfortunately they are quite expensive and they do seem to have cornered the market. I told the GP about them and she had not heard so is interested to find out if they work. My next job I think is to see if I can get them on prescription, that will be interesting. She also told me how to put the ring in – I now have 2 because I had to go and get them on prescription. Oh the experiences that I am having are character building to say the least.

    Well like the writer of this blog, who I am glad to say has opened this subject up. I am getting better at talking about this subject now. What is interesting, on my sister’s side they are farming folk and it is no problem for farmers, men, to talk about a sheep having a prolapse, it is a problem that has been around for thousands of years for women and there is so much fear surrounding it. I am finding that as I grow in this journey I want to shout out what I am doing. I am a bit like that – when I had my first ring put in, only weeks ago, I was so amazed by the relief, I went shopping immediately after and bumped into someone I had not seen for well over 5 years and I told her about the ring, luckily she was receptive to it. I now stand in supermarket cues and think – how many of you have this to deal with?

    So I also have a question to ask and I think here is the place to ask it. What about vibrators – can they help? Or an active sex life? Would having an orgasm on a very regular basis be an answer to helping to tighten up some of our muscles in that area. I now believe I fully understand how the pelvic floor works from the teaching I have had. I will give you a potted and simplistic version, I also stand to be corrected – there is the diaphragm and the pelvic floor, both of them work together as big muscles, this is why it is so essential to learn how to do the correct breathing.

    I would really appreciate an answer to this. Thank you for taking the time to read this if you have got this far. All the best to everyone else.ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - This blog has been very helpful. I am 66 years old and have been using a pessary for about 3 years. It is a good alternative for me since without it life is very uncomfortable. I gave birth twice and lifted some heavy things a few years back. When the doctor first saw my condition, he said he could do a hysterectomy. I almost went through the ceiling and told him I wanted to keep all my parts. I still feel the same and think that with time my uterus will keep shrinking. I do my kegals every day, although I should probably do more than I am doing. To insert my pessary I lay on my back with my feet straight up in the air and almost “pop”the pessary rather than push it. I find if you exhale & use lots of lubricant it is easier. My favorite lubricant is Personal Gel by Aloe Life because it does not have a lot of chemicals. I take the pessary out standing up in the bathroom and use a little bit of lubricant and bear down. If my husband and I want to have sex, I just don’t put it in in the morning. I have the donut pessary & it has made everything “stay up” very well!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - Thank you so much for posting about your experience and adding resources from your research. I am 37 and just got diagnosed with POP after my 4th baby was born in April. I relate to every symptom you mentioned. I’m feeling pretty down about not being able to lift (I lifted fairly light but had a goal of always increasing to much heavier) at this point until I get further with my physical therapy. After reading this, I am feeling optimistic that I could eventually get back to light lifting while being smart about it.ReplyCancel

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