Pelvic Organ Prolapse

What it is

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the organs in the pelvis drop or press into or out of the vagina as a result of muscle and supportive tissue weakness. When the bladder is falling it is called a cystocele, when it is the uterus it is called a uterine prolapse, and when it is the rectum it is called a rectocele.

How it is treated with physical therapy

Strengthening the pelvic floor! Therapist will perform an internal exam, with patient consent, to coach the patient through how to correctly perform a pelvic floor contraction (or Kegel). You will then be given a series of exercises to add on to the basic pelvic floor contraction to help coordinate these muscles with the surrounding muscle groups.
Research indicates that strengthening the pelvic floor can decrease the organ prolapse by one full grade if it is starting at a grade 1 or 2. If you have a grade 3 or 4 prolapse physical therapy can still help to strengthen the pelvic floor, though it is unlikely to decrease the degree of prolapse.
Prevention is the best way to treat this condition. There is a lot you can do during pregnancy to decrease your chances of ending up with pelvic organ prolapse. Please see my Preventative Prenatal Visit page for more information.

Your Homework

You will be given a list of exercises at every visit that you will need to perform at home on a daily basis. If you do them as prescribed, you will see improvement and are less likely to require surgical intervention.

How many sessions

I am able to give you all the exercises over as little as two 1 hour visits, spread out at whatever frequency you desire. Patients typically only require more than two visits if they have trouble with the exercises.

For more in-depth information on this condition you can visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists here.

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