Uterine prolapse is a common problem that can be faced by women of all ages. We hear about women suffering from varying degrees of uterine prolapse and how difficult things are for them. We also often come across content guiding us about how to recover from it. Medications, exercise, and surgery can be used to cure this condition. But isn’t prevention always better than the cure?
Have you ever wondered whether we are capable of avoiding it from occurring altogether? Are there any exercises, lifestyle habits, or postural corrections that can ensure we stay at arm’s length from pelvic organ prolapse? If you are wondering the same, keep reading.
We will discuss preventing uterine prolapse in women, especially around pregnancies. Let us get started.
What is uterine prolapse?
Uterine prolapse is the condition where pelvic floor muscles and ligaments become weak and are unable to hold the pelvic organs in place. It often results in the uterus, bladder, or other adjacent pelvic organs dropping down through the vagina in women. Due to the involvement and role of pelvic floor muscles, this condition is also known as pelvic organ prolapse.
What are the symptoms?
The first and biggest symptom of uterine prolapse is women feeling a gradual descent of organs in their vagina. In severe cases, those organs can also be seen, and it is painful. The other symptoms can include:
- Urinary and/or bowel incontinence
- Weaker urine stream
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Feeling or seeing uterus or bladder fall through the vaginal opening
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
What are the causes?
Amongst the various reasons responsible for uterine prolapse, pregnancy and childbirth are widely blamed. It is during this phase that women’s bodies go through major physiological and hormonal changes which often put stress on the pelvic floor. Some of the other plausible causes for uterine prolapse are as follows:
- Obesity and unhealthy BMI
- Vaginal childbirth
- Heavy weightlifting
- Recurrent constipation
- Chronic cough
How to prevent uterine prolapse?
As disheartening as it sounds, medical science is still not able to prevent and eradicate uterine prolapse for every individual woman out there. But on the bright side, some practices vouch for an effective decline in the risk of developing this condition in many women. These methods are a combination of lifestyle tips that help fight against the early signs of uterine prolapse.
Maintaining proper weight
Being overweight, with large amounts of fats around your abdominal and pelvic region can put undue stress on the pelvic floor muscles over time. This stress is responsible for the weakening of pelvic floor musculature. Your muscles lose elasticity and strength due to the extra unhealthy weight. Maintaining the ideal weight suggested by your doctor can reduce the pressure on your pelvic muscles and help reduce the risk of prolapse. The ideal weight varies from individual to individual. We advise you to consult your doctor first before starting to lose weight.
Just like any other muscles in our bodies, the health of pelvic floor muscles can also be ensured by proper and regular exercise. Physiotherapists and doctors advise following a proper and healthy exercise routine. Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegel’s exercise can help strengthen those muscles and keep prolapse at bay. Expectant women can also benefit from these exercise routines. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist about the exercises suitable for you.
Eating a healthy diet
The health of your muscles also greatly depends on the food you eat. Ensure you intake a healthy diet that includes all nutrients in appropriate amounts. Avoid foods that make you fat or challenge the health of your muscles. Cutting back on your caffeine intake can also present you with many health benefits. You can ask your dietician or doctor to make you a healthy diet chart depending on your age, body type, and health conditions. Eating a healthy diet can take you a long way towards good overall health too.
Many doctors and physiotherapists also advise their patients to wear compression garments. These clothes are specifically designed to lower the stress on your pelvic floor muscles and support them during daily activities. Compression garments can be worn during and after pregnancy. Follow the guidance of your doctor in selecting the right size of compression garments for you. Some of the brands claim to be proven to help reduce the symptoms of uterine prolapse and incontinence related to it. They can also be worn for any occasions.
Making healthy lifestyle choices
Proper eating habits, exercise, clothes, ideal weight, etc. can all be achieved only if you constantly make healthy lifestyle choices. Avoid foods and drinks that risk your wellbeing such as alcohol. If you cannot quit altogether, try limiting the intake. Same goes for smoking, it is not a healthy choice either. These changes in your lifestyle will help improve your health. Remember to take proper rest and sleep at least for 7-8 hours every night. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine is also a part of a healthy lifestyle that can strengthen your muscles.
The concept of uterine prolapse prevention using methods other than natural ways is still largely controversial. Many doctors advocate the practice of planned caesarean sections to prevent prolapse compared to vaginal deliveries. But the debate about its safety continues too. Until a concrete method of preventing uterine prolapse is found, accepted, and practised by leading medical professionals the world over, you can consult your doctor and follow the above ways to advert the risk of developing uterine prolapse.
The most important tip of all is to not let any health condition get the better of you. There is a cure for every ailment. Discuss it with your friends, family, and doctor. And the right treatment or prevention option will work wonders for you.