The pelvic floor muscles provide support to our pelvic organs including the bladder, rectum, and uterus (in a pelvis with female parts at birth). Ligaments and fascia (connective tissue) also provide considerable support to the pelvic organs. If the ligaments and fascia get excessively stretched or injured it can result in prolapse. Prolapse is when one of the pelvic organs is displaced from its normal position and can potentially result in a variety of different symptoms.
Some common symptoms of prolapse include:
- A lump or bulge sensation in the vagina
- An ache in the vagina
- Feelings of heaviness or pressure in the vaginal area
- Persistent ache in the lower back or over the tailbone
- Difficulty with urinating
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Bleeding or vaginal discharge (more than normal)
- Pain with sex
- Incomplete emptying with bowel movements
- Complaint of needing to use your hand or finger to apply manual pressure to the vagina area to assist with emptying your bladder or bowels
Pelvic health rehabilitation therapists can address pelvic organ prolapse symptoms through a variety of treatment options that may include constipation management, pelvic floor muscle coodination training, posture exercises, core and lower extremity exercises, and proper management of abdominal pressure to prevent excessive pressure or bearing down on your pelvic floor muscles.