The primary reason prolapse occurs is that the pelvic floor has become weak over time. During pregnancy and labour, the pelvic floor is put under huge amounts of pressure, and for many women, it is after having children that the pelvic floor weakens and they experience prolapse. For others, it is after the menopause (when all muscles in the body naturally become weaker) that pelvic floor problems and prolapse occur. However, there are other factors that can make pelvic floor weakness even worse, such as being overweight, being prone to coughs due to being a smoker or having asthma, or if you have had a hysterectomy.
If you have been through a prolapse repair that was a result of any of these factors and are now fully recovered, you need to ensure your pelvic floor remains healthy with the following steps:
1. Do your pelvic floor exercises on a regular basis
Also known as kegels, pelvic floor exercises take a little practise to do right but are essential for maintaining a healthy pelvic floor. Make sure not to clench your buttocks as this is a sign that you’re working the wrong muscles; there are many great resources online to help you achieve the right technique.
2. Change your eating habits permanently
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for a healthy pelvic floor. Ensure you have a sensible diet in order to prevent weight gain, which puts undue pressure on the pelvic floor. Eating plenty of fibre and drinking lots of water also helps to prevent constipation, which is another cause of pelvic floor weakness.
3. Exercise regularly, but choose the right kind
Although rigorous exercises are tempting to keep excess weight at bay, it is essential to choose the right kind of exercise to avoid putting pressure on the pelvic floor. Squats, for example, put lots of pressure on the pelvic floor, and intense running can also cause problems. Focus on strengthening your core abdominal muscles, which are all linked to your pelvic floor. Pilates and yoga are both brilliant for those who have suffered from prolapse in the past.