Pelvic Organ Prolapse — Myth Busting Edition

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is more common than you think. An estimated 1 in 3 women, and half of all mothers will experience prolapse. Yet, it’s still a topic shrouded by myths and misinformation. 

We’re here to bust some myths around prolapse. Let’s set the record straight and bring some light-hearted clarity to these common misconceptions.

Myth: You can’t lift weights if you have POP.

Truth: Not only can many women with POP lift weights, but targeted strength training can actually help support the pelvic organs and improve symptoms.

Myth: Running is off-limits with prolapse.

Truth: While high-impact activities might require some modification, many women can continue running with the right support and training.

Myth: Carrying groceries will worsen your prolapse.

Truth: Moderate lifting, like carrying groceries, is often perfectly fine. It’s all about using proper lifting techniques and listening to your body.

Myth: Surgery is the only way to improve prolapse.

Truth: Non-surgical approaches, including pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle modifications, and the use of pessaries, can effectively manage and improve symptoms for many women.

Myth: Long walks are a no-go with prolapse.

Truth: Walking is a low-impact exercise that many individuals with prolapse can enjoy comfortably. It’s all about pacing yourself, listening to your body, and using supportive wear such as a pessary.

Myth: Prolapse only happens to older women.

Truth: Prolapse can happen to women of all ages, including younger women and new mothers. While age can be a factor, childbirth and other lifestyle factors also play a role.

Myth: Pelvic exercises are useless once you have prolapse.

Truth: Pelvic floor exercises can be incredibly effective at managing symptoms and can even prevent further descent in some cases.

Myth: Prolapse means you can’t have a healthy sex life.

Truth: Many women with prolapse continue to enjoy an active and satisfying sex life. With a few adjustments and open communication with your partner, you can maintain physical intimacy.

Myth: It's okay to push a prolapse back in yourself.

Truth: While it might seem like a temporary fix, manually pushing a prolapse back can cause more harm than good to delicate vaginal tissues. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider for safe management strategies.

Myth: Sitting is bad for prolapse.

Truth: While prolonged sitting might be uncomfortable for some with prolapse, it’s generally not harmful. Using ergonomic chairs and taking frequent breaks can help manage symptoms.

Myth: Prolapse is always noticeable.

Truth:  Prolapse severity varies widely. Not all prolapses are severe. In fact, some are quite mild, with symptoms only noticed at the end of the day or after certain activities. Regular pelvic health assessments are important to monitor for changes and risk factors.

Myth: Vaginal deliveries cause pelvic organ prolapse.

Truth: While vaginal deliveries can increase the risk of pelvic organ prolapse, they are not the sole cause. Factors such as genetics, ageing, chronic constipation, and other physical stressors also contribute to the development of prolapse. Proper pelvic floor exercises and postnatal care can significantly reduce the risk.

Myth: If you develop prolapse during pregnancy or postpartum, you’ll have it forever.

Truth: Many women experience some degree of pelvic organ prolapse during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth due to the strain and hormonal changes that affect the pelvic floor muscles. However, this doesn’t mean the condition will inevitably worsen. Early intervention between 12-18 months can dramatically improve, and sometimes reverse prolapse conditions.

Myth: Prolapse is purely a physical condition.

Truth: Prolapse can affect your emotional well-being too. As physiotherapists, we’re here to listen, guide, and empower you with knowledge and treatment options that address both the physical and emotional aspects of prolapse.

There you have it—14 myths about Pelvic Organ Prolapse debunked! Our team has supported hundreds of women through their pelvic health journeys. Remember, every woman’s body is different, and understanding your own can make a world of difference. Don’t let misconceptions hold you back from living your fullest life! If you’re experiencing any symptoms or have questions, remember, our door is always open for a friendly chat or a thorough assessment.

Ready to empower yourself? Book your pelvic floor assessment today.

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