This isn’t really my area of coverage if I’m being honest; but as a woman and a mom it affects me greatly and I wish it was something I knew much sooner in life.
So let’s talk about it – pelvic health. And more specifically, pelvic organ prolapse.
What is pelvic organ prolapse?
It is when the pelvic floor becomes so weakened during pregnancy, childbirth, or excessive straining, that it begins to be unable to hold up the above organs.
The three areas affected by a weakened pelvic floor are the bladder, uterus, and rectal wall.
You can have one or all three of these areas of prolapse due to a weakened pelvic floor. I didn’t know that, and I definitely didn’t know that this was something that could happen to someone before the age of say 40. I mean, I’m 25 and just found out that besides my endometriosis and PCOS, and other health conditions, the current majority of discomfort I’m feeling while at work is due to the fact but I have multiple pelvic organ prolapses – all three actually.
Just in case I didn’t have anxiety already.
Apparently no one talks about this, because I did loads of research before and after pregnancy and not once did this come up in any of it. Not to mention, nobody warned me of this. Now, I definitely agree unnecessarily frightening new moms is never a good idea. But I do believe this is something that should be mentioned to any woman regardless of pregnancy, so that they can take the necessary precautions growing up and going through life to try to prevent this or prolong it from happening.
Yes, the answer is kegel exercises.
What are the lovely side effects of having a pelvic organ prolapse?
Trouble holding your bladder. This includes laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting, or exerting any kind of force. Not to mention frequently needing to pee without the symptoms of a UTI. These are the main symptoms of cystocele, which is the fancy term for bladder prolapse, and in layman’s terms your bladder dropping from where it’s it’s supposed be.
Other symptoms of pelvis organ prolapse are difficulty having bowel movements, feeling as if bowel movements are uncompleted, and uncontrolled bowel movements. These are some of the main symptoms of rectocele, the fancy term for the rectal wall bulging into vaginal canal due to a weakened pelvic floor. Honestly, usually in these cases you can also feel the rectal wall bulging into vagina when you an insert a finger in your vagina.
And finally, the other symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse are a pressure felt in the pelvis and/or vaginal canal, sharp sensations in your lower back, hips and cervix, weakened feeling in your pelvis and groin that may radiate down your thighs, and pain during sex – which can occur during any of the organ prolapses. These symptoms are a result of a uterine prolapse. This is when the uterus and cervix begin to drop from where they are suposed to be held within your pelvis. And yes, it can sound and feel quite freeky.
Fortunately none of these conditions are life threatening. However they are very uncomfortable and need to be treated either by surgery, pessary, or with assistance from a pelvic health physiotherapist.
This is my warning to first-time moms.
Literally nobody talks about this. In fact I even posted in about five mom/women groups about this and not one single person had the nerve to talk about it with me.
Embarrassing to share it with everyone? Maybe so.
So quietly take my advice. Doesn’t happen to everyone – only 50% of people. So, I’d try to prevent it if I were you. It’s not life-threatening, just incredibly uncomfortable and life-limiting in certain ways.
For the love of the vagina, stay tight ladies.