What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

There are 3 pelvic organs inside a woman’s body, these are the bladder, uterus and rectum. These organs are held or suspended in place within the pelvic cavity by muscles and fascia. When there is weakening of either the pelvic musculature and/ or pelvic fascia, these organs can descend from their original position and potentially become visible at/ within the vagina. 

Research done in Australia has encouraged the acceptance of pelvic organ prolapse as being one of the most common health problems in Australia. Around 75% of women develop at least some degree of pelvic organ prolapse during their lifetime, but sadly the average woman waits 3-4 years before seeking help for her pelvic floor complaints due to embarrassment and lack of awareness of support options.

Owing to hormonal changes and the stress that the muscles of the pelvic floor endure during pregnancy and labour, women who have given birth are amongst those who are most at risk of developing pelvic organ complaints. Women who suffer from chronic respiratory conditions, lift heavy weights regularly and have competed at an elite sporting level can also be at risk.

Education is key in equipping women with knowledge to protect themselves from unnecessary injury, supporting them through their treatment options and opening conversations about pelvic health.

If you would like to be assessed for pelvic organ prolapse, or if you are experiencing vaginal fullness/pressure, lower abdominal ‘dragging’ or incomplete/obstructive emptying (of bladder and/or bowel), please book in to see our Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

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