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Understanding Uterine Prolapse After Menopause

Understanding uterine prolapse after menopause

Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader: Kay Newton

Here’s what I have learned from my research and my understanding about uterine prolapse after menopause.

As I head past my 60th year around the sun, I have found that the unexpected still surprises me. Yet, I know I am alive as I get out of bed with different twinges aches, and pains to embrace the challenges of the day feeling privileged to be alive.

Recently I was diagnosed with a prolapsed uterus; which is not uncommon in women over 45.Nearly one-half of all women between ages 50 and 79 have some degree of uterine or vaginal vault prolapse or some other form of pelvic organ prolapse.” Hopkins Medicine. Although I have none of the usual symptoms, I was determined to find a simple and natural way to counteract the effects of age and the actions of gravity. 

Searching online I came across weird and wacky, as well as seriously harmful information. This post is based on some of my findings.

“While it’s more common in women who have gone through childbirth, it can also affect women over 45…”

Understanding Prolapsed Uterus:

First of all, what is a prolapsed uterus? It is where the uterus descends into the vaginal canal, often due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and supporting tissues. While it’s more common in women who have gone through childbirth, it can also affect women over 45 who may experience changes in hormone levels and tissue elasticity during menopause. This can lead to symptoms such as pelvic pressure, urinary incontinence, and discomfort during intercourse.

Understanding the underlying causes of a prolapsed uterus aids in effective management and prevention. Factors such as multiple vaginal births, obesity, chronic constipation, and heavy lifting can contribute to pelvic floor weakness. 

Despite the prevalence of prolapsed uterus among women over 45, there are often misconceptions and fears surrounding the condition. Many women may feel embarrassed or ashamed to discuss their symptoms with healthcare providers or seek treatment. Yet uterine prolapse is a common and treatable condition that affects millions of women worldwide. 

Importance of Exercise:

Regular physical activity is key to help restore muscle tone, increase blood flow to the pelvic region, and support the organs within the pelvis. Exercise can also aid in weight management, reducing the strain on the pelvic floor and decreasing the risk of uterine prolapse.

Engaging in targeted pelvic floor exercises will help counteract the effects of hormonal changes and muscle weakening associated with menopause. Yet finding out what the best exercises are when you already have a prolapsed uterus is not as easy as it may seem.

5 Exercises That May Not Benefit Women with Prolapse:

While overall exercise is recommended for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles it’s important to recognize that not all exercises are created equal. Some exercises may be incorrectly labeled as pelvic floor exercises and some could even exacerbate pelvic floor dysfunction. Here are some examples:

“Engaging in targeted pelvic floor exercises will help counteract the effects of hormonal changes…”

1. Bridge Exercise:

The bridge exercise, also known as the glute or floor bridge, primarily targets the buttocks (gluteal muscles) by lifting and lowering the trunk while lying on the ground. Despite common misconceptions, the bridge does not specifically strengthen the female pelvic floor muscles which sit inside the pelvis.

2. Pelvic Tilt:

Pelvic tilts are often misleadingly referred to as pelvic floor exercises but primarily focus on lower back and pelvic mobility. Involving the hip, lower back, and some abdominal muscles, pelvic tilts will not specifically train or strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. 

3. Abdominal Curls:

Abdominal curls, or abdominal crunches, are often mistaken for pelvic floor exercises but primarily focus on strengthening the six-pack muscles by raising the head, shoulders, or both legs. Intense abdominal curls may cause downward movement of the pelvic floor in women with weak pelvic floor muscles, potentially worsening pelvic floor problems.

4. Thigh Adductor Squeeze:

The thigh adductor squeeze exercise involves squeezing a Pilates ball or Yoga block between the knees, primarily targeting the hip adductor muscles near the groin. Despite being mistakenly referred to as a pelvic floor exercise or Kegel exercise, this exercise primarily engages the inner thigh or hip adductor muscles.

5. Squats:

While squats are excellent for overall lower body strength, deep squats with variations like wide-legged or weighted squats may increase pressure downwards on a weakened pelvic floor. This increased pressure could potentially further weaken the female pelvic floor muscles in women with preexisting pelvic floor dysfunction.

“The Kegel technique involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen and improve their function.”

Kegel Exercises:

Kegel exercises can effectively strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and alleviate symptoms of uterine prolapse. The Kegel technique involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen and improve their function. To perform Kegel exercises, individuals should identify their pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine midstream or by imagining preventing the passing of gas. 

The exercise can be done sitting or lying down. The muscles should be contracted for a few seconds, then relaxed for an equal duration. Regular practice of Kegel exercises can help improve bladder control, support pelvic organs, and enhance sexual function. 

Although exercises can be beneficial for many individuals in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, it’s essential to approach them with caution, ensuring proper technique, gradual progression (not over-exertion), and consistency to maximize their effectiveness and minimize potential issues. This is an important step in understanding uterine prolapse after menopause.

Wellness Practices To Help Avoid Uterine Prolapse After Menopause:

Adopting a holistic approach to pelvic health can further support the management of uterine prolapse. Practices such as maintaining good posture, practicing diaphragmatic breathing, reducing weight, and avoiding heavy lifting can all reduce the strain on the pelvic floor muscles and tissues.

Prioritizing Sensibly Selfish Self-care and stress management can positively impact pelvic health. Activities such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help reduce muscle tension, promote relaxation, and improve overall well-being.

If you feel you may be suffering from a prolapse consult with a qualified healthcare provider such as a pelvic floor physiotherapist for personalized exercise recommendations tailored to your specific needs and underlying conditions.

Our health encompasses both physical and emotional well-being, which in turn empowers us to thrive at every stage of life. With knowledge and dedication, by breaking the silence and seeking support, we can take proactive steps toward better pelvic health and overall well-being. Reach out in the comments below and come and join me on my journey to pelvic power. 

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Kay Newton

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.