Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a condition where structures of the pelvis shift in position, potentially causing distressing symptoms such as pain, pressure, sexual dysfunction, difficulty with urination, difficulty with bowel movements, and aesthetic concerns. This shift can occur in the uterus, bladder, urethra, small intestine, or rectum.
You may have been diagnosed with one or more of these terms (or others): urethrocele cystocele rectocele enterocele uterine prolapse
What causes this? The structures of the pelvis are held in place by a combination of support from the pelvic floor, ligamentous attachments, and pressure gradients in the abdominopelvic cavity. If any of these factors are disrupted, pelvic organ prolapse may occur. This can happen after giving birth, due to intense atheltic participation, or due to age and hormonal shifts, as examples.
Can physical therapy help pelvic organ prolapse? Yes! Physical therapy is the number one strategy for improving support from the pelvic floor and control of pressure gradients in the abdominopelvic cavity. Often working on these two key support strategies can resolve the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse. If ligamentous laxity continues to contribute to distressing symptoms, surgery may be an option. However, physical therapy is always recommended both before and after surgery anyways! You can't go wrong by beginning with PT.