- Your Body: Getting to know your lady parts 05/30/2017
Kegel Exercises For Vaginal Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) occurs when there is weakness in supporting structures of the pelvic floor allowing the pelvic organs (the bladder, uterus, or the rectum) to descend down into the walls of the vagina. Prolapse can result in a sense of pressure in the vagina and can be highly uncomfortable.
Pelvic organ prolapse can be caused by giving birth, though women who have not given birth can experience it as well. Constipation lending to repetitive straining may exacerbate potential weakness of the pelvic floor and result in prolapse, as can obesity, vigorous exercise where stress is placed on the pelvis through heavy lifting, and pelvic or abdominal surgery. Symptoms may arise at various points in life, from immediately after giving birth to a child, to later in life following menopause. Menopause brings with it a decrease in estrogen which leaves the walls of the vagina thinner, and the pelvic floor muscles weaker, generally making it more susceptible to prolapse.
Mild to moderate cases of pelvic organ prolapse can be treated with very specific pelvic floor strengthening. It is often beneficial to see a pelvic floor physical therapy specialist, who may help to identify and treat other factors leading to prolapse in conjunction with performing specific safe exercises. It is important to note that individuals with prolapse should not now, or ever perform sit up or crunch exercises as this can lead to worsening of symptoms.
Pelvic Floor Strengthening for Prolapse
Basic Kegel: Lying on your back with knees bent and feet shoulder width apart, place your pelvis and low back in neutral alignment: this means that the pelvis is not rocked up or down, but is right in the middle, parallel to the ceiling. You may wish to have a pillow under your head for added comfort. To contract your pelvic floor muscles, visualize that the urethra, the area where urine comes out, is a telescope, and you are going to pull the telescope up and into your body using the pelvic floor muscles. This action properly tightens the pelvic floor muscles- this is called a Kegel.
Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do this 3 times every day.
Avoid movement of the pelvis or bearing downward as if you were going to pass gas. It is also important to avoid holding your breath. While doing the exercise, inhale keeping the muscles relaxed, then exhale and simultaneously tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
Note: this exercise may be performed with hips and legs placed onto a wedge cushion, or a sleeping bag partially rolled up and placed under the hips. This will create a slight incline at the pelvis, and decrease the pressure on the pelvis. This in turn can assist in contracting the pelvic floor more efficiently in the initial stages of strengthening, and can provide relief from pressure as well.
If you are experiencing difficulty feeling the muscles contract, skip ahead to the seated in a chair section, and perform kegels seated on the chair. Additionally, use a small rolled up hand towel placed under your pelvis from the pubic bone to the tailbone like a very small horse saddle. The presence of the towel roll will provide a gentle pressure that will help the brain identify the pelvic floor muscles for improved kegel.
Seated in a Chair: Once the basic kegel becomes easier, perform the kegel exercises seated in a chair. Sit up tall, and inhale, relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, then exhale and perform a kegel. When you are able to hold this for 5 seconds easily, begin to increase hold time working towards a 10 second hold, followed by a 10 second rest. Perform 10 repetitions, and do this 3 times per day.
When this becomes easier, you may progress these exercises by adding an Intimate Rose Vaginal weight. To find the proper weight to exercise with, begin by placing the white vaginal weight into the vagina as you would a tampon. Stand up and attempt to hold the weight inside the vagina for 1 minute. If this can be easily achieved, attempt to walk around doing chores in your home with your clothing on as you normally would with the weight inserted for 20 minutes. If this can be achieved quite easily, attempt to do this with the next heaviest weight on a subsequent day. If the weight falls out into your underwear, go back down to the previous weight that you were able to maintain for 20 minutes, and use that weight to perform the aforementioned basic kegel exercises described above. Progress to heavier weights as your body tolerates them.
Functional Pelvic Floor Training: Kegels and Beyond
In order to train the pelvic floor muscles to support the pelvic organs during daily activities, it is necessary to train them during such tasks. The goal of these exercises is to build coordination and control of the pelvic floor muscles during common daily tasks.
To do this, place the vaginal weight that you were able to maintain for 20 minutes as described before, and perform the following exercises 3-5 times per week:
Standing Kegel: With the weight in, stand up tall with good posture, feet placed hip width apart.
Inhale and relax. Then exhale, and simultaneously do a kegel, holding the kegel while exhaling for 5 seconds. Inhale and relax. Repeat 10 times.
Standing Heel Raise Kegel: Stand at your kitchen counter for support with vaginal weight in.
Inhale and relax. Exhale and simultaneously do a kegel and slowly raise up onto the balls of your feet and then come back down with control. Once your feet are flat on the floor again, inhale and relax the pelvic floor, then exhale and repeat. You should feel the kegel throughout the entire process of raising up onto the toes and lowering back down. Repeat 10 times.
Mini Squat Kegel: Stand at your kitchen counter for balance and support with the vaginal weight in.
Inhale and relax. Exhale and simultaneously do a kegel, then bend your knees to approximately 45 degrees while pressing your hips backward as if you were going to sit in a chair. While maintaining the kegel, return to standing. The kegel and the gentle exhale should be maintained throughout the entire duration of movement. Once you return to standing, inhale and relax. Repeat 10 times.
The Intimate Rose Kegel Exercise Weights Are Doctor Recommended!