Pelvic organ prolapse

By Anna Burns, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist


Pelvic organ prolapse is a common condition in which the pelvic organs (the bladder, the uterus, and/or the rectum) descend into the vaginal canal.  Women often describe heaviness or pressure in their vaginal region. It’s typically better in the morning and gets worse throughout the day or after a hard workout.  Gravity wins. Every. Time.


Prolapse can occur from the pushing associated with childbirth, chronic coughing, chronic constipation, and repetitive heavy lifting without proper breathing mechanics.  Basically, anytime when high abdominal pressure pushes downwards on the pelvic organs. To counteract this downward pressure, the pelvic floor muscles have to contract and lift to stop the downward descent of the organs.  Pelvic floor PT will teach you strategies to keep the prolapse from progressing and provide symptom relief!


Do you have prolapse?  Here are a couple of tips to help with the symptoms and to prevent prolapse:

  1. When you’re feeling your symptoms, lay down with your hips elevated (bridge pose).  You can also put pillows or a yoga block under your hips.  Gravity will help to bring the organs away from the vaginal opening.

  2. When you lift, perform a pelvic floor contraction or Kegel.  This will help to support the organs from underneath so they don’t get pushed downward with the activity.

  3. Breathe out when you lift anything or have a bowel movement; that will keep your abdominal pressure from pushing downward on your prolapse.


If you have other questions, feel free to reach out to our pelvic health PT, Anna Burns.

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