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The discreet discussion - vaginal prolapse

If you are reading this you may be one of the 30% of women who suffer from some form of internal prolapse during their life.

Unfortunately this is a subject that we rarely hear being spoken about - and as a woman in her mid 50s, I am well aware of this. In fact I didn't personally realise how common this condition is until I owned a Health Shop and spoke to a number of women (from their 30s upwards) who were desperately seeking some help for the symptoms that they were experiencing.

Prolapses can cause anxiety, tension, self-consciousness, depression, bladder and bowel problems, as well as vaginal thrush or other irritations, they may affect one's sexuality contributing to a lowered sex drive, feelings of being unattractive or feeling unhygienic or dirty.

This subject needs to be spoken about much more freely! As women, we need to feel safe to share and question about all the intricacies of our body, and particularly as we age.


Commonly referred to as a pelvic organ prolapse or POP, a vaginal prolapse occurs when the hammock of muscles across the lower area of the pelvis (the pelvic floor muscles) start weakening. This weakening allows the uterus, urethra, bladder, or rectum (the last section of the colon) to droop down into the vagina. If the pelvic floor muscles weaken enough, these organs can even protrude out of the vagina.

The biggest risk factors for developing a vaginal prolapse are: - having a ​vaginal birth (especially with forceps, large baby 4kg+, long pushing stage) ​- pregnancy (and that is pretty common for women! No wonder it occurs to so many of us) - age (more common in older mums) - a ​higher BMI (body mass index)

Some of the symptoms that may be experienced:

- a feeling of fullness in the vagina

- a lump at the opening of the vagina

- a sensation of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis

- a feeling like you're 'sitting on a ball'

- achy pain in your lower back that gets better when you lie down

- needing to urinate more often than usual

- trouble having a complete bowel movement or emptying your bladder

- frequent bladder infections

- leaking of urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, have sex, or exercise

- pain during sex

What can you do to help your body with these symptoms?

. 1. Pelvic floor muscle training and developing a consistent regime of performing these exercises is so, so important! When practiced correctly, these exercises can make such a difference, but will not always resolve symptoms (it will dependent on how severe your prolapse is of course). I highly recommend you find a local women's physio or pelvic floor specialist to work with to ensure you are doing the appropriate exercises correctly for your specific needs. 2. Reduce excess 'belly fat' as this will put pressure on your abdominal organs (there is likely to be an increase in the visceral fat that covers your internal organs as well) and may contribute to worsening symptoms. 3. ​Optimise your bowel emptying by ensuring you are having full daily bowel motions: this will reduce the amount of straining in the abdominal area. (In other words you need to have soft, well formed, regular bowel motions.) 4. Eat a healthy wholefood diet to reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. Read about easy ways to improve your diet 5. ​Provide your body with the specific nutrients that are required for healthy organs: protein, zinc, glycine, vitamin C & D, calcium and B vitamins

6. Flower essences or homeopathy can help with the emotional impact of suffering this condition.

I'd love to work with you if you have a prolapse, we can devise a specific nutrition and supplement regime to help your body.

Bowen Therapy can also be beneficial for you in this situation as we work to release tension and stress from the body, as well as improve posture and lymphatic drainage. .

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