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Navigating Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse Effectively

Navigating Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse Effectively

After childbirth, many women experience postpartum pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where pelvic organs descend or bulge into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues. Navigating through this challenge requires support, education, and effective solutions. INNOVO offers a non-invasive, clinically proven approach to strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, addressing the root cause of pelvic organ prolapse, and empowering women to regain control over their pelvic health.

Understanding Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Postpartum pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that affects many women after childbirth, yet it's often misunderstood or overlooked. To effectively address this issue, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what pelvic organ prolapse is, its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs—such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum—descend or bulge into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues. This weakening of support structures can lead to discomfort, urinary and bowel dysfunction, and a noticeable protrusion in the vaginal area.

Causes of Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Several factors contribute to the development of pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth:

  • Childbirth: The process of labor and delivery places significant strain on the pelvic floor muscles and supporting tissues, leading to stretching and weakening.
  • Vaginal Delivery: Women who give birth vaginally are at a higher risk of pelvic organ prolapse due to the increased pressure exerted on the pelvic floor during labor.
  • Multiple Pregnancies: Women who have had multiple pregnancies are more likely to experience pelvic floor dysfunction due to repeated stretching and weakening of the pelvic muscles.
  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels during pregnancy and childbirth can affect the strength and elasticity of pelvic tissues, predisposing them to prolapse.

Recognizing Symptoms of Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse

A prolapse refers to a condition when a pelvic floor organ slips down from its original positions and bulges down into the vaginal area. The organs were held there with ligaments and other support structures that have weakened post-baby.

Common Signs and Indicators of Pelvic Floor Problems After Childbirth

Childbirth is a miraculous experience, but it can also bring about significant changes to a woman's body, particularly in the pelvic region. While some postpartum discomfort is normal, persistent symptoms may indicate underlying pelvic floor issues that require attention. By recognizing the signs of pelvic floor problems early on, women can seek appropriate treatment and support to address these concerns effectively.

  1. Urinary Incontinence:
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI): Leakage of urine during activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising.
  • Urge Incontinence: Strong, sudden urges to urinate followed by involuntary leakage before reaching the restroom.
  • Mixed Incontinence: Combination of stress and urge incontinence symptoms.
  1. Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
  • Feeling of Pressure: Sensation of heaviness, fullness, or pressure in the pelvic area, especially when standing or lifting heavy objects.
  • Visible Bulge: Bulging or protrusion in the vaginal area, often described as a "lump" or "ball," which may worsen with prolonged standing or straining.
  1. Pain or Discomfort:
  • Pelvic Pain: Persistent or intermittent pain in the pelvic region, lower abdomen, or lower back, which may worsen during intercourse or prolonged sitting.
  • Perineal Pain: Discomfort or soreness in the perineum, the area between the vagina and anus, often experienced during activities such as walking, sitting, or using the restroom.
  1. Bowel Dysfunction:
  • Fecal Incontinence: Involuntary leakage of stool or difficulty controlling bowel movements, leading to accidents or soiling of undergarments.
  • Constipation: Difficulty passing stools or infrequent bowel movements, accompanied by straining or a sensation of incomplete evacuation.
  1. Sexual Dysfunction:
  • Decreased Sensation: Reduced sensitivity or diminished pleasure during sexual activity, which may be attributed to pelvic floor weakness or nerve damage.
  • Painful Intercourse: Discomfort, burning, or sharp pain during penetration or deep thrusting, often due to pelvic floor muscle tension or scar tissue.
  1. Changes in Bowel or Bladder Habits:
  • Frequency: Increased frequency of urination or bowel movements, or a sudden urge to empty the bladder or bowels.
  • Incomplete Emptying: Sensation of incomplete voiding after urination or bowel movements, leading to frequent trips to the restroom.
  1. Lower Back Pain:
  • Dull Ache: Persistent or recurring pain in the lower back, buttocks, or hips, often exacerbated by prolonged standing, lifting, or physical activity.
  1. Difficulty Engaging Pelvic Floor Muscles:
  • Weakness: Difficulty contracting or relaxing the pelvic floor muscles voluntarily, resulting in poor muscle tone and coordination.
  • Coordination Issues: Inability to coordinate pelvic floor muscle contractions with activities such as coughing, sneezing, or lifting heavy objects.

Addressing Postpartum Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Treatment for postpartum pelvic organ prolapse depends on the severity of symptoms and the impact on a woman's quality of life. Options may include:

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises: Kegel exercises and other pelvic floor strengthening techniques can help improve muscle tone and support the pelvic organs.
  • Physical Therapy: Working with a pelvic floor physical therapist can provide targeted exercises and strategies to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve pelvic alignment.
  • Pessary Fitting: A pessary is a device inserted into the vagina to provide support and help alleviate prolapse symptoms.
  • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases of pelvic organ prolapse, surgical procedures such as pelvic reconstructive surgery may be recommended to repair and restore pelvic anatomy.

Role of Kegel Exercises in Strengthening the Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor muscles play a vital role in supporting the pelvic organs, maintaining bladder and bowel control, and enhancing sexual function. However, these muscles can weaken over time due to factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and sedentary lifestyles. Fortunately, Kegel exercises offer a simple yet effective way to strengthen the pelvic floor and improve overall pelvic health.

Understanding Kegel Exercises

Named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who developed them in the 1940s, Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor. These exercises target the levator ani muscles, which form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis, supporting the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

Benefits of Kegel Exercises

  • Improved Bladder Control: Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can help reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence, including leakage when coughing, sneezing, or laughing. By increasing muscle tone and control, Kegel exercises can enhance bladder function and minimize accidents.
  • Enhanced Sexual Health: Strong pelvic floor muscles are essential for sexual satisfaction and orgasm. By engaging in regular Kegel exercises, individuals can experience improved vaginal tone, increased blood flow to the pelvic region, and enhanced sensation during intercourse.
  • Prevention and Management of Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic organs descend into the vaginal canal due to weak supporting structures. Kegel exercises can help strengthen these muscles, providing better support for the pelvic organs and reducing the risk of prolapse or alleviating symptoms in mild cases.
  • Postpartum Recovery: Pregnancy and childbirth can strain the pelvic floor muscles, leading to issues such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Incorporating Kegel exercises into postpartum recovery can aid in restoring pelvic floor strength and function, promoting faster healing and reducing the risk of long-term complications.

To be sure you’re doing Kegels properly, you can use a product like the INNOVO Urinary Incontinence Kit. These “smart shorts” are designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles from the inside out, allowing you to perform 180 perfect Kegels in 30 minutes. Subscribe to the INNOVO newsletter to receive a $20 discount code for your purchase!

Seeking Help from a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

If you experience a long pushing stage, instrumental birth or a third or fourth-degree tear, your care provider will most likely refer you to a women's health physiotherapist in postpartum. At your six-week check-up, either with your obstetrician, private midwife or GP, they will do a pelvic floor examination and will let you know if you have a prolapse.

If you do, it's highly recommended that you seek out support from a women's health physio as you'll want to embrace exercises and lifestyle choices that correct your prolapse, not make it worse.

Rehabilitation and Recovery from Postpartum Pelvic Issues

As anyone who has ever given birth well knows, the process of growing and birthing a human is tough work. As for the process of recovering from giving birth? Well, in many cases, it can be even harder. But all too often, doctors and maternity care providers focus so much on what happens to a pregnant person's body before their baby is born and spend little time on what birthing parents need in order to heal effectively afterwards. The focus shifts to the baby and the mother is left to put the pieces of herself back together on her own. 

A gradual return to physical activity is essential for postpartum recovery. Women should gradually reintroduce exercise and activities of daily living, taking care to listen to their bodies and avoid overexertion. Progression should be gradual, with close monitoring of symptoms and adjustments as needed.

The emotional impact of pelvic issues also cannot be overlooked in the recovery process. Many women experience feelings of frustration, anxiety, or depression related to their pelvic health concerns. Access to mental health support and peer support groups can provide invaluable emotional support and encouragement during rehabilitation.

Pelvic health is a lifelong journey, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance are essential for long-term wellness. Women should continue to practice pelvic floor exercises, maintain healthy lifestyle habits, and seek prompt medical attention for any new or recurrent symptoms.

Rehabilitation and recovery from postpartum pelvic issues require a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach. By addressing physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of pelvic health, women can achieve optimal recovery and reclaim their pelvic power. With personalized treatment plans, guidance from healthcare professionals, and a supportive community, women can navigate the postpartum period with confidence, resilience, and renewed vitality.


So there you have it: walking through the path of recovering from postpartum pelvic organ prolapse isn’t as daunting with the correct approach. Healing is all about taking those small but mighty steps, equipped with the right knowledge and guidance from pros. 

Navigating postpartum pelvic organ prolapse effectively requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of pelvic health. INNOVO offers a safe, effective, and convenient solution for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, reducing symptoms of prolapse, and empowering women to reclaim control over their bodies and lives after childbirth. By incorporating INNOVO into their postpartum recovery routine, women can take proactive steps towards healing, restoring pelvic health, and enjoying a leak-free, active lifestyle. Subscribe to the INNOVO newsletter to receive a $20 discount code for your purchase!