Are you worried about straining and causing another prolapse with your bowel movement after prolapse surgery?
Straining with constipation is a major risk for repeat prolapse after prolapse surgery.
Read on now to learn:
- The best position for your bowel movement after prolapse surgery
- Correct technique to avoid straining
- How to get the right stool consistency
Prolapse Exercises e-Book
International best selling prolapse exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery.
Prolapse Exercises teaches you how to:
- Exercise safely after prolapse surgery
- Reduce your risk or repeat prolapse
- Avoid unsafe exercises
- Choose pelvic floor safe exercises
- Reduce your risk of prolapse worsening
- Improve prolapse support
- Increase your strength and fitness
- Strengthen your core
- Lose weight
The Best Position for Your Bowel Movement After Prolapse Surgery
- Sit on the toilet seat (never hover)
- Place your feet flat on the floor
- Rest your hands or forearms on your thighs to support your trunk
- Lean your trunk forwards
- Keep the inward curve in your lower back during emptying (see bowel emptying position above)
- A pad or wad of toilet paper rolled up can be placed against the pelvic floor using one hand for support. This technique is known as pelvic splinting. This added support can improve your comfort and limit downward pelvic floor movement when emptying your bowels.
- Some women find that having their knees raised assists bowel emptying. This position can be achieved with the legs apart by placing each foot on a toilet roll, thick book or block.
Correct Technique to Avoid Straining
The correct technique for your bowel movement after prolapse surgery is the ‘Brace and Bulge’ Technique.
- Prepare for emptying by taking 5-6 relaxed breaths (breathing into your belly with slow deep breaths helps your pelvic floor muscles relax)
- Brace your abdominal muscles to by making the sound “m” or “s”. This action makes your waist wider and provides pushing force for your bowel movement.
3. Now bulge your lower abdomen forwards. You can do this by is making the “oo” sound. Bulging your abdomen forwards relaxes and opens your anal sphincter for your bowel movement to pass.
4. If you need more pressure make your waist wider by bracing once more.
Watch our online video demonstrating this bowel movement position and technique
How to Get the Right Stool Consistency
Having the correct stool consistency is vital. If your stool is too hard or too soft it can be difficult to empty your bowels completely and avoid straining.
The Bristol Stool Chart below shows you the ideal stool consistency for your bowel movement.
Type 3-4 is the ideal stool consistency – it is soft well formed and smooth
Type 1-2 causes constipation and straining – when the stool is hard, cracked or lumpy
Type 5-7 can cause diarrhoea and straining as the stool is not well formed
Solutions for Stool Consistency After Prolapse Surgery
You may experience short-term constipation after surgery as a result of being less active than usual, taking pain relieving medications and change in diet.
If you have long-term constipation and straining or diarrhoea it’s vital to rectify this to avoid repeat prolapse after your surgery.
- Use a stool softener/osmotic laxative (e.g. Movicol) to keep your stool soft and easy to pass – especially during your short-term recovery. Discuss the best stool medication with your medical care provider.
- Adhere to the correct diet to keep your stool soft if you suffer from constipation
- Maintain adequate fluid intake especially if you are taking pain relief or osmotic laxatives
- Stay active with appropriate exercise after prolapse surgery to help keep your bowels regular
- Anticipate events that make you constipated e.g. travel and take appropriate preventative action
- Anticipate lifestyle factors that can cause diarrhoea e.g. stress or bowel irritant foods
It is vital to avoid bearing down and straining during your regular bowel movement after prolapse surgery protect your prolapse repair long-term. Practicing this bowel movement method will help you manage your prolapse repair long-term.