Kegel exercises for prolapse can relieve symptoms and improve prolapse position if you have a mild to moderate pelvic organ prolapse.
These exercises may also reduce prolapse worsening in some women.
This exercise video teaches you how to do Kegel exercises for managing bladder prolapse, uterine prolapse or rectocele (bowel prolapse).
Scroll down for Physiotherapy guidleines for improving the effectiveness of prolapse exercises.
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Prolapse Exercises Inside Out teaches you how to:
- Choose pelvic floor safe exercises
- Avoid or modify unsafe exercises
- Relieve prolapse symptoms
- Reduce your risk of prolapse worsening
- Increase your strength and fitness
- Recover after prolapse surgery
- Return to exercise safely
- Strengthen your core muscles
- Lose weight safely
- Improve your bone health with osteopororosis
Kegel Exercises for Pelvic Organ Prolapse
1. Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Prolapse
Kegels may have a number of benefits for women with pelvic organ prolapse.
The effectiveness of Kegel exercises may depend upon prolapse severity.
Kegels have been shown to have most benefit for women with mild to moderate prolapse severity. In women with severe prolapse, Kegels are not likely to improve pelvic prolapse symptoms or severity.
Research shows that Kegel exercises for prolapse:
- Reduce the frequency of prolapse symptoms 1
- Decrease severity of vaginal heaviness and bulging 1,2
- Improve the sitting height of the bladder and rectum to sit higher in the pelvis 1
There may be other Kegels benefits for prolapse conditions including:
- Decreased prolapse worsening in mild prolapse conditions 3
- Reduced risk of bladder problems or recurrent prolapse after prolapse surgery (not yet scientifically demonstrated)
2. Correct Technique for Prolapse Exercises
Contracting the pelvic floor muscles correctly is key to the effectiveness of Kegels for strengthening.
Follow these 4 steps to contract your pelvic floor muscles correctly.
Contract the muscles around your back passage (anus) by squeezing and lifting inwards as if trying to stop gas from passing
Contract the muscles around your vagina by squeezing and lifting inwards as if resisting withdrawing a tampon
Contract the muscles around the opening of your urine tube (urethra) by squeezing and lifting inwards as if stopping the flow of urine
Combine steps 1-4 and contract around all three pelvic openings together before relaxing these muscles back to resting level.
3. How Many Kegel Exercises for Prolapse Strengthening
The amount of exercise you can initially do will depend upon your preexisting pelvic floor muscle strength, endurance and how familiar you are doing Kegel exercises.
Start out doing that amount of pelvic floor exercise that feels comfortable for you using the correct technique and the Physiotherapy tips (next section).
- Try to hold each pelvic exercise for up to 8-10 seconds
- Repeat each exercise up to 8-12 times (repetitions) for 1 set of exercise
- Aim to do 3 sets (groups) of Kegel exercises daily
- When starting out do what you are able to manage
4. Physiotherapy Tips for Kegels with Pelvic Prolapse
There are a number of ways to improve the success of your pelvic floor exercises with prolapse.
Tips for successful pelvic floor strengthening with pelvic prolapse include:
- Doing your Kegel exercises when your pelvic floor muscles are rested rather than fatigued at the end of the day
- Performing your exercises lying down if you’re having difficulty doing them in upright positions
- Utilizing a vaginal support pessary during your pelvic floor exercises
- Performing the correct Kegel exercise technique. If your prolapse symptoms worsen with pelvic floor exercises your technique may be incorrect for example bearing down rather than lifting inwards.
Seek the expert guidance of a trained pelvic floor physiotherapist to assist you with your pelvic floor training with pelvic prolapse.
In addition to pelvic floor training, Physiotherapy treatment includes assessment and management of factors contributing to prolapse. Addressing these factors may help you better manage and reduce your risk or prolapse worsening or recurrence after prolapse surgery.
1. Brækken IH, Majida M, Ellström Engh M, et al. Can pelvic floor muscle training reverse pelvic organ prolapse and reduce prolapse symptoms? An assessor-blinded, randomized, controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:170.e1-7. https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(10)00250-4/fulltext
2. Ghroubi S, Kharrat O, Chaari M, Ben Ayed B, Guermazi M, Elleuch MH (2008) Effect of conservative treatment in the management of low-degree urogenital prolapse. Annales de readaptation et de medicine physique 51: 96-102. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168605407003030?via%3Dihub
3. Piya-Anant M, Therasakvichya S, Leelaphatanadit C, Techatrisak K (2003) Integrated health research program for the Thai elderly: Prevalence of genital prolapse and effectiveness of pelvic floor exercise to prevent worsening of genital prolapse in elderly women. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 86:509- 515. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12924798/