Prolapse Diet Tips for Body Weight, Constipation & Bloating

Is there a prolapse diet? Prolapse diet

Can your diet effect your prolapse?

Strictly speaking there’s no ‘prolapse diet’.

Your diet can definitely effect your prolapse:

  1. Diet contributes to abdominal fat – the more abdominal body fat you carry the greater the load on your pelvic floor.
  2. Diet influences  bowel movements – constipation and diarrhoea can cause straining to empty and worsen prolapse problems.
  3. Diet can cause abdominal bloating, gas and IBS – abdominal bloating, flatulence and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can all cause discomfort and worsen prolapse symptoms.

Please note: bowel problems including constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and IBS can have underlying medical causes. It’s important not to ‘self-diagnose’ bowel problems. See your medical practitioner for assessment of your symptoms and before making changes to your diet. Consult with an accredited dietician for dietary guidance and support.

1. Diet and Abdominal Fat

Your abdominal fat isn’t the fat you feel at your waist line, rather it surrounds your abdominal organs and sits directly above your pelvic floor.

What supports the weight of your abdomen? Your pelvic floor!

If your pelvic floor is under strain your prolapse will suffer too.

This is why avoiding unnecessary weight gain is important if you’ve got prolapse problems and after prolapse surgery.

If you’re overweight you will help your prolapse management by losing abdominal fat.

Prolapse Solutions for Diet and Abdominal Fat

Unfortunately you can’t spot reduce abdominal fat through diet which needs a whole body weight reduction approach.

You can however exercise to reduce abdominal fat with alternating high and low intensity exercise.

Here are some simple weight management tips:

  • Avoid fad weight loss diets or products (e.g. some diet shakes) that slow your bowel movements and cause constipation with prolapse

    Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

    Australian Guide to Healthy Eating download from

  • Don’t skip meals – eating stimulates bowel movements
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners with the potential to cause flatulence and impact on your bowel movements (see below)
  • Drink adequate water and low energy fluid – your fluid intake effects your bowel movements (see below)
  • Avoid late night snacks before going to bed – your metabolism slows when you sleep
  • Write down what you eat and drink – you may be surprised at what you’re consuming
  • Monitor your incidental food intake – it’s very easy to snack when preparing food for others
  • The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating provides current evidence-based information about the types and amount of foods to reduce the risk of diet-related conditions including obesity and high cholesterol and chronic diseases including some cancers, diabetes and heart disease

Prolapse Diet and Weight Loss Exercise

Some women become very concerned that they won’t be unable to exercise to manage their weight with a prolapse.

Fortunately most women with prolapse problems can exercise effectively to manage their weight, avoid weight gain or lose weight.

  • Keep weight management simple i.e. weight management = energy in (diet) – energy used (exercise/physical activity)
  • Calculate your energy in (dietary) requirements using this simple daily energy requirements calculator

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that to lose weight healthy, individuals perform 60 – 90 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most week days to accumulate more than 300 minutes of exercise weekly.

2. Diet and Constipation

Constipation and straining cause and worsen prolapse problems.

If your bowel is sluggish you may be familiar with the feeling of prolapse heaviness and dragging sensation that can accompany constipation.

Women with rectocoele (prolapse of the back wall of the vagina) are particularly vulnerable to constipation).

Prolapse Solutions for Diet and Constipation Bristol Stool Chart

Aim to get the correct stool consistency as a priority.

It’s vital to aim for a soft well formed stool to help you empty your bowels without straining.

The ideal stool consistency for bowel emptying is Type 3-4 on the Bristol Stool Chart (click right to enlarge)

1. Food and Stool Consistency

Foods that soften the stool include:

  • Vegetables – green beans, spinach, red capsicum, garlic, green beans
  • Fresh fruit with skins – stone fruits* (e.g. apricots, peaches, plums) grapes, prunes*
  • High fibre cereals – bran*, multigrain breads* and whole grain cereals*
  • Snacks – popped corn, chocolate
  • Coffee* and tea
  • Spices e.g. chilli, curry

* Can cause abdominal bloating

Avoid the common mistake of consuming too much fibre! Bloating

Eating too much fibre, especially insoluble fibre (e.g. skins of fruits and vegetables, seeds) can make constipation and bloating much worse.

Dietary fibre is important for correct stool consistency.

Most women should aim for 25-30 grams ( .8-1 oz) per day.

Fluids and Stool Consistency

Some women don’t drink adequate fluids to help them manage their stool consistency especially when they’re increasing their fibre intake or taking fibre supplements.

Most women should aim for around 2 litres (67 oz) of water on average however this can vary.

Some women with certain medical conditions need to limit their fluid intake and these women need to be mindful to avoid too much fibre causing a sluggish bowel.

Fluids that promote bowel movements include:

  • Water
  • Some fruit juices: pear, prune or grape
  • Coffee* and tea
  • Alcohol*

Have breakfast to help stimulate your bowel. Sometimes a warm drink in the morning and moving can help promote bowel movements.

Diet and Chronic Diarrhoea

Women with frequent bowel movements are also at risk of pelvic floor strain and worsening prolapse problems.

If you suffer from chronic diarrhoea or loose stools you may benefit from avoiding or limiting some of the foods and drinks mentioned above that soften the stool.

Foods that firm the stool include: Foods to firm the stool

  • White cereals – white rice, white pasta, white bread
  • Cheese
  • Bananas
  • Tapioca
  • White marshmallows
  • Pretzels

Diet and Abdominal Bloating

Abdominal bloating and/or flatulence can be a huge problem for women with prolapse problems.

Some ladies find that by the end of the day their abdomen is so bloated that it puts strain on their belly and their prolapse causing abdominal pain and pelvic floor discomfort.

Pushing down and straining to pass gas with prolapse can worsen prolapse problems.

Bloating can be caused my many dietary factors; some foods are not well absorbed in the gut so that they ferment producing gas more than others causing abdominal bloating.

Diet Solutions for Bloating  Legumes

Some women have IBS problems that cause their gut to poorly digest certain foods causing bloating, excessive gas or wind, pain in the abdomen as well as constipation and/or diarrhoea.

When combined with prolapse IBS can make managing prolapse and discomfort very challenging indeed.

Scientific studies have shown that IBS symptoms can be managed by reducing FODMAPS in the diet.

FODMAPS is an acronym for some of the sugars that aren’t well absorbed in the gut. These sugars produce gas and cause water to be drawn into the gut.

The low FODMAP diet can provide significant relief for women with IBS and prolapse.


Here are some examples of foods that can cause bloating, flatulence and discomfort:

  • High fructose – honey, apples, figs, dried fruit, high fructose corn syrup
  • Oligosaccharides – legumes (e.g. chick peas, lentils, baked beans), wheat, rye, barley, garlic, onion, leek
  • Disaccharides (lactose) – milk, unripe cheese (e.g. cottage, ricotta), yogurt
  • Polylols – sweeteners containing xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, pears, stone fruits such as avocado, plums, nectarines, cherries, prunes

This high FODMAPS list is by no means comprehensive. Perhaps if eating some of these foods cause you bloating you may like to read up on FODMAPS.

The only way to really know whether a food or drink is causing your bloating is to eliminate it from your diet and then reintroduce it as a trial.

Resources for FODMAPS including a user-friendly App are available from Monash University.

A low FODMAP diet is ideally undertaken under the supervision of an accredited dietician.

Key Points for Prolapse Diet

  • Your diet has the potential to impact upon your prolapse
  • Prolapse is effected by abdominal body fat, bowel problems (constipation or diarrhoea) and bloating with flatulence
  • Your diet can help you better manage all these factors that potentially impact upon your prolapse
  • Seek the assistance of a qualified dietician as part of your prolapse management strategy if you suffer from diet-related prolapse problems


prolapse exercises

with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway

Learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your prolapse and reduce your risk of repeat prolapse.

Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.




  1. Mrs Davis says:

    Thank you Michelle , since changing my diet my life has turned around . i have played sport all my life and still do at 82 yrs . I have physillium on my breakfast each morning . i now have my confidence back and going on a trip to Europe for 3 weeks with my daughter and two grandchildren . All thanks to finding your advice on the computer,I would like to ask you a couple of questions if you could answer via email , thanks once again.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Mrs Davis

      That’s great news I am so pleased to hear you feel well enough to travel to Europe! Yes no problem at all – I will email you.

      Best wishes

  2. Good work
    Informative and high value

  3. I just got the book and the video; both are excellent.
    Many thanks,
    Robyne from Canada

  4. I have drastically altered my diet since being diagnosed with a prolapse, but still have problems with constipation, I have in the past suffered with IBS, I have a lot of wind and only manage to open my bowels every other day. Is fybogel the answer?I am reluctant to take anything and would rather sort the problem out with diet, but am not having much success – help!

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Glynis

      Have you looked into the FODMAPS diet information on the lower part of this article? It’s great for women with IBS. You can find a list of FODMAP friendly foods easily with a google search. This can help to address the IBS symptoms. Fybogel contains psyllium husks which can cause abdominal bloating and discomfort so be very cautious about the ingredients of these types of products. Movicol is an osmotic laxative that works gently by drawing fluid into the bowels rather than irritating the bowel lining and this might be a more appropriate short-term solution – check with your pharmacist I believe it’s called Osmolax in the US. Maybe consider consulting with a dietician for long-term management.

      Hope this helps

  5. Thank you for your reply which was very helpful, I am at present waiting to see a dietician.
    Could you please help me with a delicate question – are there any sexual positions which are not suitable when you have a prolapse, (ie; woman on top). I have a stage one bladder and bowel prolapse, and obviously don’t want this to get any worse. My Husband seems to think that not all positions are safe.

    • Michelle Kenway says:

      Hi Glynis

      Yes good question – here’s some good news for you – sexual intercourse (vaginal) will not worsen vaginal prolapse (bladder, uterine, bowel). Some ladies with more advanced stages of prolapse find that intercourse is uncomfortable and can control the depth of penetration better when in side lying position with their back to partner.

      This article on prolapse and sex will give you some more information.

      Let me know if you have any further questions

  6. I have complete pelvic floor prolapse bladder, bowel and uterus I have been advised to control it myself can u start me off with advice, I work long hrs would it b wise to take sick leave to get myself onto d right track , I’m a carer in a a house which involves night shifts weekends 15hrs shifts , I am in complete agony feeling full after each bite my gp not much addition I also have diverticulitis disease and sliding hiatus hernia . Karen

  7. Hi can you please tell me if its ok to do pelvic floor exercise with a prolapse,i had a repair in jan but sadly i prolapse again so waiting for appointment to have it repaired again.i go to slimming world but since my prolapse ive found it very hard to loose weight,please any advice would be good. Thankyou.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Linda

      Yes pelvic floor exercises are safe to do with prolapse in fact there is evidence to suggest they can reduce prolapse symptoms and improve prolapse support. The important thing is that your using the right technique.