Imagine this scenario:
You are an active woman that just found you have prolapse. You go online to research what prolapse means, and how it will impact your exercise routine.
One reputable site you go to says you can run and lift heavy weights. Another equally reputable site says that if you have prolapse, you should do all of your exercises sitting down and you should only lift light weights.
Does this sound familiar?
Clearly, there is a huge discrepancy in exercise advice for those with prolapse! No wonder women are confused!
However, we want to end that confusion right now and clear it all up for you.
Up until now, well-meaning health professionals have been clumping all women with prolapse into one single category. This is really doing a disservice to our patients/clients because it unnecessarily imposes restrictions on some women who are capable of exercising at higher levels, and on the other end of the spectrum, it also suggests that some women can participate in intense exercise programs when that might not be the best choice for that individual.
As you can probably tell, we cannot give out blanket statements, however, in order to know what kinds of exercise programs are suitable to you, there are several questions you need to ask yourself:
Here are 3 points to consider when determining if an exercise is suitable for you:
1. What grade of prolapse do you have?
2. Do you have internal support such as a pessary?
3. Have you have a pelvic operation?
If a women with a Grade 3 prolapse, without a pessary wants to exercise, the exercise options available to her are different from someone who has a Grade 1-2 prolapse and wears a pessary. The latter will be able to do more upright exercises and potentially more strenuous activity (so long as she is being followed by a pelvic physiotherapist and is following our 7 principles of prolapse friendly exercise than the former. The first woman might not be able to tolerate standing exercises so instead, exercises in lying down position, seated on a ball, four point kneeling and side lying will probably work better for her.
Another example: Someone with a Grade 3 prolapse with a pessary might not find that high intensity interval training is appropriate for her because she feels her pessary is dropping during the exercise session, whereas a woman with a Grade 1 prolapse with a pessary might be okay to participate in higher level exercises.
Having a pessary doesn't give you the green light to do anything you want, but it does open up the door for some women to be able to push themselves more with their exercise program.
Moving on to the third question: “Have you had a pelvic operation?” Those who have had a prolapse repair are often given certain restrictions by their surgeon, and these individuals will need to follow the advice of their doctor. Typically there is some restriction on lifting weights and the intensity of the workouts you can do. Time frames for avoiding exercises are also varied from doctor to doctor so you should specifically ask your doctor what kinds of things they want you to avoid.
In summary, and as said before, blanket statements about exercising with prolapse is not helping our cause. Unless the statement is true for all women with prolapse, no matter the grade or if they have internal support, or if they have had a prolapse repair, blanket statements should not be made.
We have been very careful about general statements at Made for Women Workouts, because we want to add clarity, not confusion to picture. Stay tuned in with us as we are working on something very special for you that will answer all of your questions about exercise! In the meantime, if you are ready to get started now, check out this video addressing some concerns when you start exercising.
Disclaimer: This information is for general information and entertainment purposes only. Please speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.