When it comes to prolapse and all the information out there, its hard to know which sources can be trusted and which need to be taken with a grain of salt. One of our missions at Made for Women Workouts is to clear up the confusion about exercising with prolapse in addition to other topics related to the condition. That's why when we read this one particular article (see link below), we thought we needed to respond in a way that would provide clarity to certain points mentioned in it.
Here is the link to the article: https://www.livestrong.com/article/361178-squatting-exercise-for-bladder-prolapse/
Points to Clarify From the Article
1. “Sexual function is affected.”
Clarification: Sexual function is not altered in prolapse. Prolapse does not change the functioning of the vagina or the pelvic floor muscles. What often ends up happening is that women shy away from having sex after being diagnosed with prolapse due to fear of making the prolapse worse. There is almost a feeling of insecurity about “that area” and a feeling as though the vagina is broken. However, the vagina is not broken and sexual intercourse is still a very healthy activity for many reasons, one of them being, it helps to re-position the descending wall for that time being.
2. “Squatting exercises encourage stretching of your pelvic floor, which may prevent prolapse from occurring, or stop progression of a prolapse that has already occurred.”
Clarification: Munira covers this point in a video, and essentially, this is not true either, and there needs to be a certain level of caution before beginning a deep squatting program.
3. “Avoiding caffeine and other bladder irritants, can make living with bladder prolapse more tolerable.”
Clarification: Avoiding caffeine and bladder irritants won’t affect prolapse position or progression. That being said, women with prolapse often experience other bladder-related and pelvic floor-related symptoms such as urinary urgency, urinary frequency, and urge urinary incontinence. When these symptoms overlap with symptoms of prolapse such as pelvic heaviness and pressure, reducing bladder irritants can certainly help improve the overall discomfort women feel. However, since prolapse is a condition of fascial laxity and pelvic floor weakness, doing these things will not change the position of organ.
4“Use the bathroom often during the day”
Clarification: Use the bathroom only when your bladder is full. This particular habit of going to the washroom is often one that a lot of people find themselves in, including women with prolapse. When they see a washroom, they go and empty their bladder, just in case. However, we often forget that the bladder is a storage organ and is designed to hold urine. We do need to encourage the bladder to continue doing its job because, as the age old saying goes, “what you don’t use, you lose.” If we empty the bladder too frequently, it loses its capacity to hold liquid and becomes more and more accustomed to holding less.
The rule of thumb is to only go to the washroom if you feel like your bladder is full. If the bladder is telling you that it needs to be emptied often, then you will want “train” it to go longer periods of time before emptying. Typically, the bladder can hold for up to 2-4 hours if you are drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.
How to Squat if You Have Prolapse
And since this article didn’t actually talk about how to squat with prolapse, take a look at this video here where Elisabeth walks you through it.
In the end, we know a lot of people may have come across this article and since there were a number of inaccuracies in it, we hope these few pointers cleared things up. Made for Women Workouts cares about helping women with prolapse and are always striving to add clarity, not confusion, to the internet.
Other Posts You Might be Interested In:
Exercising with Prolapse: Why is the Advice so Conflicting? The Confusion Ends Now
What to do if your Prolapse Feels Worse After Exercise