Rehabilitation Services Blog

March 10, 2019

Have You Heard of This Kind of POP?

It’s almost spring time, which means the fields and hills will soon be “POP”ping with spring flowers! Let’s talk about another kind of “POP”ping that’s different than blooming flowers. I’m referring to pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Prolapse has a wide range of symptoms but the positive news is the risk factors are known and rehabilitation is possible!

What is POP? 
POP is the descent of one or more of the anterior vaginal wall, posterior vaginal wall, the uterus (cervix), or the apex of the vagina.

There are varying types of prolapse, as well as a grading scale (0-4) to determine a quantification of the extent of symptoms.

What can be done?
If you are diagnosed with grade 0, 1, 2 or 3, you can benefit from appropriately dosed therapeutic exercises. Another conservative approach for symptom management to consider is getting fitted for a pessary by your doctor. This non-surgical device is inserted into the vagina to reduce prolapse, provide support, and relieve pressure on the bladder and bowel.

Common Risk Factors: childbirth with vaginal delivery, multiple child births (>3), surgery and chronic constipation.

Common Symptoms:
Vaginal Bulging
Pelvic pressure
Low backache
Bleeding, discharge, infection
Splinting/digitation
Feeling of “falling out”
Post-void dribble
Increased symptoms later in day
Symptoms better in gravity-reduced positions
 
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if you’re unsure about the extent of your symptoms, we recommend your local pelvic health physical therapist. Current research has found pelvic floor exercises prescribed by a pelvic health physical therapist can assist in reducing symptoms and improve overall function for women experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of POP1. A pelvic health physical therapist can work with you to develop personalized exercise and symptom management strategies to empower you to live your best life and address your symptoms in a functional and realistic way.

Palomar Health will be offering a Pelvic Floor Disorders community presentation for FREE on March 14th, 2019 at the San Marcos clinic location, 2nd floor classroom. We encourage you to come and learn more about Pelvic Floor Disorders such as POP, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and more. We hope to see you there!

Dr. Lindsey Paczkowski, PT, DPT
 
 




Reference:

1. Hagen, S., Stark, D., Glazener, C. Sinclair, L. & Ramsay, I. (2009). A randomized controlled trial of pelvic floor muscle training for stages I and II pelvic organ prolapse. International Urogynecology Journal, 21 (1), 5-26.
2Floral Pelvis anatomical print by Trisha Thompson Adams.