PREVENTING UTERINE PROLAPSE: THE IMPORTANCE OF KEGELS
Exercises which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the uterus can not only help to prevent the occurrence of uterine prolapse but, in milder cases of the condition, can be a useful treatment.
The exercises most regularly recommended for the pelvic floor muscles are called Kegels. Performing Kegel exercises are easy: simply tighten your pelvic muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold the muscles tight for a few seconds and then slowly release them. It is recommended to perform these contractions in sets of ten, up to four times a day. These exercises can be done anywhere, at any time of the day. Regular Kegels will ensure that your pelvic floor muscles remain strong - which not only helps prevent uterine prolapse, but can also assist during delivery of a baby and add to the intensity of orgasm.
Whilst pelvic floor exercises are important for preventing uterine prolapse, so is whole-of-body exercise. Experts recommend that all adults perform 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise between three to five times a week. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, it is a good idea to consult your doctor for a check up to ensure that you are fit to embark on an exercise routine. Exercise helps your muscles, tendons and ligaments stay strong and also assists with weight control.
Eating the right food can help you control your weight, and thus reduce the pressure placed on your pelvic floor muscles. A balanced diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables will ensure that your bowel movements are regular and stress-free. If you are not straining to pass a motion, the pressure on your uterine ligaments is decreased.
We all know that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that it can contribute to the development of uterine prolapse? Smokers are much more likely to develop a cough, which is risk factor for stressing out your uterine ligaments. If you don’t smoke, you’re less likely to cough and therefore less likely to suffer from a prolapsed uterus.
Another way to prevent uterine prolapse is to ensure that you lift heavy objects correctly. Lift heavy objects keeping your back straight and bending only at the knees and hips. Support your spine by tightening your stomach muscles, and lift the weight of the object using your leg muscles rather than your abdomen. Ask a friend to help you lift heavy items, rather than soldiering on by yourself.
Once you have reached menopause, it may be worthwhile considering estrogen replacement therapy. It is the gradual reduction of estrogen that causes your muscles to weaken and which may lead to uterine prolapse. With hormone replacement therapy, your muscles will not degrade to such an extent and your risk of uterine prolapse is therefore reduced.
Uterine prolapse can often be prevented by maintaining strong and healthy pelvic floor muscles. If you believe that you are suffering from uterine prolapse, seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.