How can this be such a huge secret?
Millions of women suffer with vaginal prolapse: up to half of all women over 50 years old. One in five U.S. women will have dangerous surgery to treat this condition. (One in five! This could be you, or someone you love, if you don’t take action to avoid it.) In spite of these enormous numbers of women affected, most women have never heard about prolapse, or how to prevent it, until they themselves become victims. And once prolapse strikes, women don’t get the information they need to care for prolapse safely.
Vaginal prolapse means that part of your body that doesn’t belong in your vagina is bulging or sagging into (or in severe cases, bulging out from) your vagina.
“If only I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently!”
Today’s post is my attempt to help you, dear reader, to avoid that regret so you and your vagina can live happily ever after, without the needless pain and suffering so many women endure.
To get even more valuable information, see my webinar: How to Beat Prolapse Surgery and Stay Out of Adult Diapers: These 11 Tricks May Surprise You (and Amaze Your Doctor!)
Vagina Mistake #1: Prolapse Repair Surgery
Some women get lucky and have satisfactory results. But this surgery fails up to 50 percent of the time. And up to one in six women have complications, some of which can lead to a lifetime of pain. Here’s the ultimate irony: even if your surgery works, all pelvic surgery increases your risk for prolapse. You may actually be at greater risk because you’ve had surgery, and you can develop a new prolapse after you’ve had surgery for prolapse of a different organ. This info can help you avoid prolapse surgery.
Vagina Mistake #2: Unnecessary Hysterectomy
Doctors often say to women, “You’re done having babies. What do you need your uterus for?” Answer: besides the fact that you might like to keep your body parts just because you happen to like your body parts, you need your uterus to help keep everything else in your pelvis where it belongs. Hysterectomy puts you at risk for bladder prolapse (the bladder bulges into, and sometimes hangs out of, the vagina) and vaginal vault prolapse (the top part of the vagina itself falls down into, or out of, the vagina). If your doctor recommends a hysterectomy because you have a non-life-threatening condition such as prolapse or fibroids, get informed about alternatives to surgery.
Vagina Mistake #3: Crunches
Sit-ups? Hurting your vagina? Absolutely. Not just sit-ups or crunches, but many core training moves, as well as high-impact exercises (yes, that includes your trampoline or rebounder), can lead to prolapse. I can’t quote a research study on this one, only the words of many very unhappy women who later joined the Kegel Queen Program to help with prolapse after “something went wrong down there when I started going to the gym.”
Vagina Mistake #4: Constipation
Constipation is more than just discomfort and inconvenience. Pushing hard on the toilet can literally pop a prolapse out. Get 2 new & natural constipation cures…
Vagina Mistake #5: Standard Birth Practices
Many common childbirth practices can lead to damage of the pelvic floor. (The pelvic floor is the bowl of muscle that helps your pelvic organs stay in place). Epidural, episiotomy, pushing and breathing when others tell you to instead of as your body directs you, pushing as soon as you’re fully dilated instead of waiting for the urge to push… all these can lead to pelvic floor damage that increases your risk for prolapse. And all are usually avoidable, if you choose a midwife or doctor who uses those strategies only as a last resort. (Tip: ask what percent of patients have certain procedures. It’s the only way to know what your odds are with that midwife or doctor. Answers like “only when necessary” don’t tell you anything — insist on a number.)
Vagina Mistake #6: Not Knowing You Have Prolapse
If you have mild prolapse, you might not realize that you have it. Amazingly, many health care providers don’t mention this to patients when they find a mild prolapse during a vaginal exam. If you know you have a mild prolapse, you can take steps to heal your prolapse, or at least to prevent it from getting worse. The next time you have a vaginal exam, ask, “Do you see any signs of prolapse?” If the provider wants to know why you’re asking, just say you know it’s very common and you’re curious.
Vagina Mistake #7: Bad Kegels
Kegel exercises can actually relieve symptoms and even reverse prolapse, when you do them correctly. But many women (and doctors) think kegel exercises don’t work — because over 99 percent of women are doing kegels wrong. Find out how to do one perfect kegel, the first step to doing kegels right.
For extra detail and more women’s health tips like these, check out my easy new webinar: How to Beat Prolapse Surgery and Stay Out of Adult Diapers: These 11 Tricks May Surprise You (and Amaze Your Doctor!)