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Prolapse can be a challenging problem for new moms after childbirth. Childbirth is not the only cause, but it tends to be the most common. Despite its prevalence, it catches many by surprise.
This article will go over these topics related to prolapse:
Prolapse occurs when one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, and/or bowel) move downward into the walls of the vagina. This happens when there is weakness or a lack of support by the pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy and labor and delivery put a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. This can make them weak. As the pelvic floor recovers after childbirth, symptoms of prolapse can improve. However, any prolapse could indicate future potential future problems.
There are three main types of prolapse that occur after childbirth:
These can occur individually or separate from each other.
There are a variety of things that contribute to prolapse. For instance, hormonal changes during pregnancy increase the mobility and laxity of ligaments. This can affect the supporting structures of the pelvic floor. The weight of the baby on top of a more lax pelvic floor puts strain and stress on the muscles. Therefore, the muscles tend to move downward from their normal position.
Vaginal delivery does have a slightly higher risk of prolapse than cesarean, however, this does not mean a cesarean is preventative. With that being said, vaginal delivery stretches the muscles of the pelvic floor and cause tearing of the muscles. Depending on the degree of tearing, muscles and/or nerves can be damaged which can contribute
The following factors increase the chances of prolapse with pregnancy and childbirth:
It may be noticeable immediately after childbirth. However, symptoms may also present themselves later on. Symptoms could include any of the following:
Typically, these symptoms are worse as the day progresses or with more standing and/or lifting.
Taking care of your pelvic floor after childbirth is important regardless of symptoms. Check-out this post to find things to avoid in order to prevent prolapse. Outside of basic hygiene and care after childbirth, the following are some additional things to consider if you're managing prolapse.
Prolapse is definitely a challenging thing to add on top of a newborn baby. However, doing preventative activities and reaching out to a pelvic floor physical therapist will help. It can certainly be prevented, treated, and managed!
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