At NYU Langone, our doctors provide ongoing support, whether you’ve chosen to manage pelvic organ prolapse nonsurgically or surgically. Sometimes, pelvic organ prolapse worsens or returns, or a different organ prolapses. Depending on the degree of the prolapse and your lifestyle, our doctors can help you to decide which treatments are right for you at each stage of your life.
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Your doctor may advise the following steps to prevent mild pelvic organ prolapse from worsening, or, if you’ve had surgery, to prevent prolapse from happening again.
Straining caused by constipation, or difficulty with bowel movements, can put pressure on the vaginal wall, which can lead to a weakening of the muscles of the pelvis. Preventing constipation can help to relieve the pain associated with all types of pelvic organ prolapse and prevent the prolapse from recurring.
Eating more fiber is a common dietary recommendation for relieving constipation. Your doctor may recommend eating plenty of high-fiber foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Over-the-counter fiber supplements or stool-softening medications can also help make your bowel movements easier and more regular.
In addition to dietary changes, light exercise, such as walking for 15 to 20 minutes a day, can also help to relieve constipation. It’s important, however, to avoid heavy lifting, which can strain the pelvic floor muscles.
Being overweight or obese can put additional pressure on the pelvic organs, increasing the risk of prolapse. Maintaining a healthy weight can help to relieve that pressure. Your doctor can refer you to NYU Langone’s weight loss specialists or nutritionists to help you craft a personal diet plan.
You can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, rectum, urethra, uterus, and vagina, with pelvic floor exercises. Kegel exercises require that you tighten and release your pelvic floor muscles to build strength in these muscles. Your doctor may refer you to NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation for additional help and education regarding these exercises.
Specialists at our Center for Female Pelvic Medicine work with psychologists to address the emotional effects of pelvic organ prolapse. Some women feel depressed, for example, if the condition chronically interferes with their exercise routines, sexual activity, or other parts of their lives. Your doctor can refer you to a mental health specialist for therapy and recommend support groups that can help you to cope with these emotions.
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