Depending on the severity of your condition, these self-care measures may provide relief:
- Perform Kegel exercises.
- Avoid constipation by eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Avoid heavy lifting and straining.
- Try to control coughing.
- Lose weight if you're overweight or obese.
Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder and bowel. A strong pelvic floor provides better support for your pelvic organs and relief from symptoms associated with uterine prolapse.
To perform Kegel exercises, follow these steps:
- Tighten (contract) your pelvic floor muscles — the muscles you use to stop urinating.
- Hold the contraction for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. (If this is too difficult, start by holding for two seconds and relaxing for three seconds.)
- Work up to holding the contractions for 10 seconds at a time.
- Do three sets of 10 repetitions each day.
Ask your health care provider for feedback on whether you're using the right muscles. Kegel exercises may be most successful when they're taught by a physical therapist and reinforced with biofeedback. Biofeedback involves using monitoring devices that help ensure you're tightening the proper muscles with optimal intensity and length of time.
Once you've learned the proper method, you can do Kegel exercises discreetly just about anytime, whether you're sitting at your desk or relaxing on the couch.
Aug. 17, 2012
- Rogers RG, et al. An overview of the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and management of pelvic organ prolapse. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Pelvic support problems. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq012.ashx. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Kuncharapu I, et al. Pelvic organ prolapse. American Family Physician. 2010;81:1111.
- Culligan PJ. Nonsurgical management of pelvic organ prolapse. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;119:852.
- Hagen R, et al. Conservative management of pelvic organ prolapse. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine. 2012;22:118.
- Kenton K. Pelvic organ prolapse in women: Surgical repair of apical prolapse (uterine or vaginal vault prolapse). http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed July 5, 2012.
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