What to do when things fall down

The law of gravity means our bodies are pulled down to Earth. This fact inevitably spells trouble over time. But for some women, it causes inconvenient and annoying issues, and sometimes surgery, to address what’s called vaginal prolapse.

Not all women are born equal. Some inherit tougher pelvic tissues and do not experience prolapse, even after bearing several children. But the more pregnancies, the greater the risk in older age of weakened all pelvic structures leading to the sagging of the vagina, urinary bladder and often the rectum.

The most common complaint is the loss of urine on coughing and sneezing. A large survey of women in North America revealed that four percent suffer from this annoying problem.

Apart from pregnancy, what else can contribute to prolapse? Obesity is a factor, causing so many other medical complications too. It is staggering that some women still smoke. If cancer and respiratory diseases aren’t incentives enough to quit, then maybe vaginal prolapse should be more prominently added to the list. Why? A smoker’s cough pushes on the urinary bladder. Prolapse can also be worsened by heavily lifting.

Here’s another concern. Many women continue to suffer needlessly from chronic constipation. Why do they strain their innards and try to solve the problem with laxatives? This harms the bowel over the course of years.

One of the best kept secrets is that vitamin C is a safe, inexpensive, effective, and natural remedy for constipation. But it must be in higher doses than found in most supplements. Start with taking 2,000 milligrams before bed. If no results, increase to 4,000 mg the following night. It invariably works.

Remember, simply because prolapse has developed does not mean it always be treated. This is an important point to stress because many women with prolapse will never know they have the condition. Awareness usually becomes evident when they start to experience troublesome urinary incontinence.

What can be done depends on the severity of prolapse and if it’s causing annoyance. The most frequent treatment is the use of a vaginal pessary which is easy to insert and can be easily removed to be cleaned.

The use of a pessary will help to elevate the urinary prolapse and may stop the loss of urine. But sometimes in elderly women another easy and effective treatment is acceptable. Inserting a large vaginal tampon to push up the bladder can help ease the loss of urine.

Prevention is advantage of those not yet dealing with serious prolapse. So in addition to maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a nutritious diet, and sleeping well, don’t forget moderate exercise for the entire body, including those easy-to-miss pelvic muscles. Develop a habit of doing Kegel exercises several times a day. This is done by concentrating on pulling up the pelvic and rectal muscles. It’s possible to do this seated, standing, or lying down. So identify a consistent place and time each day, and do it. The more you exercise these muscles, the stronger they will become.

If all this fails, doctors will suggest surgery. There are several methods. One is to stitch up the position of the bladder. Your surgeon may also advise an artificial support for extra strength. Or the prolapse can be repaired during a hysterectomy.

Do men develop prolapse? Yes, but much less often and it’s usually a prolapse of the rectal area.

Marilyn Monroe famously said, “I defy gravity.” But such fortunes elude most people. Talk with your doctor and see if treatment can get the annoyance resolved.

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