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Old 05-24-14, 09:16 PM  
missaulnier
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA
Unhappy Help! Maybe TMI - but exercise and prolapse?

Ugh. So, after baby #2 six months ago, I definitely have issues with bladder control and stuff, but I have been working doing Kegels and pelvic floor work to counter act it. I don't have abdominal diastasis recti so I thought it would be fine if I did traditional ab work and some higher impact cardio (jumping jacks, jogging in place, etc.)

Thing is, I think things are getting worse instead of better. I am not seeing much improvement in my bladder control issues, and I recently went to the doctor because I started feeling a weird pressure internally and the doctor said that I had some bulging and laxity in vaginal walls. I started feeling this AFTER I have been working out regularly for about six weeks.

I did some internet research and it seems like I may have made things worse with my workouts, when I thought I was doing my body good. It appears I may have put too much strain on my pelvic floor and caused it to weaken more that it was initially. I'm feeling pretty upset about it.

Has anyone had this issue? Has anyone successfully rehabbed something like this with exercise, or have experience modifying their rotation to focus on workouts that are pelvic floor friendly? I'm a little embarrassed to be posting this here, but I'd rather hear from real people than wade through mountains of internet horror stories and disturbing pictures. Please feel free to PM me if you don't wan't to post to a public message board. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-24-14, 09:29 PM  
rockette
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I haven't had that issue, but the Kegelmaster is supposed to help with mild prolapse.
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Old 05-24-14, 10:23 PM  
beyond.omega
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So sorry you are going through this. Can you be more clear...do you have a bladder prolapse that is causing the incontinence, or is it just weak pelvic floor muscles (without bladder prolapse)?

I have been researching this a bit lately because I recently had an episode of urinary retention caused by a pelvic floor muscles spasm (which is basically the opposite problem than what you are having) that landed me in the ER. The internet offers very little for that, but there is *tons* about incontinence. And lots of it isn't even creepy.
  • For starters, you might want to check out Katy Bowman's website. This article might help you get started: 4 Fast Fixes for Pelvic Floor Disorder.
  • I recently picked up Pelvic Power by Eric Franklin for my problem, but it focuses heavily on incontinence (strangely the tips work for me too.) I love this book because it talks about the muscles in detail, really explainng what is going on, and it also gives exercises to help the issue.
  • The new way of doing Callanetics (described in Callanetics Evolution) strengthens the pelvic floor. My teacher, Judy Mooser, a Callanetics master instructor, had tons of students whose incontinence went away by doing Callanetics Evolution. (However, I should say I think it was a contributing factor to my rentention problem...although not the only cause. Callanetics is currently off the menu for me.)
  • It might be a good idea to get into a Pilates class if you are so inclined. Pilates works the deep core muscles, including the pelvic floor, which should help your problem.
  • If you have the time and money/insurance you might want to see a chiropractor or physical therapist who specializes in the pelvic floor.

Don't be embarrassed. A lot of people have this problem so you aren't alone, and it is better understood now so there is more information out there to help you.
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Old 05-25-14, 08:50 AM  
hotncmom
 
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You are in California, please look into seeing a Restorative Exercise Specialist in your area (there are plenty of them out there). They are trained by Katy Bowman, whose techniques have helped countless women with PFD including prolapse! You can find her blog at katysays.com and a list of program graduates at www.restorativeexercise.com.

Honestly, if you have the DVD Down There for Women, it will help some, but doesn't address a lot of the issues leading to prolapse. I don't think it talks about rib and pelvic alignment at all.
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Old 05-25-14, 09:07 AM  
Nuggie's Auntie
 
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Such great suggestions--I've heard rebounding can help, too.

I agree with beyondomega--you are not alone! I used to be a camel before DS#2. now.. not so much.
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Old 05-25-14, 11:08 AM  
Casswoman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond.omega View Post

The new way of doing Callanetics (described in Callanetics Evolution) strengthens the pelvic floor. My teacher, Judy Mooser, a Callanetics master instructor, had tons of students whose incontinence went away by doing Callanetics Evolution. (However, I should say I think it was a contributing factor to my rentention problem...although not the only cause. Callanetics is currently off the menu for me.)
Actually, Sandra Hanna who starred in the Callanetics Evolution videos no longer promotes this way of doing pelvic floor work. She has her own online streaming exercise site featuring Callanetics and Somotic bodywork. You can read her response here:

http://callaneticsstudio.com/forums/...-pelvic-floor/
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Old 05-25-14, 11:25 AM  
yogapam
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This is such a common problem for women! One of my yoga teachers suggested doing kegels in an slightly inverted position - legs up the wall with hips on a bolster or folded blanket(s). I have not tried it, but she said she found it very effective.
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Old 05-25-14, 04:34 PM  
beyond.omega
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Originally Posted by Casswoman View Post
Actually, Sandra Hanna who starred in the Callanetics Evolution videos no longer promotes this way of doing pelvic floor work. She has her own online streaming exercise site featuring Callanetics and Somotic bodywork. You can read her response here:

http://callaneticsstudio.com/forums/...-pelvic-floor/
Yeah, and she isn't the only one who thinks that way of exercising is a bad idea. Callanetics the new way is a contributing factor to my pelvic floor muscle spasm. It's just that Judy Mooser had a track record of over 10 years with women's incontinence issues, which is why I put it up as something for the OP to consider. (Judy was the silver-haired modifier in the Evolution video.)

OP: You might also want to look into Anna Benson's videos focusing on the pelvic floor: Rootlock and IndePrime. (I've never tried them because they seemed to advanced in difficulty for my fitness level, but they seem really good.) If you decide to try this, don't let anyone give you a hard time about buying a Kegel Smartball. Smartballs are recommended regularly by medical professionals to post-partum women for this problem specifically.
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Old 05-25-14, 08:48 PM  
hotncmom
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuggie's Auntie View Post
Such great suggestions--I've heard rebounding can help, too.

I agree with beyondomega--you are not alone! I used to be a camel before DS#2. now.. not so much.
I would not do rebounding with prolapse. The g-forces are stronger than walking. Rebounding is fine if you have a healthy pelvic floor. But speaking of rebounding, the tone of the PF should be like a trampoline, pulled taut but able to yield for bathroom activities, childbirth and orgasms. It should be just strong enough to hold everything in place, but not so strong that it is unyielding.

There are a lot of factors that go into PF disorder, including intra-abdominal pressure, breathing, and rib and pelvic alignment. It's not just a situation where you do kegels to tighten things up and you're good.
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Old 05-25-14, 10:43 PM  
missaulnier
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond.omega View Post
So sorry you are going through this. Can you be more clear...do you have a bladder prolapse that is causing the incontinence, or is it just weak pelvic floor muscles (without bladder prolapse)?
Thanks everyone for your responses. Previous to starting to work out again after baby, I had what I would consider typical pelvic floor weakness for someone close to 40 who has had 2 kids.

After working out for about six weeks, I noticed my control was not improving and instead I was feeling increased weakness in my pelvic floor in spite of my efforts to strengthen it with pelvic floor exercises (not just Kegels - I took post-natal Pilates after baby #1 and learned a variety of pelvic floor exercises, etc.)

The OB-GYN said she was seeing some prolapse in my vaginal walls, not my bladder or uterus. I started feeling a sense of bulging/collapse internally AFTER I began working out.

From my Internet research I'm guessing that the abdominal exercises Ive been doing were too strenuous. Im P.O.'d because I wasn't especially cautious doing ab stuff because I don't have diastasis recti and my abs have historically been fairly strong. But apparently intense ab work puts strong downward pressure on your pelvic floor, and if those muscles are weak it can make them weaker. The higher impact cardio I've been doing probably didn't help either.

I'm going to modify all my workouts to low-impact and ease off the ab stuff until I can figure out how to get my pelvic floor stronger. I will check out all the resources everyone has listed and maybe try and see a specialist like hotncmom suggested. I'm just really bummed that I may have made things worse, when in general I try to be attuned to my body and I thought I was well-informed about post-natal workout precautions. Thank you all for your input, you have provided some really helpful leads!

beyond.omega and casswoman - Thanks for the info about Callanetics Evolution! I love Callanetics and have all the classics and the new Callanetics Cardio and Evolution, too. I might try Callanetics Evolution and modify it. It sounds like it is the isometric holding of the pelvic floor during the exercises that is contraindicated. The exercises I have learned in the past for pelvic floor strength have always included a conscious relaxation and release of the pelvic floor after the contraction, so maybe I will experiment with making sure that I am both holding a contraction and then relaxing and releasing the muscle, too. I do feel that the Callanetics Evolution exercises engender an awareness of the pelvic floor in general, so that's got to be better than nothing.
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