Here at The Pelvic Clinic, we often advise prolapse sufferers (and people who are at risk of prolapse) to take steps to manage their weight. Extra bodyweight can put a strain on the pelvic floor and make it harder to avoid or recover from a prolapse. However, we also understand that not everyone is in a position to limit their weight. Some people are naturally bigger than others, while others simply aren’t successful when it comes to dieting. It’s also inadvisable for individuals who are recovering from eating disorders to attempt to restrict their weight, in case it triggers a relapse.
If you aren’t able to lose weight, there’s no need to panic. There are plenty of other things you can do to prevent a prolapse; here are just three tips for everyday exercises:
1. Performing pelvic exercises
Extra weight can strain your pelvic floor, so it’s a good idea to strengthen it to counteract this strain. There are plenty of exercises that can help you do this. For example, wall squats, jumping jacks and crunches are all fantastic for building up your pelvic muscles. If you can’t perform more strenuous exercises (or think they might trigger a prolapse), its worth doing ordinary, gentle forms of exercise instead. Walking and cycling can improve your overall physical fitness and make your pelvic floor stronger.
2. Getting more fibre in your diet
Ensuring that you get enough fibre in your diet can drastically reduce your risk of prolapse. Fibre makes it easier to pass solid waste, thereby reducing the strain on your pelvic floor whenever you use the bathroom. If you’re carrying a little extra weight, this may help balance out the effect of the strain this weight puts on your pelvic floor. So eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains.
3. Avoiding heavy lifting
Avoid putting additional strain on your pelvic muscles by not lifting heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis can put more of a strain on your pelvic floor than being overweight, so it’s best to avoid this kind of lifting if you want to reduce your risk of a prolapse.
Of course, individuals of average weight can also use these methods to reduce their risk of prolapse. However, it’s particularly important for heavier individuals to put them into practice. Contact us for more information about prolapse prevention and prolapse repair surgery.