How Can I Prevent Pelvic Prolapse?

Pelvic prolapse, a pelvic floor problem that affects millions of women worldwide, occurs when the pelvic organs descend into the vaginal canal due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. It can lead to discomfort, urinary and bowel issues, and a significant impact on the quality of life. While pelvic prolapse may seem inevitable for some, there are steps, recommended by a pelvic floor specialist and female surgeon, that individuals can take to reduce their risk and potentially prevent this condition altogether.

What is a Pelvic Prolapse?

Before looking prevention strategies, it’s essential to understand what a pelvic prolapse is. The pelvic floor comprises muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder, and rectum. When these supportive structures weaken or stretch, the organs can drop from their normal position, causing various symptoms.

Pelvic prolapse can appear as different pelvic floor problems depending on what organs are affected, including:

  • Cystocele (bladder prolapse): The bladder bulges into the vaginal canal.
  • Rectocele (rectum prolapse): The rectum protrudes into the back wall of the vagina.
  • Uterine prolapse: The uterus descends into the vaginal canal.
  • Enterocele: The small intestine pushes into the upper vaginal wall.

Factors contributing to pelvic prolapse include childbirth, aging, obesity, chronic constipation, repetitive heavy lifting, and genetic predisposition. While some risk factors like age and genetics are beyond our control, lifestyle modifications can play a crucial role in preventing or minimising the severity of this pelvic floor problem.

Prevention Strategies

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels): Regular pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as Kegels, can strengthen the muscles supporting the pelvic organs. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles used to control urinary and bowel movements. Performing Kegels consistently, especially during and after pregnancy, can help prevent pelvic floor weakness and prolapse, according to a pelvic floor specialist and female surgeon.


  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight puts added pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, increasing the risk of prolapse. Adopting a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity can aid in weight management, thereby reducing strain on the pelvic floor.


  • Practice Proper Lifting Techniques: Improper lifting techniques can strain the pelvic floor muscles and contribute to prolapse. When lifting heavy objects, pelvic floor specialists recommend that you bend at the knees rather than the waist and use your leg muscles to lift while keeping the pelvic floor engaged.


  • Avoid Chronic Constipation: Straining during bowel movements can weaken the pelvic floor muscles over time. Ensure adequate fibre intake, stay hydrated, and establish healthy bowel habits to prevent chronic constipation and reduce the risk of pelvic prolapse.


  • Pelvic Support Devices: For women at high risk of pelvic prolapse or those experiencing early symptoms, pelvic support devices like pessaries can provide additional support to the pelvic organs. These removable silicon devices are inserted into the vagina by a pelvic floor specialist to help hold the organs in place and alleviate symptoms.

Lifestyle Tips for Pelvic Health

In addition to specific prevention strategies, adopting a pelvic-friendly lifestyle can further reduce the risk of pelvic prolapse

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for maintaining healthy bowel habits and preventing constipation, which can strain the pelvic floor muscles.


  • Practice Good Posture: Maintaining proper posture throughout the day can help distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure on the pelvic floor. Avoid slouching and aim to sit and stand with your shoulders back and pelvis neutral.


  • Quit Smoking: Smoking can weaken connective tissues throughout the body, including those supporting the pelvic organs. Quitting smoking can improve overall health and reduce the risk of pelvic prolapse.


  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and avoid activities that cause discomfort or strain on the pelvic floor. If you experience symptoms of pelvic prolapse, such as pelvic pressure or urinary incontinence, consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.

Speak to a Pelvic Floor Specialist and Female Surgeon for Expert Assistance

While pelvic prolapse may not be entirely preventable for everyone, incorporating lifestyle modifications and prevention strategies can significantly reduce the risk and severity of this condition. By prioritising pelvic health through regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and adopting pelvic-friendly habits, individuals can take proactive steps toward preserving the integrity of their pelvic floor muscles and supporting overall well-being.

Remember, it’s never too late to start prioritising pelvic health and taking steps to prevent pelvic prolapse. If you are experiencing symptoms of this pelvic floor problem, early treatment is essential – so speak to a pelvic floor specialist and female surgeon today.