Why pelvic floor strength doesn't always mean you'll feel better (especially if you have a prolapse)
If you have a prolapse and you're feeling frustrated by your lack of progress with normal pelvic floor exercises - you're not the only one.
Research has shown that having a strong pelvic floor DOESN'T automatically mean a reduction in prolapse symptoms - in fact there's little evidence available to support this.
A study by Ghetti et al (2005), looking at 1037 women with varying stages of pelvic organ prolapse, and found pelvic floor strength only correlated weakly with prolapse severity.
This means that if you work to increase your pelvic floor strength - it doesn't automatically mean your prolapse symptoms will improve - in the same way that having a weak pelvic floor doesn't automatically mean your symptoms will be worse.
This is massive. Research hasn't been able to show that pelvic floor exercises will help improve your quality of life if you have a prolapse.
A more recent study - this time with urinary incontinence - found the correlation between symptoms and pelvic floor muscle function was not significant (Fontenele et al. 2021).
72 women participated in this study - the researchers found pelvic floor dysfunction distress was correlated with quality of life, but NOT with muscle function.
These are really important studies - and to be honest the findings are slightly mind blowing.
So what can you do instead? Why are hypopressives different to pelvic floor exercises and why are SO many women raving about them?
Hypopressives get your pelvic floor working better, automatically in the background - which means it's doing its thing while you're walking, coughing, going through your day - without you consciously thinking about engaging your pelvic floor.
Hypopressives help release tension which can contribute to symptoms (that's for another blog) - the hypopressives vacuum moves the pelvic floor with the diaphragm - helping to release tension and restore better functional movement.
Hypopresives LIFTS and supports your pelvic organs - yes, you heard that right - my prolapse physically lifted and I have worked with many women who have experienced the same thing - and been confirmed by their physio. You can read more about the science of this in 'Pelvic floor - HELP!' and 'Can hypopressives lift prolapse?'
70% of our pelvic floor function is automatic - it's the primary way it works.
So it makes sense that if we work on improving automatic function, prolapse symptoms are likely to decrease - and this is what we see time and time again with the women we work with.
YOU DESERVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR.
Most of the women we work with say they start noticing improvements within 4 weeks of starting the Create Lift Programme - so if you start the programme this week - you could start to feel the difference in as little as 4 weeks from now.
Call one of our team today for a free chat, and we can get you booked in and started.
Ghetti C., Gregory W.T., Edwards S.R., Otto L.N. and Clark A.L. (2005). Severity of pelvic organ prolapse associated with measurement of pelvic floor function. International Urogynaecology Journal, vol 16 (6) pp 432-436.
Fontenele M., Moreira M., de Moura A., de Figueiredo V., Driusso P. and Nascimento S. (2021) Pelvic floor dysfunction distress is correlated with quality of life, but not with muscle function. Archives of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 303 (1) pp143-149