I was recently send the article below that was just published this month. This is big information about the efficacy of pelvic floor exercise and I would argue even more so from pelvic basket strengthening. Remember there is no side effect to exercise, so use it as a first line of defense! Read below:
From Reuters Health Information
By Fran Lowry
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sep 01 – Pelvic floor muscle training can reduce the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, according to trial data reported in Glasgow this week at the 41st Annual Meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS 2011).
“Health care professionals who see women bothered with symptoms of prolapse should counsel them to consider conservative treatment in the first instance and offer a referral for supervised PFMT,” lead author Dr. Suzanne Hagen, from Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, told Reuters Health.
Many physiotherapists do offer women with pelvic organ prolapse individualized pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) but evidence of its long-term clinical benefit has been lacking.
In this multicenter randomized trial, Dr. Hagen and her team assigned 448 women with newly diagnosed prolapse of stage I, II, or III to receive either PFMT or a lifestyle advice leaflet which was sent to them in the mail. Women with stage IV prolapse, which is the most severe, were not included in the study.
The mean age in the study was 57 years. The median number of births was two, with most births (89%) being normal vaginal deliveries. Anterior prolapse was the most common type, affecting 34% of the women, followed by combined anterior/posterior prolapse (24%) and posterior prolapse alone (16%).
Most of the women (74%) had stage II prolapse, 15% had stage III, and 11% had stage I. The mean duration of prolapse symptoms was slightly more than two years.
The PFMT was delivered by a physiotherapist at five appointments over 16 weeks. At the visits, the women were taught about their pelvic floor muscles and how to exercise them. They were also given a home exercise program to follow between appointments.
“This is a similar program to that given for women with urinary incontinence, which is known to be effective,” Dr. Hagen said.
The women had follow-up visits at six and 12 months after they entered the study. The researchers found symptoms improved significantly more in the intervention group compared with controls.
The pelvic organ prolapse symptom score (POP-SS) was lower in the women who received PFMT at six months (6.56 vs. 9.17 for controls; P < 0.001) and at 12 months (5.74 vs. 7.04 for controls; P = 0.005).
The average decrease in POP-SS for the women who got PFMT was 1.52, “which represents an important change, clinically,” Dr. Hagen noted.
Additionally, women who attended all five appointments had a significant increase in contraction strength from baseline, according to the modified Oxford scale, with a mean increase of 0.6 (p
“We would hope that national evidence-based guidelines would be developed for the treatment of prolapse which would include the findings of this trial and the evidence for other treatments, such as surgery and pessaries,” Dr. Hagen said. “Also, we would hope that women can be counseled that if they wish to avoid surgery they may benefit from PFMT.”
Hi Tasha – Just thought I would check in. I want to thank you for all you’re doing – this has made a huge difference in my life!
I’m at 4 months now since 1) being told I ‘had to have’ a total hysterectomy “right away” and 2) finding your DVD online, buying it, starting your exercises.
At a month and a half into the exercises I ran a 5k. Slowly, but did it, and without pelvic problems. (My doctor told me I most likely “won’t be able to run anymore” back at the end of May)
Today – 4 months later – I have been running every day 2 – 3 miles. No pelvic issues. 🙂 I have a fitness ball I use an hour or two a day while on the computer, I do the exercises with your DVD 2x a week but also do several of them whenever I think of it (like the one where you point your feet outward and bend your knees down and then zip it up as you straighten up) or when I’m waiting for something to cook, etc. I also do my kegels throughout the day.
I had bladder problems in May/June from the prolapse but they’re cleared up. When going to a movie, for example, I would go (twice) before leaving the house, once as soon as I got to the theater, again in the middle of the movie and afterward before leaving the theater. Thinking I had repeat bladder infections is what led to the diagnosis of the bladder and uterine prolapse (a stage 3).
Yesterday I went to a movie, went to the bathroom before I left the house (once) and not again until I came home. Enormous difference!
Thank you very much for what you’re doing – you saved me from incredible pain, recovery, expense, who knows what all. I’m taking this one day at a time. There are certain days of the month when I feel ‘heavier’ and just don’t go run that day, but no days where I have to stay off my feet or am limited or in pain like before.
I’ve been telling everyone I know how important these exercises are! Don’t wait until you’re prolapsed to strengthen!
SHOUT IT OUT LINDA!!! It is these kind of stories that women need to hear and focus on. It won’t be automatic, but if you take control and remain consistent, you can have success.
With any luck and hard work, we will get pelvic floor exercise information (beyond kegels) into the OB offices and into birthing rooms, into menopause treatment clinics, and into the mainstream! Thank you for sharing.
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