I noticed something awesome last night at my 4 year-old’s soccer game.  I have blogged in the past that I continue to experience prolapse symptoms when I yell or cheer at my son’s soccer games, after eating too much (every once in awhile I do this), and after being sick.

Well, I still feel symptoms after meals that are too big and, for a day or so when I’m sick, BUT I no longer have symptoms when I cheer at my daughter’s soccer games or at my son’s football games!  Is this because my prolapse has magically disappeared or have I trained my body – my pelvic basket – to contract before I cheer?  What once was a conscious effort to draw my transversus abdominus muscle up and in before I would yell is now an automatic firing pattern of my deepest core stabilizers.  They have the ability to displace the intra-abdominal pressure upward, lifting my chest and expanding my lower rib cage and I can hold this lift as I yell.  In the past, the force of yelling, pushed a lot of pressure down on my pelvic floor and would increase my symptoms, but I have changed this pressure displacement by activating the right muscles.

It is this same training process that has allowed me to return to running, dancing, hiking, snowboarding, carrying my children, and now cheering for them too — all symptom-free!  What a great example of how the human body can do what we train it to do!  It may require a conscious effort in the beginning but, with consistent effort, it eventually becomes a natural firing pattern that we don’t even have to think about.

Published by Tasha

12 Comments

  1. Yelling and cheering at a preschool soccer game!? Oh my. Glad to hear of your progress though.

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  2. Lots of cheering…and laughing…as the little beehive of players follow the ball up and down the field, scoring on whichever goal seems closest to them 🙂

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  3. Great news for you – and encouraging for the rest of us.
    The body DOES learn – even older bodies like mine (60 years old, but I don’t feel like I could possibly be that old!).
    I’ve been using your DVD and pulling those TA’s in and up for 7 months now. Just realized the other day that rather than having to think about my TA’s I just automatically “correct” now. Great to know that improvement continues even for years. I’m always amazed at our body’s resiliency and ability to adapt to what we ask of it!

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  4. Hi Tasha~ I can fire my TA in any position really easily. When I was going to PT they said I was unable to fire my pelvic floor muscles without firing my TA. I try, and sometimes I can isolate but it is really hard for me to turn my pelvic floor muscles separately. Do you have any advice about this?
    Thank you

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  5. In my mind that’s like doing a shoulder lift without stabilizing your scapula. Those two muscles work together in a coordinated fashion, so in my opinion they shouldn’t be separated. The ability to activate your TA at will is a great accomplishment – just make sure you feel your pelvic floor draw up along with it and you are on the road to recovery!

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  6. I am going to buy your DVD and begin working on strengthening my pelvic floor. Do you think it really is possible for my prolapse to be corrected completely by faithfully doing exercises everyday? I have a stage 3 bladder prolapse and a stage 2 rectal and uterine prolapse. I just had my first baby in August and all of this happened. I got fitted for a pessary. I don’t want to have to rely on it for the rest of my life. I used to be active, but feel like I can’t run anymore. I am a nurse, so I am on my feet 12 hours a day 3 days a week, and I’m afraid if I don’t use the pessary for now, my prolapse will worsen. I really want to believe I can fix the problem by working hard.

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  7. Cheryl,
    I would not tell you that you can “completely correct” your prolapse symptoms, but you can definitely gain better control with consistent strengthening of your pelvic basket muscles and your entire body. You will note over time how your posture, your breathing, and your food intake all effect your prolapse. All of this along with a consistent exercise program will give you the control that you are looking for.

    I want to refer you to a site called http://www.prolapsehealth.com . Go to their forums discussion and you will be able to read the thoughts/advice of many women experiencing prolapse and what has worked or not worked for them.

    The reality is that your prolapse symptoms are much like low back pain for someone with a weak back. If those back patients are consistent with their exercise and are mindful of their posture, etc., they can control their symptoms, but if they stop exercising or lift with poor posture, their pain is likely to return. Your prolapse is much the same. Your pelvic floor will always be something that you will have to be aware of and maintain with appropriate exercise and posture. Your body will respond to appropriate exercise and activity with better control of your symptoms. This may even include a return to running if this is your goal!

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  8. Thanks. Bought the DVD through Amazon today and feeling hopeful about strengthening my pelvic floor. I was wondering if your prolapse got worse after your second and third children. Just wondering because I’ve only had one and wonder if it’s a given that it will get worse (even with exercises) My OB Dr. says I can deliver vaginally with my next one and it may or may not make things worse. The Pelvic Floor Dr. I saw said I should NEVER deliver vaginally again and that it is pretty much a guarantee my prolapse would worsen. Just wondering what your experience was. And thankyou for the site you gave me. I joined and am looking forward to the support I’m sure I’ll find in the forums. 🙂

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  9. Funny that you say your OB said that your prolapse may get worse or it may not, because that is the direct quote from my OB when I asked about my prolapse symptoms returning before delivering my second child.

    My experience was that I delivered two more children vaginally after discovering my prolapse. I would say that my prolapse did get worse after my second delivery, but it rehabbed back to the same level that I was at before that pregnancy. Then for my third pregnancy and delivery, there was no progression, and again, I was able to rehabilitate my pelvic floor muscles and return to my prolapse to a grade I/II without problems.

    -tasha

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  10. I just had my 6 week postpartum check up and on vaginal exam, the midwife asked me to perform a kegel. She said that she could not feel any contraction at all, and rated it a 0 out of 5. This is frustrating because I’ve been doing the DVD exercises daily. My cystocele symptoms do NOT seem to have worsened after my second delivery, so I still feel optimistic that I am making progress. Do you think that I am performing the exercises incorrectly?

    Reply
  11. Emily,
    Sometimes the nerves that send the signal to contract our muscles can get stretched during delivery and it may take awhile for them to recover. Often an electric stim device is required to “prime” these traumatized nerves and get them working efficiently again. This may require a visit to a women’s health physical therapist in your area for some hands on treatment and/or electric stim. Your other option may be to research the Kegel 8 Electric Stimulation machine that you can use on your own at home to assist your pelvic floor in firing again.

    -Tasha

    Reply
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