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1 In 2 Women Will Experience This Condition In Their Lifetime

Updated: Jul 1

Core Specialist, Cheryl Coppa explains everything you need to know about Prolapse, a frightening and common dysfunction that affects 50% of women
By Cheryl Coppa

Pelvic Organ Prolapse is considered common as it affects about 50% of women at some point in their lives, and as they age they are more likely to experience pelvic organ prolapse.
With this number being so large, it is very important to KNOW what this is, how to manage and reverse and more importantly, how to prevent it!

What is a Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when one or more pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, drop from their normal position and press against the vaginal walls. Factors that can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse include childbirth, aging, obesity, chronic coughing, and improper heavy lifting.

Common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse may include:

👉🏽 The sensation of pressure or heaviness in the pelvis.
👉🏽 Feeling like you are sitting on a small ball.
👉🏽 Tissue protrusion from the vagina, where you can actually see something popping out.
👉🏽 Urinary incontinence/leaking of urine (early sign).
👉🏽 Difficulty with bowel movements, constipation (early sign).
👉🏽 Low back pain (early sign).

"58% of women who have surgery for a prolapse end up having another prolapse. Left unaddressed this will only get worse!”. Core Specialist, Cheryl Coppa

This is a big deal! While it is not life-threatening, it is extremely life-altering; the pain, the slowing down, and the loss of control. Many times this causes women not to leave their homes and avoid activities they used to love. Left unaddressed this will only get worse. Once a prolapse is so bad the only option is surgery. The problem is, 58% of women who have surgery for a prolapse, end up having another prolapse. This is because you are not addressing WHY this is happening in the first place. For me, being in the fitness industry this was nothing that was taught or talked about. Even during my annual check ups with my OB, why is something like this has never been mentioned? Or a pamphlet was given out on what common pelvic floor dysfunctions there are, and HOW to prevent them?

Prevention is always best in all scenarios, right? So why is this not the case for Pelvic floor dysfunctions? I never even heard of it until I started to go through education and several certifications for pelvic health. This is the case with most women, you are not even aware of this until it is actually happening to you. Since the door has opened for me, I continue to learn, stay on top of the latest research, and incorporate all the techniques and tools in my own training and now I train women at Ola Ka Ola.
Truth be told, I have completely changed the way we train. No burpees, no sit-ups, no crunches, no crazy plyometrics. Nothing would put the pelvic floor or the pelvic organs in a compromised position.
Can you still do those exercises? Sure, if you know how to incorporate your pelvic floor and core, and make sure that you are not contributing to the dysfunction.

Are You Contributing to What Causes Your Dysfunctions?

If you go back to a couple of the causes of prolapse; “Excessive coughing” and “Heavy lifting“, this means you would be bearing down, pushing down (like when you use the bathroom) on your pelvic floor. Certain exercises that bear down would be harder to avoid such as the exercises I listed above, this is why I avoid them, as there are safer and more effective ways to train.
When we exercise we are making up for the ways we are not moving in our everyday life, so we certainly want to make sure we are doing it right and instill great techniques and habits that can be transferred into our daily life. It’s important to learn and practice not just in exercise, but in your daily life because you are always using your pelvic floor in every movement.
So are you moving in a way that is making it stronger and more functional? Or are you contributing to what causes the dysfunctions?
Learning how to lift is crucial! Even if you are not lifting in fitness, you are certainly lifting in your life. Whether it be children, groceries, moving furniture, or moving items in the house or yard. We need to learn how to properly do these basic movements in a way where we are strengthening our pelvic floor and not contributing to any possible dysfunctions.
We learn different alternatives when it comes to exercise and HOW to protect your core and pelvic floor in your everyday life in our Core & Pelvic Floor Restore Program. Every woman should know these techniques and should be Women’s Health and Fitness 101.

Our pelvis Is right at our center and really your foundation. It is a part of every movement you make, every movement! “A strong foundation builds a resilient future.” This could not be more true when it comes to women’s pelvic health. Your pelvic health does affect your entire life! The effects are not only physical but emotional as well because the dysfunctions are so challenging on all levels.

With dysfunctions that are so life-altering, we need to put this out there and we need to be equipped on how to prevent, manage, and reverse! The symptoms are embarrassing so many women don’t speak up and wait until it is far gone. It’s so important to know DO NOT WAIT! Even better, learn how to prevent it NOW! I don’t like to be negative and tell horror stories of pelvic health, but they are real and they are considered common.

What We CAN Do About It

Let’s switch the conversation to what we CAN DO! Because this is powerful! Having control of your health and your body and knowing how to prevent and what to do should you encounter symptoms so you can immediately reverse them.
We should not be limited on what we can and cannot do. So be empowered and in control so you can live your best life. You might be asking, why is pelvic organ prolapse so common all of a sudden? The quick answer would be; modern life. We sit too much, and when we are active and training in fitness, we completely leave out the pelvic floor & core (and I am not referring to kegels ❌ & crunches❌).

“Even our modern toilets contribute to prolapse. Older toilet were low to the ground, so you were in a squatting position. This relaxes the rectum.”, Cheryl Coppa

Even our toilets contribute! Crazy but very true. Think about the size or more so the height of an older toilet. It is low to the ground, so you are in a squatting position. Now the toilets are like thrones! So high up. When your knees are above your hips like in the older short toilets) this relaxes the rectum. You can actually purchase what is called a “squatty potty” that elevates your feet which will help relax the rectum to use with modern-day toilets. With the extra pushing on the throne, combined with all the sitting and lack of pelvic health and fitness we have the perfect storm for prolapse and other pelvic floor dysfunctions..

So What Can You Do?

Something you can do right now is learn proper alignment. This means, how you are carrying your pelvis. Think of your pelvis like a bucket of water. We want it to be in a neutral position so the water does not spill out. Take a look at these pictures of what neutral alignment looks like.
In neutral alignment your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles all lineup, compared to the other photo. When you are in this alignment, your pelvic organs have the full support of the skeletal structure of the pelvis and the pelvic floor muscles as they should instead of extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles themselves. This alignment also sets the stage for the next steps where you can now work on strengthening the pelvic floor properly, safely, and effectively! So simple yet so healing.


The alignment is step one. Here at Ola Ka Ola, we have an entire toolbox of what you can do! Several tools to equip you immediately and long term. A start-to-finish program that you can follow at your own pace. It doesn’t matter if you do one session a week or one session a month. As long as you put into practice whatever you are learning you will begin the healing journey and how to stay in control. This program is done on demand as most women prefer to work on this privately. We do, however, offer LIVE pelvic floor sessions as well so you have access to questions and constantly fresh material.

To view what the entire program has to offer and why it is the BEST solution for you, check out the program HERE, and take back control.

 

About Cheryl Coppa

✔️ A certified Core Confidence Specialist (Core and Pelvic Floor retraining) ✔️ A certified Personal Trainer specializing in women's fitness over 40 ✔️ Low-Pressure Fitness / Hypopressive certified by creator Dr. Tamara Rial ✔️ Pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist ✔️Instructor of the Pelvic Floor Health program, Ola Ka Ola ✔️ 40 years young, wife & mother of 3

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