If you are a woman who is well into your 50s or 60s, then there are some gynecological concerns that you may be worried about. While menopause and its effects are likely on the top of the list, you may also be worried about pelvic prolapse. Keep reading to learn about a few causes of this and how the risks of pelvic prolapse can be reduced at home.
Aging is by far the greatest risk factor when it comes to developing pelvic organ prolapse. As you age, your body naturally produces less estrogen and this has many effects on the body. It leads to muscle weakness since the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen are partially responsible for the retention of muscle strength and structure. Estrogen reduction also leads to the atrophy or shrinking of the sex organs in the abdomen, making the structures less substantial and weaker. As you age, you also lose a lot of cellular elasticity due to the reduction in collagen.
Aging also leads to the stretching of the ligaments within the abdomen that keep the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus in place. As they stretch, the atrophied, weak, and deteriorated tissues can collapse and fall into the vaginal canal. This causes a prolapse.
The good news is that you can combat the natural aging process by exercising your body. Make sure to take part in weight-bearing activities as well as pelvic floor exercises to help create strength and muscle tone around the abdominal area.
If you have smoked for some time or if you have a chronic case of emphysema or asthma, then you may have a persistent cough. This is also true if you have COPD or allergies. This coughing places pressure on the abdomen, which can force the pelvic organs to prolapse.
While it may not be possible for you to stop cough due to illness, you can adjust your technique to place less pressure on the abdominal area. When you need to cough, try tensing up your pelvic floor muscles first. This will help to hold them in place so that the pelvic organs are not disturbed when you cough. You should also hold your abdomen to support it with your hands as you cough to minimize pressure.
Coughing with your head down can also help you to release mucus and other secretions so coughs are productive and less frequent, so try this as well. Medications to open up the airways or to reduce mucus formation and sinus congestion may be a good option too, so speak to your physician about this.
For more information about pelvic prolapse, contact a doctor.