The uterus is one of the pelvic organs. When the pelvic floor muscle and tendons weaken or are injured, uterine prolapse can occur due to inadequate support. When the condition worsens, it can lead to difficulty in urination and defecation. In severe cases, it may even cause liver damage and failure.
- Post menopause: As we age, the tissues of the pelvic floor shrink and become loose. The reduction of estrogen due to menopause can also exacerbate the deterioration.
- Women who have given birth: The pelvic floor muscle may be weaker in women who have given birth. Number of times of pregnancy and incorrect use of muscle during labour, birthing heavy babies (i.e., greater than 4 kg), and a lack of exercises after giving birth can all cause the pelvic floor muscle to weaken; they may even lead to damage to the pelvic nerves and muscles.
- People who experience greater intra-abdominal pressure. Factors such as lifting heavy weights, having higher body weights, frequent coughing, sneezing and bowel movements can all increase abdominal pressure, which pushes muscles downward towards the pelvic floor, causing a greater chance for uterine prolapse.
- Family history
Three stages of uterine prolapse
- Early stage: The uterus has descended but the cervix remains inside the vagina. There is an increase of discharge.
- Intermediate stage: The cervix has descended to near the vaginal opening, and there is a sensation of heaviness.
- Severe stage: The uterus protrudes out of the vagina causing urethral blockage and can lead to long-term kidney disease.
- Sensation of heaviness and feelings of being pulled or weighted down.
- Pain during sexual intercourse, lower back pain, protrusion in the genitals, discomfort when standing up, frequent urination, loss of bladder control, urethral blockage, difficulty in passing stool.
- Pay attention to your posture when lifting weights so as to prevent back injuries.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Prevent constipation, maintain good hydration and consume a diet high in fibre.
- Practise pelvic floor exercises regularly to minimise uterus prolapse and urine leakage.
- Have regular gynaecological examination.
Pelvic floor exercise
1. Relax and imagine you have the urge to pass gas, but you are not allowed to do so and must hold it in.
2. Contract your anus and count to 5, then relax and count to 10. Please ensure your breathing is normal during the exercise and do not contract the abdominal.
3. Repeat the "contract and relax" exercise 60 times a day.
4. If it is possible, hold your contraction to 10 seconds.
5. In addition, perform the rapid "contract and relax" version of the exercise up to 30 times a day.
After you have become familiar with the exercise, you can perform it anywhere, such as when you are brushing your teeth, showering, watching TV, sitting, and on the phone.
You can even quickly perform these exercises to prevent urine leakage prior to these events: coughing, sneezing, lifting heavy weight, exercising etc.