Feb 12

Will pelvic floor exercises help prolapse?

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Will pelvic floor exercises help prolapse?

This is the million dollar question in my world and it’s not quite as simple as a yes or no answer! Prolapse is not just about your pelvic floor – it is a fascial issue. No matter what is happening in your pelvic floor, your prolapse is also influenced by the balance of pressure throughout your torso and how everything in your body is ‘stacked’

What does this mean?

Prolapse occurs when one or more of the pelvic organs slips down from their normal position and bulges into (or out of) the vagina. When the pelvic floor is functioning well it will help to support the organs better. However, a strong pelvic floor is not the only thing that matters.

For example, if your posture means that you are constantly ‘bearing down’ by slumping or if your breathing is not moving into your ribs and therefore creating too much pressure in the abdominals. No matter how ‘strong’ your pelvic floor is, the prolapse will still be bearing down and have the potential to create symptoms.

Intra-abdominal pressure

Intra-abdominal pressure (IAP)  is a big factor when it comes to prolapse. If you put your hand on your belly and cough you will feel what happens in your abdominals. For many people there will be a sense of the abdominals pushing outwards. The same thing could be happening in your pelvic floor and this means there is a lack of control of the IAP.

IAP changes depending on your breath and the level of load being placed on your abdominals. Daily activities such as breathing and moving from sitting to standing create IAP so it is important to understand it and make sure you aren’t creating too much for your body.


In practical terms, your postural alignment is how your head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate and line up with each other.  If a body is well aligned then there is less stress on the spine and joints and less pressure going into the pelvic floor. Good posture supports good pelvic floor health and will help your pelvic floor to function better.

So – will pelvic floor exercises help prolapse?

Pelvic floor exercises or kegels can be a helpful way to make sure that the pelvic floor is able to contract and release effectively but I believe there are better exercises we can do to support prolapse.

Here are some of my top exercises for Prolapse

You will see that they are not just about building strength. We also need to work on improving posture, creating hip mobility and improving rib cage mobility. Prolapse rehabilitation is a full body issue and we need to address things holistically to get results that support you in the long term.

Arm circles

Put an over ball in between your shoulder blades and rest your head on as much support as necessary. Lift your arms up towards your ears and then circle them back down to your sides again.  Repeat about 10 times.

Rib Cage Release

Lie sideways and place your ball at the side of the solid part of your ribcage. Look for tight spots and when you find them rest into the ball to allow it to release. You can play around with positioning and move up towards your arm pit where we often have quite a bit of tension.

Hip release

Hug your right knee into your chest thinking of letting the leg be heavy and fully relaxed. Visualise the thigh bone dropping down into your hip socket to allow the muscles of the hip joint to relax as much as possible.

Circle the leg about ten times within the hip socket keeping the sense of the leg being heavy and trying to keep your pelvis relatively still

Circle the leg in the other direction

Repeat on the other leg.

Ball Squeeze

Lying on your back with your knees bent up and your feet in parallel. Place your over ball in between the tops of your legs, up towards your pubic bone. Inhale to relax. As you exhale, gently squeeze into the ball and feel your pelvic floor and abdominals connect. Inhale to consciously release. Repeat about 10 times


Lying in neutral spine with your knees bent up and your feet in parallel. Exhale to draw your tail bone to your pubic bone and pubic bone to chest, round your lower back and feel your sit bones draw together. Press into your feet to lift your pelvis off of the floor and think of peeling your spine up one vertebrae at a time. Make sure you don’t lift your ribcage at the top. Inhale at the top then exhale to soften your ribcage and slowly peel the spine back down. Make sure your pelvis stays tucked until you release back into neutral, and feel the pelvic floor release there. Repeat about 8 times.

If you haven’t already seen a Women’s Health Physio, make sure you go and get some advice from someone in person. Get your pelvic floor checked for as much support as possible. You can look for a local physio here.

You might be interested in The Pelvic Floor Project if you are interested in improving prolapse symptoms in a holistic and sustainable way.


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