Updated: Oct 24
By Kirsty Richards DipHomNZ
Originally published January 01, 2021
Pelvic organ prolapse (or POP) affects an estimated 1 in 5 women. Commonly seen in women over 50 - but also increasingly a problem for younger women. Yet pelvic organ prolapse is still one of women's best-kept secrets.
What is a POP?
The protrusion of pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, small intestine, or rectum) into the vaginal wall with symptoms ranging from persistent vaginal pressure to urinary incontinence, fecal leakage, and painful intercourse. The pelvic floor muscles are a ‘sling’ of muscles that support these organs from beneath.
Without proper support - from weak, torn, or damaged fascia, ligaments, or muscles - pelvic organs can bulge down into the vagina, or rectum, and that’s a prolapse.
Suffering in silence
Many women suffer in silence, feeling embarrassed to talk about their prolapse - even to their closest friends and family. They are coping in silence.
Many avoid seeking medical attention because they are uncomfortable speaking about their problem, even to their doctors. It is a private area, and some women feel a sense of shame, that they have somehow “failed” or their body has let them down in some way. Often women feel isolated, or “less than” their counterparts who seem to have the perfect working body.
This can be even more difficult for women under 50 - as POP is more commonly known as a condition that affects older women. Why? The most common risk factors are vaginal childbirth and menopause. The first stretches the vaginal wall and supporting tissues through physical force; the second reduces oestrogen levels, which help maintain pelvic floor tissues.
But it is not only older women who suffer from POP.
In my Homeopathic practice, the majority of women who come to me for help with prolapse have ranged in age from 25 - 45 years. Often the causation is pregnancy - regardless of how long ago they gave birth. Some women only develop symptoms of prolapse 10 years after their last vaginal delivery, some within weeks of giving birth.
Types of prolapse:
Anterior vaginal prolapse (cystocele or urethrocele) happens when the bladder falls down into the vagina.
Posterior vaginal prolapse (rectocele) is when the wall separating the rectum from the vagina weakens
Uterine prolapse is when the uterus droops down into the vagina.
Apical prolapse (vaginal vault prolapse) is when the cervix or upper part of the vagina falls down into the vagina.
Physicians often use stages to describe the severity of prolapse:
Stage 1: The wall/organ protrudes a little way into the vagina
Stage 2: The wall/organ protrudes close to the vaginal opening
Stage 3: The wall/organ protrudes out of the vagina
Management and treatment can include:
Physiotherapy and pelvic floor muscle training lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, improved diet, fluid intake and exercise, and learning good bowel and bladder habits
Pessaries – a plastic or rubber device that fits into the vagina) can be fitted to provide internal support
Surgery to repair stretched or torn tissue and ligaments
Holistic treatments such as Homeopathy for prolapse, acupuncture, abdominal massage, etc
How can I help?
A well-chosen Homeopathic remedy in conjunction with lifestyle changes, body awareness, and self-care measures can reduce the severity of prolapse - and in some cases, reverse it completely.
Homeopathy works on the principle of “like cures like” - matter that can cause certain symptoms, equally can cure them.
An initial Homeopathic consultation takes up to 90 minutes, during which time I will take a full medical history, family health history, discuss food likes/dislikes, fears, recurring dreams, etc. I use this information to find the remedy which best suits you.
Some key Homeopathic remedies for prolapse:
This is considered one of the best Homeopathic remedies for a prolapsed uterus. There is a constant bearing down sensation in the pelvic region — as if the uterus is dragging in the downward direction and is about to come out. Crossing the lower limbs may prove slightly helpful to decrease the bearing down sensation. For menopausal women, the prolapse may be accompanied by hot flushes with excessive sweating.
Very beneficial for women who have the constant urge to pass urine or stool. Accompanied by a distended feeling in the pelvis. Women requiring Lilium Tigrinum also feel a dragging sensation in the pelvis. Lilium Tigrinum can also be used where the muscle supporting the uterus lacks the required tonicity, resulting in a displaced (retroverted or uterus tilted backward) or a prolapsed uterus.
Murex is of great help where the uterus is bulky, enlarged, and is pushed out of the pelvis. Women experience a bearing down feeling in the pelvis and need to tightly cross their legs to prevent the bearing down sensation. Murex also proves useful in decreasing the pain during periods due to a displaced uterus.
Homeopathic remedies are best chosen on an individual basis, this is made only after a complete case study of the patient.
Self-love and my approach to Homeopathic treatment of prolapse
I encourage all the women I see who have this complaint, to make friends with themselves again. Often women have a feeling of self-loathing or disappointment that accompanies a prolapse. It’s important to know that you’re not a failure, and your body can be repaired. As part of my Homeopathic treatment of prolapse, I suggest women take time each day to connect with their body, in whatever way feels right to them. Be it a walk in nature, a guided meditation, brief moments of stillness instead of distraction, journaling, etc. Your body is miraculous!
Whatever stage of life you’re at - your body has been your constant companion pre-birth and will be until the day you take your last breath. Your body has an innate wisdom and ability to heal.
My role is to help facilitate you on that pathway back to yourself.
All content copyright and cannot be reproduced in full or part without the written permission of the author.