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10 Risk Factors for Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)

From the Pelvic Floor Articles List

Risk Factors for Pelvic Organ ProlapseWhat symptoms should I watch for if I am concerned about pelvic organ prolapse?


Like many health conditions, there are both controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse (POP). For example, you can’t control your age, but you may be able to control how well you age.

If you take some time to learn about the risk factors for POP, you can be proactive about them. You’ll be able to evaluate your personal risks, make some lifestyle changes, and work with your doctor to address any prior trauma or underlying health issues.

Besides your age, there are a number of other risk factors for which you should be on guard.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Risk Factors

  1. Genetics: If you have relatives with prolapse issues, it could mean you’re at risk, too
  2. Obesity: Extra weight can put excessive pressure on your pelvic floor and lead to multiple organs prolapsing.
  3. Smoking: Smoking weakens tissues and can cause a chronic cough, both of which can weaken your pelvic floor.
  4. Chronic Cough: Lung conditions, asthma, and smoking that cause a chronic cough can put undo pressure and strain on your pelvic floor.
  5. Heavy Lifting: Repeatedly lifting weight - either on the job or in the gym - can put extra strain on your pelvic floor, causing it to weaken.
  6. Aggressive Exercises: Jogging, running, jumping, and other activities that put undo strain on the pelvic floor.
  7. Pregnancy and Childbirth: The strain and trauma of pregnancy and childbirth may weaken your pelvic floor, especially if there are multiples.
  8. Pelvic Surgery: Surgery can affect the integrity of your pelvic floor, changing the support structures and causing trauma which could lead to weakness.
  9. Pelvic Injury: Any injury or damage to the pelvic floor can cause a loss of support and weaken the pelvic floor.
  10. Constipation: Straining to try to pass stool with constipation can cause injury to your pelvic floor from the extra pressure.
  11. Menopause: Decreased estrogen during menopause weakens and thins the support structures of the pelvic floor.
  12. Health Issues: Multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, diabetes, and other health conditions may contribute to a weaker pelvic floor.
The strength of your pelvic floor plays a big role in preventing pelvic organ prolapse. If you are predisposed to having a weaker pelvic floor or if you have experienced past trauma or injury to it, then it’s extra important for you to strengthen and keep your pelvic floor strong. Your doctor can help you decide which exercises and steps to take for your situation.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.


09-08-2016 - 06:37 PM


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