Cystocele (Bladder Prolapse)
The most common form of pelvic organ prolapse is cystocele or bladder prolapse.
The breakthrough I made in my research on prolapse is that prolapse is a postural problem. Technically, it isn’t really a gynecologic problem at all. What happens is this.
Your pelvis is not shaped like a basin with the opening at the bottom. It is actually like a ring on its edge with the opening at the back. Any woman can easily verify this for herself. Your pubic bones are underneath you like straps of a saddle.
What this means is that the so-called pelvic floor isn’t really a floor at all. It is closer to a wall.
When the bladder is being well behaved, it sits on top of your pubic bones where it is safe and secure. It rests up against your lower belly. Your uterus flops forward and lays on top of the bladder, also in your lower belly, right next to the lower front abdominal wall.
Keeping Pelvic Organs Where They Belong
What keeps all the pelvic organs in their correct positions is breathing under the forces of gravity, the natural shape of your spine, and the weight of the organs themselves.
This lower back or lumbar curvature is particularly pronounced in women for just this reason. And if you spent your days sitting cross legged on the ground, or with your legs stretched out in front, or walking with heavy loads balanced on your head as so-called primitive women do, you too would have a pronounced lumbar curvature.
However, you probably don’t. You have a comfy sofa and home and office chairs and a comfortable seat in your car. All of these “modern” conveniences have conspired to make your muscles lazy and your lumbar curve has flattened out. When it does that, your organs are pulled back from the lower front abdominal wall and are now not where they are supposed to be.
Fortunately, if you have been able to avoid pelvic surgery, such as hysterectomy and other “fixes”, you have every likelihood of restoring your proper organ placement by developing natural female posture.
If you have cystocele, it is likely you also have some rectocele. Here at Whole Woman, the two are sometimes referred to as “nature’s pessary” because the rectum bulging in from the back, and the bladder bulging in from the front prevent the uterus from dropping down.
The Pessary - Short Term Help
Your doctor may have suggested a pessary. A pessary is a device, made of silicone rubber, which is inserted into the vagina, rather like a diaphragm. As you can see in the picture from the Cooper Surgical catalogue, they come in a wide variety of shapes.
The pessary’s purpose is to push the bladder and rectum back toward their normal positions and minimize the bulging into the vagina, and/or to hold the uterus up in the case of uterine prolapse. As a temporary expedient, it can be useful, but it is not always a long-term solution. Each type of pessary comes in a variety of sizes and it may take several tries to find one that is comfortable and stays in place.
Cooper Surgical, who is the major manufacturer of pessaries in this country, includes a tube of Trimo San with each one. You should be aware that the active ingredient in Trimo San has been declared by the Food and Drug Administration to be unsafe for use on cattle (it used to be used in Bag Balm for dairy cows) but is considered by the FDA to be fine for women to put in their vaginas. I hope you are getting the picture here. A more detailed article on this product can be found in the Whole Woman Village Post.
Managing your prolapse means learning your anatomy, restoring your natural female posture, strengthening the musculature that has gotten lazy, and being mindful of your posture while sitting, standing, walking, running, lifting and carrying.
The Whole Woman posture, which is described in detail at the end of the Frequently Asked Questions section of this site, as well as shown in my video, The Whole Woman Solution to Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Urinary Incontinence. Do review these carefully.
Be sure to read the additional comments on the Rectocele and Uterine Prolapse pages. The reality is that if you have one, you probably have them all to a lesser extent. You’ll find useful information on every page.