When I was in the military and had to lift heavy ammo boxes and other heavy weight, I use to stay on sick call because of pain from my womb area. I believe I hurt my insides. What is it that happens to young women who lift a lot of weight? Heavy Weights, Pennsylvania
Dear Heavy Weights:
It’s called prolapse, when your bottom falls out, and younger and older women can get this condition. You get prolapse when you lift a lot of weight or even when walking around in high heel shoes all the time.
Many women today are competing with men so they are engaging in all types of sports, such as weightlifting and other strenuous sports that put them at risk for prolapse.
The word "prolapse" means ‘to fall out of place’. In women, this refers to the uterus, bladder or rectum slipping out of place, and either protruding into the vagina or pressing up against the vaginal wall.
Your pelvic organs are held in place by ligaments and muscles, connective tissue and fascia, which are collectively known as the pelvic floor. Weakening of or damage to the pelvic floor means the pelvic organs are no longer snugly held in their usual position.
Given the number of organs and supporting structures tucked into your pelvis, and the stresses and strains they’re subjected to during pregnancy and birth, and sometimes just life in general, it’s hardly surprising that sometimes things loosen and fall out of place.
Having a prolapse certainly doesn’t mean you’re falling apart or you’re past your prime. Prolapse can occur in young women who’ve never had a baby, while there are plenty of elderly women who’ve had plenty of children yet never a prolapse problem in their lives.
Prolapse is a common problem for females of all ages, worldwide. This is a major problem with older women and one out of 4 women will end up in nursing homes due to prolapse but again younger women can get this too.
Yet prolapse is one of those conditions that many women are way too embarrassed to talk about, even with their closest friends. Some can’t even discuss prolapse with their doctor, choosing instead to put up with light bladder leakage, discomfort, a poor sex life and low self esteem rather than get help, advice and treatment.
In mild cases, prolapse can easily be fixed through a number of non-surgical treatments such as pelvic floor exercises such as "pilates" and "kegel exercises" as well as simple lifestyle changes such as improved diet and nutrition.
Squats also work very well to prevent this condition but most women have bad knees because they eat an inflammatory diet, so squatting will be extremely hard for them. Our ancestors never suffered from this condition because they were always squatting.
In more serious cases prolapse surgery is usually very successful, where a small silicone device fitted into the upper vagina by a doctor to provide support to the organs and their support structures.