Saturday, 7 June 2014
Prolapse Management: Are You Going to the Toilet Correctly?
Are you going to the toilet correctly?
It might sound like a trick question, but for a woman managing her prolapse, there is a 'correct' and 'incorrect' way to go to the toilet.
Making sure that you are in the correct position to empty your bowels is important for two reasons. The first is that women who have prolapse often also have urge or stress incontinence. Some types of incontinence can be managed better by improving toileting habits. Secondly, one of the main things that all women are told when they are diagnosed with prolapse (or should be told) is to avoid constipation and straining. This is because either of these things can put a lot of downward pressure on the pelvic floor, potentially worsening the prolapse. One of the ways to avoid this is to position your body in a way that makes passing stools as easy as possible.
Sue Croft, a Women's Health Physiotherapist and advocate has put together a great resource explaining how the bowels work, the importance of regular bowl movements for a woman with prolapse, and how to achieve this. Her resource includes clear diagrams, and can be found here: Managing Your Bowels Well.
This is a topic we are taught not to discuss, or even necessarily to think about, but it is a relatively small change that you can make privately and without seeing a specialist that, in some cases, may make a big difference to your continence and prolapse management.