When a woman’s pelvic muscles are weak, she may suffer a pelvic organ or uterine prolapse, when the pelvic organs drop down and protrude into the vagina.

This causes pain in the lower back or abdomen, and pressure in the vagina; in some cases, this condition can even interfere with sexual activity.

While doctors have known for some time that giving birth increases the chance that a woman would develop prolapse, only now are they beginning to determine other factors.

Women who were obese or overweight developed pelvic organ prolapse twice and often as women who were thinner.obese woman

Heavy lifting at work also made a difference, with those women also twice as likely to develop pelvic organ prolapse. Heavy lifting and carrying excess weight in the body both cause stress to the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Women who had a history of hemorrhoids, varicose veins, or who had a hernia also had an increased risk. When there was a family history of pelvic organ prolapse, there was an increased risk. Any of these conditions may point to an inherent weakness in the muscles of the pelvic floor.

The best exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor are Kegel exercises. All women, whether or not they are at risk for pelvic organ prolapse, should perform Kegel exercises to maintain pelvic health.


  1. While it is true that obesity can exacerbate prolapse, it is more true that How a woman carries her weight is the determining factor in whether she is at greater risk. The same is true for lifting. The female body is not equipped for excessively heavy lifting, but How a woman lifts is the determining factor in whether she places her pelvic organs at risk of prolapse. In normal anatomy, increases in intraabdominal pressure pin pelvic organs into their proper positions behind the lower abdominal wall. Adding additional weight has been scientifically determined to simply pin them more forcefully into position.

    It is when the shape of the outer framework, from which the organs suspend, becomes misshapen that a women becomes prone to prolapse.

    Kegels are drawn from a conceptually inaccurate model of anatomy and play no role in either the prevention or reversal of prolapse.

    Christine Kent, Whole Woman Inc.

  2. I don’t think kegels can prevent or repair prolapse. I did them through my pregnancies and continue to do them and still have a bad uterine prolapse. I’m not overweight nor do I do heavy lifting (other than my kids of course).

  3. Being a 20 year old woman who has been lifting weights since i was 13 nowmakes this article very interesting to me. Also, through the article, I found out Kegel exercises are more than just an exercise to tighten the vagina for intercourse purposes. Thank you for sharing this information and how simple it is to avoid this problem.

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