Vaginal childbirth is the most common risk factor for the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and/or rectum) descending (prolapsing) from their original positions. 3.3 million women in the U.S. have pelvic organ prolapse (POP) according to the Association for POP support.
Symptoms of a prolapse include a heavy sensation in the vagina, a lump bulging out of the vagina, painful sex or decreased sensation with sex, a weak urine stream, urine leakage, recurrent urinary tract infections and difficulty having bowel movements.
As high impact aerobics can worsen an already existing prolapse (so can obesity, chronic coughing and straining while on the toilet), having low impact options for aerobics is important.
A low impact aerobic exercise that can burn as many as 400 calories per hour is hula hooping. Ironically, the reason I chose to hula hoop tonight had very little to do with prolapse although I do recall having a heavy sensation in my vagina after having my son.
Here is what happened tonight: I grabbed my jump rope and, after one jump, I realized that my left ankle was bothering me. When I paired that discomfort with the knowledge that 40% of women who have prolapse are asymptomatic, I felt the sudden urge to protect my pelvic floor 🙂
Mamas, I challenge you to do the same. If you don’t own a hula hoop, buy one or borrow one. 30 minutes of hula hooping + Alkilados = sweat and successfully burning off the milkshake that I inhaled over my lunch break.