Approximately 50% of Australian women who have had children will develop some degree of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime. Pelvic Organ Prolapse is when the organs of the pelvis such as the bladder, uterus and/or bowel descend into the walls of the vagina. This occurs when the connective tissue that surrounds and supports the pelvic organs become stretched and potentially torn.
During your pregnancy, many changes have occurred in your body to enable you to maintain the pregnancy and deliver your baby. These changes include stretching of your abdominal muscles, stretching and potential weakening of your pelvic floor muscles and hormonal changes to soften your pelvis and its ligaments. After the delivery of your baby whether that be vaginally or by cesarean section, the abdominal and pelvic floor muscle tone are reduced (especially in vaginal deliveries) and the hormonal changes can continue to impact the soft tissue structures after birth. These factors can commonly combine to cause low back pain, pelvic pain, leakage of urine (incontinence) and pelvic/ vaginal heaviness or bulge (pelvic organ prolapse).