When the supportive tissues between the vaginal wall and a woman's bladder weaken, the bladder can bulge into the vagina, creating a prolapsed bladder. Also called cystocele, the condition can result from excessive straining during childbirth, chronic coughing or persistent constipation. Exercises that entail heavy lifting can cause a prolapsed bladder. The condition is more common in post-menopausal women. Unless the organ displacement is severe, lifestyle changes and avoiding certain exercises can relieve the symptoms.
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You may notice symptoms of cystocele when you're exercising. Common signs of a prolapsed bladder include pain when lifting or when you bear down hard or strain your core. You may feel pressure or discomfort in your pelvic area after standing for long periods of time. You may not be able to control your urine when you cough, laugh or strain. Other symptoms include the feeling that you haven't emptied your bladder even after urination, pain during sex and bulging tissue out of your vagina.
Use proper technique while lifting weights to prevent a prolapsed bladder from becoming severe. You should refrain from performing overhead lifts that will place too much pressure on your lower extremities. Increase the amount of weight that you do lift gradually, so that your arms and legs can bear the brunt of the pressure. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart when lifting and tighten your stomach muscles to prevent excessive pressure on your bladder.
You may have to refrain from exercises that require you to jump up and down and jar your already weakened connective tissues. Exercises such as aerobic dancing, stepping, jogging and running should be avoided until you strengthen your uterine walls sufficiently.
Kegel exercises are the most effective way to strengthen your vagina and urinary tract. Squeeze your vagina as if you are holding your urine and hold for three seconds; repeat 10 times daily. Over time, you will strengthen the muscles that may enable you to once again perform jarring exercises.
Although exercises such as situps that place pressure on your bladder should be avoided, you can make modifications in order to continue with your core workouts. Consider switching to crunches, which don't place as much pressure on your bladder. Instead of lifting your shoulders all the way up off the ground, simply raise them slightly while continuing to look at the ceiling. Use a stability ball to perform crunches instead of lying on the floor. The rubber ball can relieve the additional pressure while providing you with an effective workout.