Uterine prolapse is a condition where the uterus moves from its normal position. It often develops when the pelvic floor muscles weaken to such a degree where they’re no longer able to support the uterus. While most women with this uterine issue can maintain their normal level of physical activity, especially if mild in nature, certain exercise restrictions may apply, so talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
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According to the Gynecologic Specialists of Northwestern, long-distance running can worsen uterine prolapse. Running generates an almost constant impact of the uterus onto the pelvic floor muscles. In an already weakened state, these muscles can stretch even further as a result of the repetitive force, which may then lead to additional sagging of the uterus.
While prolonged periods of running can worsen this condition, it doesn’t lead to uterine prolapse. You’d already need to have a prolapsed uterus for this athletic pursuit to cause any real damage. The most common causes of this condition are pregnancy and vaginal childbirth, but you may also suffer uterine prolapse as a result of aging or menopause. Even obesity and chronic coughing are known to contribute to a weakening of the pelvic floor and subsequent prolapse of the uterus.
Uterine prolapse also increases your risk of the prolapse of other organs. Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can cause your bladder to prolapse. When this occurs, a portion of this organ can shift into your vagina. At the same time, you may also suffer from a prolapsed rectum. Continuing to run with a prolapsed uterine could, in turn, worsen these complications as well.
If your prolapse is mild, your doctor may recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You may also need a vaginal pessary to support your uterus. A medical professional often inserts these devices up into the vagina. If you are fitted with a temporary pessary, you may need to remove it periodically for cleaning and then reinsert the device on your own.
Moderate to severe uterine prolapse may not respond favorably to conservative treatment. Instead, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to repair the prolapse by either reinforcing the pelvic floor muscles or having a vaginal hysterectomy.