Question: Can it be that incorrect kegels tightened my pelvic muscles and led to the pelvic organ prolapse (POP)? Can it be that I should not do more kegels for now, and make sure that I don’t have a hypertonic pelvis?
Answer: Incorrect kegels (and too many of them) did not cause my pelvic organ prolapse and have not led to hypertonic pelvic floor muscles in my situation. I did do kegels incorrectly, and too many of them. But in my case they were just not strong enough and did not engage the whole pelvic floor. If I had done kegels correctly my pelvic floor may have been stronger and that may have helped me prevent a prolapse. Even though this did not happen to me, doing too many kegels can lead to a hypertonic pelvic floor. If you suspect that you may have tight pelvic muscles please get checked by a specialist and get their advice about proceeding with kegels. If you have hypertonic pelvic muscles, it is very important that you learn to stretch and relax them before attempting to strengthen them.
Question: Do low squats put too much pressure on the pelvic floor if I already have a POP? Should I only do shallow/high squats?
Answer: For strength building shallow squats are safer, especially if you are straining. You might also opt for a supported squat, such as leaning your back against a wall, or on an exercise ball propped against a wall, or by holding onto a poll or doorknobs with your hands. If you have a POP it is safer to keep your squats shallow, above your knee level, as well as to keep your knees a fist width apart from each other. While not ideal, low squats are okay to do with a POP. However, you must be careful not to exert too much downward pressure while in a squat. Women have commonly been found to get a POP while gardening. If you are doing a low squat try to relax, breath deeply, and gently stretch your legs, hips, and pelvis. Pay close attention to not strain when you get out of the squat position. As well, pay close attention that you are not exerting downward pressure while you are lowering into and out of the low squat. Ultimately it is safer to refrain from low squats if you have a POP.
Question: Could my POP have been avoided?
Answer: This is impossible to answer for sure. Doctors don’t really know why some women get prolapses and others do not. Women who have cesarean births are as likely to get a POP as women with have vaginal births. Today doctors believe women who get a POP after having a baby get it from the pregnancy itself; from the weight and pressure of the growing uterus and baby. Some women get a POP after birthing one or two children. Other women can have seven children and never get a POP. So the real reason women get a POP is quite mysterious. Some of us are just more prone to it than others. Maybe I could have avoided mine with correct kegels. Maybe I could have avoided mine with correct shallow squats. But I will never know. Now I just pray that mine will not get worse so that I never need to have surgery.
In conclusion, kegels are important to those of us who do not have a hypertonic pelvic floor. Squats are important too, for everyone if you can train your body to do them. We just need to know how to do them correctly. I have clear instructions for both in my special report “Achieve A Strong Postpartum Core in Just 15 Minutes A Day”.
To read the previous article, to which this article is a follow up, follow this link to my article, "Kegels, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, and My Pelvic Floor".