Prolapsed bladder (cystocele) is a condition in which the pelvic floor muscles and tissues that keep the bladder in place become weak, causing the bladder to drop and bulge into the vagina. In severe cases, a prolapsed bladder can protrude through the opening of the vagina.
One of the treatment options is not taking any course of treatment at all if there are no symptoms present. Other forms of treatment include behavior therapy, Kegel exercises, pelvic floor physical therapy, use of a vaginal support device, or drug therapy, which may involve estrogen replacement.
Surgery is another option for a prolapsed bladder. Surgery options include open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery.
The goal of the surgery is to repair any damaged muscles or tissue, and augment the bladder with a surgical material.
However, if the prolapsed bladder condition is not too serious and does not require any surgical intervention, it can be managed with exercises.
It’s important to note that not all exercises can aid in a prolapsed bladder. Some can actually worsen the condition. Exercises that put additional pressure on an already weakened pelvic floor can aggravate the condition, further weakening and stretching the muscles, and decreasing the muscles’ ability to support a prolapsed bladder.
When choosing exercises to support a prolapsed bladder there are some questions to ask yourself.
How much downward pressure is the exercise placing on your pelvic muscles?
How strong and well functioning is your pelvic floor?
How can your pelvic floor provide support to counteract this downward pressure?
If you have a prolapsed bladder, you should avoid exercises like running, jumping, skipping, and certain dance exercises.
You will want to stick with low impact exercises and modify other exercises to avoid adding pressure to the pelvic floor. Exercises that allow you to keep one foot on the ground at all times are generally safe to perform with a prolapsed bladder.
Low impact exercises include walking, cross-training, road cycle, spinning or indoor cycling, water-based exercises, low impact fit ball classes, and low impact fitness classes.
Many strength training exercises are associated with added pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, too. You will want to avoid activities that involve heavy lifting and straining, as well as unsupported positions when lifting. Steer clear of wide-legged squats, Smith machine squats, leg presses, and weighted abdominal core strength exercises.
Unsafe core specific exercises when working out with a prolapsed bladder include sit ups or crunches, fit ball or medicine ball sit ups, Pilates, planks, and abdominal machine exercises.
If you are unsure whether a specific exercise or exercise class is appropriate for a prolapsed bladder, you can speak to your doctor or a certified trainer at the gym. They will be able to adjust the exercise routine accordingly to make it safe for you to perform with prolapsed bladder.