Anna Winstanley Physiotherapy York

Pelvic Organ Prolapse – Is it just about Kegels?

What are Kegels?

Kegels are your basic pelvic floor exercises – squeeze and lift. They can be really useful in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and improving the muscular support for your pelvic organs, which can help with symptoms of prolapse and incontinence.

What goes wrong?

So when your GP tells you that you have a prolapse and to go away and do some pelvic floor exercises / kegels, its not a bad starting point. If things don’t improve though, many women get disheartened and think their only other option must be surgery, or that they’ll have to stop doing their favourite physical activity. Both of these options carry risks, so thats not ideal if we haven’t optimised non-surgical options. 

What else might be happening?

Other things that might be going on that are affecting your prolapse symptoms:

  • Hypertonic or non-relaxing pelvic floor
  • Myofascial adhesions affecting how the organs sit within the pelvic cavity.
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Constipation
  • Stress

All of these things are manageable once you know about them and a pelvic health Physio will be able to advise you about what changes you need to make, and inform you about the other options available to help.

It's a team effort

The other thing about just doing Kegels is how isolated they are. You sit or lie down and squeeze away, but really thats not how the body needs to be trained. 

Those pelvic floor muscles need to withstand forces of gravity, external loads such as carrying babies, and pressure changes that occur during lots of different activities of daily life such as standing up from the sofa, bending to pick a bit of fluff off the floor. Not to mention coughing or sharing a right good belly laugh with your best gal pals. 

So all of your musculoskeletal system – your joints, bones, muscles, nerves need to be integrated – in other words – working well together as a team. Working with a pelvic health physio means you will learn from the foundations of breathing and connecting to your deep core, to integrating these muscles into functional movement patterns that work for you in everyday life. 

A nuanced, individual approach

So, all that said, you can see why an individualised approach to YOUR prolapse, YOUR life and YOUR pelvic floor is important. You are not a cookie cut from the same cutter as everybody else, and neither is my approach.


  • You and your experience of prolapse are unique.
  • The answer to most prolapse questions is “it depends…” (on your awesome uniqueness of course)
  • Just don’t get constipated, m’kay?

Get in touch

I’m always happy to discuss your needs prior to commiting to physio with me, so you can arrange of free 15 minute chat, or just jump straight in and book a Womens Health Assessment!

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Anna Winstanley

Hi I’m Anna, a Women's Health Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor in York with a nerdy passion for all things women’s health and wellbeing. I’ve worked with countless women over the years, helping them to feel strong, overcome pain and improve their quality of life so they can be marvellous mums, excellent employees and super selves.

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