Updated: Feb 6
Uh-oh! It's time for your period, and without fail, it makes your prolapse or pelvic floor issues worse.
It's not all in your head. I see this very, very frequently.
And prolapse is not the only condition that feels worse on your period.
Your Uterus Is Larger
Your uterus is a little bigger and heavier right before you start your period. As a result, if you suffer from uterine prolapse, your uterus is actually going to be more difficult for your pelvic floor and core system to support during this time.
If you are dealing with a rectal (rectocele) or bladder (cystocele) prolapse, your uterus might irritate these organs and aggravate your symptoms.
Don't forget you can have multiple organ prolapse as well (fun!)
Hormone changes during your period may create a more sensitive vaginal flora, increasing tenderness and tension in the pelvic floor, which can create or aggravate painful intercourse. This should resolve a couple of days after your period ends.
Hormone changes during your period may also affect your bowel movements. If you end up a little constipated toward the start of your period, this will affect your prolapse symptoms as well by increasing the amount of straining on the toilet, or simply having more stool in the rectum can aggravate sensations of heaviness (for all organs).
Constipation and uterine growth during your period can aggravate the bladder, creating more propensity toward pee leaks as well. So if you are dealing with incontinence, this may get worse during your period.
For my mamas that clench their upper abs all day, stress associated with fatigue and hormone changes around your period might just increase your clench!
Unfortunately, this means more bearing down in the core system throughout the day, resulting in aggravation of prolapse and pee leak symptoms.
What Can We Do?
Your period does not have to be a horrible experience. In fact, your period is a good marker of your overall health.
Fixing issues such as bearing down strategies, pelvic floor tension, constipation and core system strength can heal these symptoms for you ALL the time, not just on your period. When you address the underlying WHY of your issues, then the uterus increasing in size will no longer be a problem.
Pelvic floor physical therapy can also help decrease the amount of cramping you experience on your period as well.
If you are struggling with symptoms on your period, make sure you book an appointment with pelvic floor PT today!