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Cystocele, also referred to as a prolapsed or fallen bladder, occurs in women when the supportive tissues located between the vaginal wall and bladder lose strength and elasticity, reports MayoClinic.com 1. Heavy lifting, recurrent constipation and vaginal childbirth can all place undue strain on the muscles that surround the pelvic organs and lead to a fallen bladder. Movements that strengthen the pelvic muscles, known as Kegel exercises, may help relieve symptoms of a fallen bladder 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Pelvic Floor Strengthening
To be effective, Kegel exercises must be performed correctly and regularly, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 2. Kegel exercises involve contracting your pelvic floor muscles to make them stronger 2.
Kegel exercises involve squeezing the pelvic muscles just as you would if you were trying to stop urinating 2. At first, you may be able to hold a contraction for five seconds or less, and fatigue may set in after performing as few as three or four repetitions, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Such a response is generally a sign that you are performing the exercise correctly. If Kegel movements seem too easy at first, it can mean that you are doing them incorrectly.
Continue to Build Strength
As your pelvic muscles gain strength, extend the contraction to about 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds, recommends the American Academy of Family Physicians. Work your way up to sets of 10 to 20 contractions daily. Kegel movements can be performed virtually anywhere at any time, notes the AAFP. It can take as long as six to 12 weeks of daily Kegel exercises to notice an improvement in bladder control, although results can occur sooner 2.
Biofeedback training can help ensure that you are squeezing the correct muscles during Kegel exercises 2. In fact, MayoClinic.com says women who are trained by a biofeedback therapist may experience the most success with Kegel exercises 2. Biofeedback involves the use of various monitoring devices to help you learn to contract the correct muscles.
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