Women's health physical therapy


I'm new here, found this place today through a post Sybille made to a board last fall -- THANKS sybille!

Same story as many, close to 50, prolapsed uterus, cystocele, rectocele (9 lb baby 22 yrs ago) considered surgery just to be done with it all. My (female) gynocologist, who I hadn't seen in 5 yrs, fitted me with a pessary (I love it!) and recommended a physical therapist who specializes in women's health.

Just had my first appointment. She gave me a new, in the package "electrode." It's white plastic, looks a bit like a 3" long pacifier, with little metal plates and a 5 foot long computer cable, and instructed me to insert it and come back fully dressed.

We then plugged the cable into her laptop and were able to watch a read-out on my ability to isolate and contract the PC muscles. Pretty cool, I have to say.

She gave me the starting home exercise routine:
Tighten 10 seconds, relax 10 second, 5 times (one set)
8 sets throughout the day (standing)
Tighten 1 sec, relax 3 sec, 6 times (one set)
6 sets throughout the day.

I asked her if I do this will I be able to correct the problems and retire the pessary, she said she believes I will.

Anybody here have any experience with the effectiveness of physical therapy in this area? (pun intended)

Christine, I also ordered your book, looking forward to the read. Thanks!
nancy newby

Hi Nancy, and welcome to WW! I think it's great that your ob/gyn didn't recommend surgery, but rather recommended lifestyle changes. The only thing is, from your description of the exercises given you, it sounds like they are basically just Kegel's? Christine was just mentioning this on another post, I think under Lifestyle, that Kegel's only work one tiny part of the whole female anatomy. But still, it may be a good start!


Gee, I was glad to help. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you incorporate all that you learn here to your everyday activities. Kegals are great but only a small part in this healing process. Glad to read, you didn't succumb to surgery, which seems to be a popular avenue on that "other board."


I began going to a physical therapist for knee issues. She said my hips were weak and when she worked on them lo! My prolapse, with which I have reached a pretty good modus vivendi over the past years, worsened dramatically. I reported this and she has referred me to the pelvic floor physical therapy department. I have my first appointment with them this AM. Does anybody have any experience/knowledge of this? I had never even heard of it. I have no idea what to expect. What I do not want is to make things worse. My PT told me that the pelvic floor dysfunction has over the years led to weak hips, which in turn has put more pressure on my knee. (It's like my body is a whole unit, or something ha ha). I'm going today with an open mind and will report back here but I am hoping that someone has some wisdom to impart. Thank you.

I know that someone with more experience and knowledge will hop on a discuss this with you but kegels are based on a misunderstanding of the way the pelvic floor works. They can actually make prolapse worse because they pull the bladder and rectum into the vaginal wall the same way you pull the strings together on a purse. The goal is actually to lengthen the pelvic floor front to back so it shuts like tight elevator doors and the vagina becomes a flat, airless space. The pelvic "floor" is actually a thin wall of muscle held at the back of the body. It does not support the organs, as they are meant to be held forward in the lower belly by your intra-abdominal pressure. Whole Woman work uses, posture, breathing, exercise, and lifestyle change to move the organs back to where they belong.
I recommend that you stop the kegels, leave PT behind, and dive whole heartedly into Whole Woman work. You cannot do both, as the PT methods and whole woman work are not compatible. PT will emphasize and neutral spine and pelvis that will aggravate your prolapse.

Couldn't have explained it better. Thanks! Yes, pelvic PT is based on wrong concepts including the whole idea of seeing how well you can squeeze those muscles. Trust me, I know, this doesn't work and only makes things worse. And if you have hip issues in addition to prolapse - you need Christine's wisdom! - Surviving