Mild postpartum rectocele and exercise


I'm new to this forum. I have 2 children and last week at my 6 weeks postpartum checkup I've been diagnosed with a mild rectocele. The doctor said to avoid constipation and keep doing pelvic floor exercises, suggesting that hopefully it will resolve itself in time. She also said walking, swimming and doing sit ups is ok but didn't recommend running.

I have since done some research and have read conflicting info on doing exercise, particularly sit ups and running. Some say both are ok to do, some don't recommend them. I'm really keen on getting fit and getting my pre-pregnancy body back but obviously don't want to make my rectocele worse by doing the wrong type of exercise.

For those who have / has had rectocele, did it resolve itself or did you have to take any further steps to fix it? What exercise did you do, particularly did you do sit ups and running, or do you know whether they are ok to do?

Thanks for reading this.

Hi there - I'm six months pp with both cystocele and rectocele and while I still have both at this stage, the management of them is getting gradually better and I have some almost symptom free days through using the whole woman posture.
I too was doing kegels until I hit the three month pp stage and feltmy bladder drop even further on releasing the contraction. The whole woman work is all about posture. Read around and you will get a feel for it.
Do you have symptoms of either prolapse? If not then you are so lucky that you can be aware that they are lurking and get to work now to make sure they get better or at least don't get worse!
Plenty of people on here run in the posture but this is key - just running as you would have pre-prolapse will put undue stress on your organs. Use the search bar to see topics on running. I walk EVERYWHERE in posture. Seven days a week for at least an hour a time. I've lost 14lbs since starting this daily exercise and feel (prolapse aside) better than ever. Seriously. I've just added swimming to my routine but just twice a week so far.
Anyway - I'd better run but just wanted to say hi and welcome and yes this condition sucks but I'm learning to see the positives and getting on with my life - something I could not have said so happily at the 3 month mark when I came here.

Welcome to Whole Woman - I too would recommend that you get some information from this site and give serious thought to taking up this work. You are at a great stage at which to begin.

Avoid sit-ups, forever! These place extreme strain on the pelvic organs. Christine has written extensively about kegels and why they do not work, and can actually aggravate the problem. Running is OK once you have learned the WW posture and the best way to carry your body as you run (on toes, with relaxed belly and lifted chest, actually throws the organs forward, and away from the vaginal space).

Here are a few things to get you started:

and congratulations on your little one! :) I absolutely agree wholeheartedly with the S60's and Miss Diagnosed's posts to you. A mild pp rectocele may even become asymptomatic during the two years it will take your body to recover from the pregnancy/birth if you were to do nothing. However, if you want to do all you can to help heal, Whole Woman work is the way to do it! And pp healing is the optimal time to start. Please read all you can here, there is so much incredible advice from women who have paved the path. You can do virtually anything you want to do with pop, but you need to know how to protect your body.

Avoiding constipation and straining on the toilet is great advice, as is walking and swimming. But most activities, including running, are not off limits *once you understand and have perfected the posture*. I suspect the reason your dr. suggested you avoid running is because he/she understands prolapse to be a progressive condition and traditional medicine has nothing to offer to counter it. Pessaries, kegels, hormone creams, pelvic PT, and ultimately surgery are all they have to offer and none of them offer much more than a masking of symptoms. Only WW work offers a way to stabilize and possibly reverse the symptoms of prolapse. Please read all you can here, order the materials if you can, and begin to learn the posture- holding your body the way it was meant to be carried. You are so lucky to have found this site and I wish you the very best!- gr8fl

I can't believe the doctor said running and situps are ok to a prolapsed women!! Of course WW running is great (once posture is mastered) but conventional running - arggghhhh!

You did the right thing finding this site. This work is great. I was in your situation PP and without WW work my prolapse went from just a rectocele (very mild) to much more a year later so read and learn as much as you can on here - there is such a wealth of information and wisdom. I actually had very nice doctors with what I thought was reasonable advice but of course it was all wrong and I am so thankful I found my way to WW.

Hi ladies,

Yes - I am another newbie who thankfully found this site just ahead of surgery (phew.... is all I can say to that!).

I am however feeling rather scared at my situation. My youngest is 3yrs and I was due to have surgery on a prolapse 2 years ago - however, I then discovered I had cancer (at the age of 38) so the prolapse surgery had to be put on hold (thankfully).

I am feeling very low at the moment as I have been experiencing extreme chronic pain on my coccyx (since pregnancy) - even today I went to the hairdressers and was in such agony from sitting that I cried all the way home. I am due to have my coccyx manipulated again and a steroid injection soon. However, as this has been done several times already without relief my surgeon has now suggested that having my coccyx removed may be my only chance of being pain free. Since doing my research I am worried that having it removed could seriously effect my pelvic organs - does anyone know anything about this???

Secondly (and sorry this is long - but please bare with me), my prolapse has never really caused me problems - however, I stupidly went to a platies class 3 weeks ago - and as a result have felt a real dragging pain. I have also noticed that I constantly need to pee but never feel like I've emptied my bladder (what type of prolapse would this mean I have??).

I have ordered the WW bumper pack and have already tried walking in posture. Any advice would be so welcome - I am now a single mum of two and feel like my health is out of control.

I look forward to replies. xx

Hi moomoo and welcome. We were just talking about tailbone pain the other day:

It seems to be quite a common thing with prolapse, and should improve greatly as you get more and more into the work of restoring lumbar curvature and pelvic organ support posturally. So rest assured you are on the right track. You can use the search box to look for other discussions, but yes, we hear this all the time.

I never heard of having the tailbone removed, but frankly, it sounds like butchery to me. Maybe someone else can enlighten us on that; meanwhile, I'd keep my distance from that suggestion. Conventional yoga and pilates contain lots of moves that are bad for women.

So, welcome to the biggest club there is (prolapsed women). You are in the best possible hands here. Doctors have nothing, I mean nothing, of any value to offer you. - Surviving

Thank you Surviving ..... I have read of lot of your posts on hear - you certainly have a wealth of knowledge.

I actually posted this in the wrong place didn't I (it should have been a separate post - never mind, i'll get the hang of it!!

The pain I get from my coccyx is unbelievable - but I am sure surgery is not the answer - but until finding this site I had no other options.

I just feel at the end of my tether with my health - and it just came from no where - BANG!

I must admit I don't like sticking my belly out (as in posture) especially as it looks so big and swollen at the moment (does a prolapse do this too? I'm not sure if it that or my anti cancer drugs *sigh*).

One thing I really noticed that all the ladies on a 'POP' site I was looking at were all writing about negative surgery experiences - and on here, ladies are righting about getting better! I just so hope I can do this. x

You really aren't sticking your belly are relaxing it, and pulling up the chest strongly. Not wanting to look like I was "all belly" was what kept me remembering to lift the chest. You can do it - it's quite a transformation when it clicks, but it takes most of us awhile for that moment. - Surviving

PS: Hope you read this!!

I have just read your link ....... thank you. I am really struggling with the belly thing - my son bless him asked if I was having another baby!! I look so big. I have always been a slim and wore fitted clothes. But I guess my bits need to go back to where they belong! Thank you x

Thank you for your answers. Have you stopped doing pelvic floor exercise all together and just follow the whole women posture? I have been trying to practice the whole women posture and it just seems weird, I'm not used to walk around with my belly sticking out. I also had a look at the links you guys posted and had a read on the whole women blog, and I'm surprised that the advice on pelvic floor exercises is contradictory to what every doctor and hospital says!

I can feel a pressure down there every now and than; however, it's not all the time and everyday. If the pressure is there, it doesn't feel that bad but obviously I don't want it to get worse.

Hi PS80 ......... I'm new too. I feel exactly like you do ............. as in how can every doctor and PT tell me and everyone to do pelvic floor exercises when the WW approach tells you that this is so dangerous for prolapse???? But what I do know is that my I only had symptoms and pain after a platies class, where I was instructed to 'suck and tuck' and lots of sit up and crunches!!!! .

My belly feels swollen and pregnant (I'm normally a size 10) so the thought of relaxing my belly in public or with people I know is hard to accept - but nor do I want my prolapse to get worse. "sigh"

Yes, it sounds like you are getting the picture. Doctors' recommendations for prolapse range from useless (kegels) to harmful (surgery). I personally kegeled for years and years, which obviously did not help or I would not be here. When Christine explained why, it all made perfect sense. If you feel for some reason that you want to continue doing them (many women can't give up their doctors or their kegels) then please do them on hands and knees, so that the organs will be resting forward in the belly, protected from being pulled in the direction of worse prolapse.

WW posture is natural posture. It is not something contrived or invented. Look at how children carry themselves. Or women who, for whatever reason, managed to escape that whole message about how we should suck in our bellies and try to look like men (or 10-year-old boys).

Don't stick your belly out. Relax it, and pull your chest up strongly. - Surviving