Getting worse


Hello Friends,
After several months of doing the exercises (3-4 X/week) from the streaming video “First Aid for Prolapse”, going for long Fibonacci walks (3-4 X/week), and discontinuing oblique postures/exercises in my yoga and weight lifting (2X/week), my POP is worse. It’s always hanging out now, even in the mornings.
The Fibonacci walks seem to be OK, but maybe my around-the-house/town posture is not what it should be? When at home (I live alone) I tend to walk around holding myself in with my hand. I do the elbows and knees position frequently, which helps things move into place, but they pretty much go back after standing up.
My big question is about having to bend over countless times a day to do minor things, like picking up a pencil from the floor, working in the kitchen (such as oven work, cleaning, getting things out of low cupboards, etc.) and at the sink, etc., etc. I saw the videos on vacuuming and picking up something heavy from the floor, but what about the numerous minor bendings, like plugging in the vacuum, moving things out of the way, etc. How does one do these many minor things without aggravating POP?
I’m single, 70 y.o., but in fairly good shape, having exercised my whole life. I eat a whole-foods, vegan diet and am not overweight. I drink herbal teas, including red clover and raspberry leaf. Occasionally there are sharp, fleeting pains down there. Feeling discouraged and frightened. (I would gladly attend a conference or do a conference call but barely have enough income for survival itself.)
Thank you for any feedback.

Hi Blue_Sky,

Well, this is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it? Unlike the postpartum mommy whose connective tissue quickly springs back into shape, you’re going to have to work slowly and diligently, all the while letting go of fear. Cystocele is nothing to worry about and can only get so bad in a woman who has her uterus.

If you are walking around clutching yourself, you are certainly not in WW Posture. Why don’t you consider ordering a small sea sponge from to see if the cystocele can be lifted just a little bit forward - enough to relieve your symptoms so you can work more comfortably on the posture.

No doubt you have significant spinal stenosis - flattened lumbar curvature and hump in your upper spine. Generally speaking, our bones are capable of re-modeling throughout our entire lifespan. Have you ever seen (I think on facebook) those photos of the 90-something-year-old hunchback woman who went from being completely bent over to standing perfectly straight? You are seventy-years-young and should expect no less! Actually, when I saw those photos I wished she had been helped into WW Posture!

Every time you need to bend forward at your hips, consider it an opportunity to keep your toes pointed straight ahead, knees straight, lift your tailbone, and tuck your chin while pulling your head away from your shoulders (one long line from crown of head to tailbone). Bending forward can be the same as elbows and knees, if you can stretch your spine into the bend.

Sit on a firm surface as often as possible and take the opportunity to push your bladder forward with every in-breath (pelvic rocks).

Be very careful when doing any repetitive standing exercise. If your spine is seriously misshapen, the best exercise you can do is brisk toe-first walking in WW Posture while paying close attention to fully counter-rotating your shoulders. This means when you step out on your right foot, your left arm/hand swings forward. Our bipedal gait is the major mechanism we have to pull our musculoskeleton into anatomic alignment. Your body is actually very pliable - think of using all aspects of WW walking to pull your spine into shape like a piece of taffy.

There is no surgical cure for this. There is also no reason to be frightened. Self-care takes courage, persistence, and the understanding that there is no quick fix. You will always be dealing with some level of bulge, but I would be surprised if in a year from now you were bothered by it much at all.

Be brave woman!


Blue_Sky, I wonder if you can elaborate on Fibonacci walks? I Googled this a little and Fibonacci seems to be a mathematical concept more or less the same as the Golden Proportion that Christine often talks about (here are a couple of blog posts):

But I don't understand the walk part. Are you walking around in a certain pattern, or in a certain posture, or are you walking around counting things that add up to certain numbers, or what? I thought the internet would quickly answer these questions for me, but it's still not clear. I only ask for the purpose of helping to determine if this activity is overall good or bad for prolapse management. I've always found that the best posture walks are those where I am extremely mindful of all aspects of my posture throughout. Certain things help, other things distract.

A relaxed belly and lifted chest, and remembering to breathe in and out of the midriff (not the chest) are so important. As is visualization of the organs resting in the lower belly, pinned over the pubic bones. In your WW study, have you mastered firebreathing? I've read through your past posts but it's really hard to tell to what extent you are employing all the tools. - Surviving

Thank you so much Christine for your very helpful and encouraging reply. Lol - "If you are walking around clutching yourself, you are certainly not in WW Posture." I was wondering about that! And you seem to have it right about my spine - have not heard of stenosis. A brief search showed that the "treatment" is surgery, which sounds dubious, like the pelvic surgery. But exercises are also shown for it. What do you think of those? I'm so glad that there is hope, and things to do to help at this point. Wonderful information you have given me. Thank you!

Hi Surviving60,
I have labeled the walking that Christine describes and shows in diagrams as "Fibonacci walks", since the Golden proportion is used for body alignment, I think? Forgive me for conflating the two. The Golden mean is similar to the Fibonacci numbers, but perhaps it would be more accurate to call them Golden Walks! No, I don't count things when walking :) , other than the recommended breathing: 3 in, 5 out. I am hoping that I do the fire breathing correctly - it is included in the First Aid for Prolapse exercises. Thank you for your reply and information!

Hi Christine, One more thing, about the sea sponge: back when I was seeing the Dr., it was found that a pessary would not stay in place - just comes right out. Would a sea sponge work better? Thank you.

There is no surgical cure for spinal stenosis that wouldn't leave your spine filled with mobility-limiting scar-tissue. Stenosis happens on a spectrum, and we need to work our whole life to keep our spine flexible. I don't know what exercises you mean, but keep in mind that all WW exercise strengthens and increases spinal flexibility. We just need to keep working at it day by day. I've been sitting on the floor in front of my computer for nine months straight creating the new Joy of Menopause program. I have lost spinal flexibility, which I'm working each day to restore. Our bones are not solid, but are much more pliable than we generally know. WW breathing is primary - make sure you are breathing into your midriff, shoulders down, etc. :-)

It's impossible for me to know. Sponges and pessaries generally work best for women with primary cystocele. It may be worth the small investment just to try. You might be able to find them at your local health food store.

I read about sea sponges but I don't understand how they are used.

Hi Bluesky - just wanted to say hang in there... sometimes things get a bit worse before they get better.

I thought I'd chime in as far as your question on picking things up, cleaning, putting things into the oven etc. you can search the forums and there are countless threads on every one of those things. I think the key, like christine said, is to always hinge at the hips and keep your back long through your neck.
I'm pretty tall (5'10, 5'11) so i find a lot of daily activities require bending over.... brushing teeth, wiping counters, etc
I actually stand with feet apart, toes pointed outward, and i hinge at the hips. I bend my knees a bit but mostly I've been trying to keep them straight and I've gotten way lower than when I first started.
So for example, brushing my teeth or especially the kids teeth, I stand like described, feet apart, hinging at the waist, standing far back so I can stretch a long line from tailbone to neck. I picture my organs falling forward into my belly. I do this for every time I bend over - but i have to slow down and remember and focus.... especially for short quick bends like plugging in a vacuum.
for things like scrubbing the toilet or vacuuming - especially rugs - I get on my knees and try to maintain posture from the knees up.
For washing dishes or wiping the kitchen counters, I stand with feet very far apart so that it lowers me a bit so I dont have to bend forward - and whenever i do bend forward, I try to lift my chest as far as possible away from my hips and never round my back.
Same with moving clothes from the washer to the dryer - legs far apart and turned out, bent at the hips and then I twist from washer to dryer without lifting out of my bend. Looks pretty ridiculous but it works for me.
hope some of these were helpful and I hope you find some relief soon :)

Thank you for these tips! Love it, so helpful.

OK, thank you!

Very interesting. And so helpful, thank you!