Navigating Menopause and Pelvic Organ Prolapse: Understanding, Managing, and Thriving

By Dr. Christine Martirez PT, DPT on 3/13/2024

older adults

Menopause marks a significant transition in a woman's life, characterized by hormonal changes and shifts in pelvic health. Pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where pelvic organs descend into the vaginal canal, becomes more prevalent during this stage. In this blog post, we'll explore the relationship between menopause and pelvic organ prolapse, delve into the different types of prolapse, discuss hormonal changes during menopause, and highlight the role of pelvic floor physical therapy in managing and mitigating symptoms.

Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse

  • Types of Prolapse:

    Pelvic organ prolapse encompasses various types, including:

    • Cystocele (bladder prolapse)

    • Rectocele (rectum prolapse)

    • Uterine prolapse

    • Enterocele (small bowel prolapse)

    • Vaginal vault prolapse (after hysterectomy)

  • Causes and Risk Factors:

    Prolapse can occur due to weakened pelvic floor muscles and connective tissues, often exacerbated by factors such as childbirth, obesity, chronic coughing, and aging.

Menopause and Hormonal Changes

  • Estrogen Decline:

    During menopause, estrogen levels decline, leading to changes in the pelvic tissues. Estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and elasticity of the pelvic floor muscles and supporting connective tissues.

  • Impact on Tissue Integrity:

    Reduced estrogen levels can result in decreased collagen production and changes in tissue integrity, contributing to pelvic floor weakness and increased susceptibility to prolapse.

The Role of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

  • Comprehensive Assessment:

    Pelvic floor physical therapists conduct comprehensive assessments to evaluate pelvic floor strength, muscle tone, and the severity of prolapse. This includes a thorough examination of pelvic organ positioning and function.

  • Individualized Treatment Plans:

    Treatment plans are tailored to address the specific needs and goals of each individual. Therapists incorporate a combination of techniques, including pelvic floor exercises, manual therapy, and biofeedback.

  • Pelvic Floor Strengthening:

    Strengthening exercises target the pelvic floor muscles to improve tone and support. These exercises help individuals regain control and stability in the pelvic and surrounding regions, reducing the severity of prolapse symptoms.

  • Education and Lifestyle Modifications:

    Pelvic floor physical therapy includes education on lifestyle modifications to minimize factors that contribute to prolapse, such as heavy lifting, straining during bowel movements, and maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Postural Alignment:

    Therapists address postural alignment to optimize pelvic floor function and support. Proper alignment reduces pressure on the pelvic organs and can alleviate symptoms of prolapse.

Empowering Women Through Education

  • Understanding Menopause and Pelvic Health:

    Education is key to empowering women to understand the changes that occur during menopause and their impact on pelvic health. By raising awareness, women can take proactive steps to manage symptoms and seek appropriate care.

  • Navigating Treatment Options:

    Pelvic floor physical therapy offers a non-invasive and effective approach to managing pelvic organ prolapse. By exploring treatment options and collaborating with healthcare providers, women can make informed decisions about their care.

Embracing Pelvic Health During Menopause

Menopause brings about significant changes in a woman's body, including shifts in pelvic health and an increased risk of pelvic organ prolapse. However, with proactive management and the support of pelvic floor physical therapy, women can navigate this transition with confidence and vitality. By understanding the impact of hormonal changes, embracing pelvic floor strengthening exercises, and seeking professional guidance, women can reclaim control over their pelvic health and thrive during the menopausal years. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, consider consulting with a pelvic floor physical therapist to embark on a journey towards optimal pelvic health and well-being.

If you’re going through menopause, please reach out to us at Pelvic Health Center in Madison, NJ to set up an evaluation and treatment! Feel free to call us at 908-443-9880 or email us at

Read More: