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Currently we don’t know what causes the prolapse, but it is probably caused by a combination of things. Because there are likely multiple causes, there is no single way to prevent these problems.

A woman cannot change her genetic risk, which influences the strength of her connective tissue, however, women can make lifestyle choices to help reduce their risk of developing POP.

Pelvic Muscle Exercises

Pelvic muscle exercises (Kegels) strengthen or retrain the nerves and muscles of the pelvic floor. Regular daily exercising of the pelvic muscles can be helpful. Although pelvic floor exercises may not correct the prolapse, they may help control symptoms and limit the worsening of prolapse.

Set a goal to do 4 to 8 sets of 10 squeezes over the course of each day—in several weeks you’ll start to notice a difference.


To decrease your risk, try to avoid activities that increase pressure inside the abdomen and on the pelvic floor. 



Maintain a Normal Weight

  • Overweight women are at a significantly increased risk of developing prolapse.


  • Smoking increases your risk of POP.
  • If you smoke, quit.

Choose High Fiber and Drink Plenty of Fluids

  • A diet with plenty of fiber and fluids helps to maintain regular bowel function.
  • Constipation increases your risk for POP.

Strain During Bowel Movements

  • Chronic straining and constipation increase your chance of developing prolapse.
  • This is especially true for posterior vaginal wall prolapse.

Exercise Your Body and Pelvic Muscles

  • Physical activity helps maintain normal weight, as well as regular good bowel function.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels) improve the strength of the pelvic floor and limit the likelihood of developing prolapse.
  • Strong muscles are important for general health, especially as you age.


Get Your Health Checked

  • Chronic cough increases abdominal and pelvic pressure—see a doctor to discuss treatment options.
  • Persistent constipation also requires further evaluation and treatment.