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How to live with a rectocele – 5 things that helped Janine thrive

Woman in shorts and a top jumping into the air with joy because she has learnt how to live with a rectocele
Woman in shorts and a top jumping into the air with joy because she has learnt how to live with a rectocele

This is Janine’s inspiring story learning how to live with a rectocele and thrive. Regaining confidence in her body and its ability to support her in daily life and exercise.

For those of you reading this with no idea what a rectocele is let alone how to live with a rectocele, Let me shed some light.

A rectocele is where the rectal wall shifts into the vagina, sometimes creating a bulge in the vagina opening or perineum.

It can feel like a tampon falling out and can be difficult to evacuate the bowels.

Below are the 5 postural and exercise components that worked for Janine but the role of

good sleep, stress reduction, nutritional and hydration also cannot be overstated.

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Lady wearing a red top doing core exercises in a 1-2-1 session with Jennie Walbank- Demonstrating the importance of core exercises when learning how to live with a rectocele

1. How to live with a rectocele – Core strength matters

To begin with, Janine couldn’t find any connection with her core muscles. Finding this coordination is the first thing I work on with a prolapse client. With that switch flipped, she can train her pelvic floor via her core activation.

Daily activities like loading the dishwasher or carrying the shopping now become opportunities to provide a pelvic floor lift.

A hand squeezing a yellow stress ball as an analagy of squeezing the pelvic floor muscles

2. How to live with a rectocele – The pelvic floor



When Janine came to me she had been doing Kegels and they had indeed led to a stronger pelvic floor. This however wasn’t making a difference in her prolapse symptoms. If she needed to lift anything, her strategy was to suck everything up as hard as she could.

By teaching Janine to train the core to support her and trust that the pelvic floor will come along for the ride Janine was able to work towards more fluid, reflexive and responsive support from her pelvic floor.

Because Janine had gotten into the habit of always engaging the pelvic floor there was a degree of two steps forward, one step back as she learned to stop tensing her pelvic floor all the time. 


This was a gradual process…

Janine was anxious that her prolapse would get worse if she wasn’t holding everything in.

Eventually though, she ditched the Kegels altogether. Trusting that by carrying her body in a way that supported pelvic floor function she was supporting long term healing.

On the occasions when she would get a flare-up of symptoms (the one step back) she could make that mental connection. She was gripping and tensing the pelvic floor due to old habits or a period of stress in her life.

lack and white transparent image of a ladies torso showing the ribcage to illustrate how tacking tension in the ribcage is an important component when learning to live with a rectocele

3. How to live with a rectocele – Tackling everything up top


Janine was extremely restricted in her ribcage. She had a rounded back/ forward head posture and rounded shoulders. As such, every breath she was taking was putting excessive pressure down onto the pelvic floor due to the restrictions up top. Even when talking she was pushing down onto the pelvic floor.

The more space I could help Janine find up top the less pressure was going down and hence fewer symptoms she would experience. 

Image of a woman doing cat pose to demonstrate the importance of spinal mobility when learning how to live with a rectocele

4. How to live with a rectocele – Spinal mobility


I regularly had Janine working on spinal mobility because it is really difficult for the core and pelvic floor muscles to be supportive in a reflexive way when the spine is stiff and immobile.

It took around two weeks of daily practice in conjunction with her core engagement re-coordination exercises to make changes in what she was feeling. By having a greater connection with her core, she was frequently creating a lift in her pelvic floor which is a big factor in how to live with a rectocele.

Ladies bare feet in front of a pink and white background demonstrating the role the feet play when learning how to live with a rectocele

5. How to live with a rectocele – Feet up


Due to repeated ankle sprains, a leg length discrepancy, injury plus years of desk jobs meant imbalances had crept into how Janine stood, sat and walked. These imbalances were translating into the leg muscles and up into the pelvic floor. An uneven pull such as this can definitely change our lived-in experience of having a prolapse.

Summary

So there you have it, the 5 things that Janine worked on to feel supported by her pelvic floor once more and how to live with a rectocele. 


 Addressing the core engagement strategy to ensure excess pressure isn’t being created. Relaxing the pelvic floor, finding freedom in the ribcage and spine while addressing muscle imbalances in the hips and legs.

Rectocele aside, learning to pick things up and carry heavy objects well is a pretty good idea for all human beings. Developing a core and pelvic floor that kicks in and supports us in the background is a goal that I work towards with all my clients.

How you can work with me

If you too would like to take a holistic approach to address your symptoms like Janine did and discover not only how to live with a rectocele but thrive…. drop me a message. I would love to work with you either in person or online.