I like to think of the analogy of heading out for a road trip, where knowing your risk factors is kind of like knowing what the road conditions are. If the roads are clear and dry, your risk of crashing is less than if it’s raining, foggy or icy, but there’s no guarantee. We might want to know the road conditions so that we can control what we can to help manage our risk (for instance, adjusting our speed, our level of attention to the road, maybe threw some winter tires on, or in some situations maybe even choosing to delay our trip), but we shouldn’t stay home every day because we are scared of crashing.

In the world of pelvic health, it appears that pelvic floor measurements are like the road conditions – they help us assess your relative risk for pelvic organ prolapse. Having a favourable gh+pb (<7cm) and great pelvic floor muscle function indicates that the roads are dry, but it doesn’t mean you are invincible. Just like HOW you drive matters, HOW you exercise matters! The road conditions are just ONE factor of MANY that will determine whether you end up in the ditch or not.

Just as you might want to check the road report before heading out on a roadtrip, you might consider getting a pelvic health check so that you can best manage your risk. The truth is, we don’t have all of the answers. We can never say that we can prevent POP, just as we could never say we can 100% prevent car crashes. But there are certainly things we can do to keep you safer on the road.

Maybe you want good brakes, grippy tires, and traction control in your car (improve your pelvic floor strength and coordination)… Maybe you will control how fast you drive and how you take your corners (manage how you exercise, your strategies and the loads/intensity that you use)… Maybe you will keep your eyes on the road (self monitor for signs and symptoms)… Maybe you will even put on some winter tires (use a pessary)… But you should still get out there and drive. Because out there…that’s where life happens. And I want you to live the fullest life imaginable, harnessed with knowledge that empowers you.

– Teresa Waser @rxphysio

Originally published April 30, 2019 at Teresa Waser – RX Physio (@rxphysio) • Instagram photos and videos

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