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Old 07-13-2007, 09:08 PM   #1
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Hello to you all.
My girlfriend is 17 years old and is currently doing Crossfit. She is 158cm and 126lb. We always work out together, and as part of the Crossfit Total, she deadlifted 180lb.
While I want her to be strong and healthy, I also know that repeated heavy lifting is one of the causes of uterine prolapse.

"Uterine prolapse means your uterus has dropped from its position within the pelvis into your vagina. Normally, your uterus is held in place by the muscles and ligaments that make up your pelvic floor. Uterine prolapse results when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments weaken, providing inadequate support for the uterus. The uterus then descends into the vaginal canal."

A google search yields the following risk factors for this condition:
- One or more pregnancies and vaginal births
- Giving birth to a large baby
- Increasing age
- Frequent heavy lifting (!!!)
- Chronic coughing
- Frequent straining during bowel movements

How heavy is heavy? 180lb does seem like a fair bit (not by powerlifting standards obviously, but by regular health-oriented standards). Notice that I am not concerned about her getting bulky or any of that other nonsense, but am rather interested in how the lifting will affect the health of her intestines (not muscles). I know that women in powerlifting lift weights that are way beyond 180lb and look healthy, but it should be noted that their intestines may not be. This medical condition could influence a woman's child bearing. Also, women who started lifting heavy shortly before or even after they've had kids, are obviously not at risk (in the sense, that they do not care if it affects their child bearing abilities, but care about the discomfort). But for a girl who still has her whole life ahead of her, what would be the best thing to do?


Dimitri Dziabenko
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:31 PM   #2
Veronica Carpenter
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Dunno Dimitri. I'm 42yo, had 4 vaginal deliveries, gave birth to my largest at age 34. She was 8lbs 2oz. I'm 5'0" 110-115 non preggy weight. Been O-lifing 18yrs. Went back to training at 6wks post partum. My uterus is still where it should be. I believe that's what you meant - not intestines.

The best thing for you GF, or any young woman, to do is to exercise regularly in a way that she'll enjoy and stay consistant with. If she's otherwise in good physical health with no contraindicted conditions, and at least in the beginning, is coached by a qualified coach, I don't see why heavy weights would be harmful.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:46 PM   #3
George Mounce
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My guess is "frequent heavy lifting" probably means "frequent heavy lifting incorrectly."

Movements like deadlifting and squats are natural movements when done naturally, which means correctly.

I defer to the myriad of women here who can attest to no weakness from lifting correctly. In fact watch the women on the videos. I'm guessing they have some of the strongest pelvic floors around.

I see where you got your information, but you passed:

"Uterine prolapse most often affects postmenopausal women who've had one or more vaginal deliveries. Damage to supportive tissues incurred during pregnancy and childbirth plus the effects of gravity, loss of estrogen and repeated straining over the years can weaken pelvic floor muscles and lead to prolapse."

There is more at work here then just "frequent heavy lifting". You can strain incorrectly.

At 17 she has her entire life ahead of her to learn to lift correctly. That will not only help her in any future pregnancy but help her to be strong all around. I would also hope at 17 she isn't going through menopause or has a lack of estrogen.

w/f safe: 053.ece

This article says that Pilates can cause it.

Holy cow, so now women need to just sit around?

I am not a medical doctor, but like most information, it seems overly conservative and focusing on people who do not take physical fitness seriously, and go with the prescribed 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.

I personally would not have a pregnant woman deadlifting overly heavy things of course, until recovered from pregnancy and cleared by her OB/GYN to do so. A person who you could perhaps ask about her experience is Annie Sakamoto, a trainer at CrossFit Santa Cruz.

w/f safe:

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Old 07-13-2007, 11:02 PM   #4
Connie Morreale
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she will be fine.
let her explore her possibilities. with good form.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:03 AM   #5
Matt DeMinico
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I wouldn't worry about it dude, if you want, you can find a medical problem that will be caused by anything at all, drinking water, walking, sleeping, whatever... don't be a web hypochondriac, it does you no good.

There's some sort of exercise (basically an isometric contraction) called a kegel, they recommend most pregnant women do them in childbirth classes to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If she wants to add an extra measure of safety for lifting (plus make herself stronger for when she is carrying a baby someday), might as well have her do those now.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:15 PM   #6
Dimitri Dziabenko
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Thank you for your responses. This will definitely alleviate some of the pressure that both of us have been getting from our parents =)

Dimitri Dziabenko
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:25 PM   #7
Ken Mindoro
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The majority of patients with clinically significant prolapse will have at least two or more risk factors for the disorder, which cumulatively over time, contribute to worsening prolapse as a women ages. Purported risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse include multiparity, operative vaginal delivery, obesity, advanced age, estrogen deficiency, neurogenic dysfunction of the pelvic floor, connective tissue disorders, prior pelvic surgery with disruption of natural support, and chronically increased intraabdominal pressure (eg, from strenuous physical activity or coughing).

The studies I looked at that specifically addressed physical activity referred to women doing heavy physical labor while they were pregnant.
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