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Home : Specialty Care : WomanCare Clinic : Pelvic Prolapse

Pelvic Prolapse

WomanCare Clinic

Meriter WomanCare Clinic
20 S. Park Street, Suite 450
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 417-5433 or 1-888-409-3852

UW Health - OB/GYN
20 S. Park Street, Suite 307
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 287-2830

Definition

        
Pelvic prolapse occurs when the tissues that support the pelvic organs are damaged. The organs that they support prolapse down and press against the wall of the vagina.

Alternative Names

  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Cystocele (bladder)
  • Anterior Wall Prolapse (bladder)
  • Vaginal Vault Prolapse (vagina and small intestine)
  • Rectocele (rectum)
  • Posterior Wall Prolapse (rectum)
  • Uterine Prolapse (uterus)

Symptoms

  • Feeling of pelvic heaviness, fullness, or pressure
  • Feeling as though something is falling into the vagina
  • Sense that a "ball" or "lump" is protruding from the vagina  
  • Pain/problems having sexual intercourse
  • Pulling or aching feeling in the lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Pain or pressure in your low back
  • Leakage of urine during sudden movements (jumping, coughing, laughing)
  • Problems passing urine or having a bowel movement

If you suspect that you may have a prolapse problem, see your health care provider. A simple pelvic examination will diagnose your problem.

Commonly Associated With:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Genetics
  • Menopause
  • Previous Surgery
  • Obesity

What is Pelvic Prolapse?

         
The pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum, and intestines) are supported by muscles, ligaments and tissue. The ligaments and tissue may be damaged and not able to support these organs. This can allow the pelvic organs to sag or even stick out through the opening of the vagina in the most severe cases.

The main types of pelvic support problems include:

  • Cystocele: When the bladder drops into your vagina.
  • Enterocele: When your small intestine drops into your vagina.
  • Rectocele: When your rectum bulges into the vaginal wall.
  • Uterine prolapse: When your uterus drops into your vagina.
  • Vaginal prolapse: When the top part of the vagina begins to droop (usually after a hysterectomy).

Treatment

       
Nonsurgical Treatment:

  • Wearing a pessary device to support the prolapsed organ or organs
  • Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Changes in diet
  • Medicine to soften stool
  • Weight loss
  • Avoiding strenuous exercise
  • Physical Therapy

Surgical Treatment:

  • In more severe prolapse, surgery may be needed to put the organs back into their proper place.