Female Pelvic Prolapse

A condition in which the vagina and surrounding organs fall from their normal position. There are several types of prolapse.

  • Cystocele (prolapse of the bladder) occurs when the front wall of the vagina weakens and allows the bladder to droop, causing a bulge. Cystocele often causes stress incontinence (urine leakage) when doing such things as sneezing, coughing or laughing.
  • Rectocele (prolapse of the front wall of the rectum into the vagina) causes a bulge in the vagina which may be more noticeable during bowel movements.
  • Enterocele, also known as vaginal vault prolapse, happens when the intestines press down on the top of the vagina, causing it to fall toward the vaginal opening. This sometimes happens after a hysterectomy, because the uterus provides support to the top of the vagina. Enterocele often causes urinary incontinence.
  • Uterine prolapse occurs when the ligaments that hold the uterus in place weaken, allowing the uterus to slide into the vaginal canal. This may happen after a complicated labor or the delivery of a very large baby. Uterine prolapse sometimes happens in post-menopausal women, because reduced estrogen levels can cause these muscles to weaken. In proccidentia, the severest form of uterine prolapse, the entire uterus protrudes past the vaginal opening.