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.