Pelvic organ prolapse is usually caused
by damage to the tissues (muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue) that
support the pelvic organs. Damage or stretching of these tissues allows the
organs to move out of their normal positions. This causes them to press against
(and sometimes move) the inside walls of the vagina.
Having a baby
makes it more likely that you will have pelvic organ prolapse later. Vaginal
childbirth has been strongly linked to weakened and stretched support
structures in the pelvic area. This loss of support is the biggest cause of
pelvic organ prolapse. Having a cesarean section, on the other hand, seems to
be less strongly linked to pelvic organ prolapse.1
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Another cause of
reduced support in the pelvis is lower levels of the hormone
estrogen. Estrogen levels are lower during and after
menopause. The lower levels of estrogen in the body
collagen, a protein that helps the pelvic connective
tissues stretch and return to their normal positions.
prolapse can also occur after surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) for another health problem, such as
endometriosis. Removal of the uterus can sometimes
leave the other organs in the pelvic area with less support.
conditions that may cause pelvic organ prolapse include:
Obesity, which can lead to long-term pressure within
Smoking and/or lung disorders, which are often causes of chronic
Conditions affecting the spinal cord, such as
multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury, that cause
paralysis of the muscles of the pelvic floor.