Pelvic Organ Prolapse - Topic Overview
prolapse occurs when a pelvic organ—such as your bladder—drops (prolapses) from
its normal place in your lower belly and pushes against the walls of your
vagina. This can happen when the muscles that hold your
pelvic organs in place get weak or stretched from childbirth or surgery.
Many women will have some kind of pelvic organ prolapse. It can
be uncomfortable or painful. But it isn't usually a big health problem. It
doesn't always get worse. And in some women, it can get better with time.
More than one pelvic organ can prolapse at the same time. Organs
that can be involved when you have pelvic prolapse include the:
prolapse is most often linked to strain during childbirth. Normally your pelvic
organs are kept in place by the muscles and tissues in your lower belly. During
childbirth these muscles can get weak or stretched. If they don't recover, they
can't support your pelvic organs.
You may also get pelvic organ
prolapse if you have surgery to remove your uterus (hysterectomy).
Removing the uterus can sometimes leave other organs in the pelvis with less
Pelvic organ prolapse can be made worse by anything that
puts pressure on your belly, such as:
- Being very overweight (obesity).
- A long-lasting cough.
- Frequent constipation.
- Pelvic organ tumors.
Older women are more likely to have pelvic organ
prolapse. It also tends to run in families.
Symptoms of pelvic organ
- Feeling pressure from pelvic organs pressing against the
vaginal wall. This is the most common symptom.
- Feeling very full in your lower belly.
- Feeling as if something is falling out of your vagina.
- Feeling a pull or stretch in your groin area or pain in your
- Releasing urine without meaning to (incontinence), or needing
to urinate a lot.
- Having pain in your vagina during sex.
- Having problems with your bowels, such as constipation.