Some women with a pelvic organ prolapse don't have any symptoms and the condition is only discovered during an internal examination for another reason, such as a cervical screening. See your GP if you have any of the symptoms of a prolapse, or if you notice a lump in or around your vagina. Your doctor will need to carry out an internal pelvic examination.
Vaginal vault prolapse occurs when the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags or drops down into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina. It may occur alone or along with prolapse of the bladder cystoceleurethra urethrocelerectum rectoceleor small bowel enterocele. Vaginal vault prolapse is usually caused by weakness of the pelvic and vaginal tissues and muscles.
The uterus and the bladder are held in their normal positions just above the inside end of the vagina by a "hammock" made up of supportive muscles and ligaments. Wear and tear on these supportive structures in the pelvis can allow the bottom of the uterus, the floor of the bladder or both to sag through the muscle and ligament layers. When this occurs, the uterus or bladder can create a bulge into the vagina.
Vaginal prolapse is a common condition where the bladder, uterus and or bowel protrudes into the vagina. This can cause symptoms such as a sensation of a vaginal lump, constipation, difficulty emptying the bowel or bladder or problems with sexual intercourse. Treatment is only recommended when the prolapse is symptomatic.
This weakening allows the uterus, urethra, bladder, or rectum to droop down into the vagina. If the pelvic floor muscles weaken enough, these organs can even protrude out of the vagina. If you do have symptoms, your symptoms will depend on the organ that is prolapsed.
Back to Health A to Z. Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. A prolapse isn't life-threatening, but it can cause pain and discomfort.
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The biggest cause of prolapse is pregnancy and birth, though a number of other factors such as family history, lifestyle and certain medical conditions can also cause prolapse. Treatment can vary from simple lifestyle changes to surgery. The biggest cause of prolapse is pregnancy and birth — almost one in two or 50 per cent of women who have been pregnant will have some kind of prolapse. Your pelvic floor is weakened during pregnancy by extra weight and hormone changes and then again when you give birth — particularly if you had more than one baby, your baby was big or you had to push for a longer time than usual.
One of the most uncomfortable—and awkward—conditions that afflicts women is pelvic organ prolapse. Normally, the pelvic organs—the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum—are supported and held in place by a group of muscles and tissues called the pelvic floor. When these muscles weaken over time, the pelvic organs can droop down and bulge out of the vagina.
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