Pelvic organ prolapse involve a dropping down prolapse of the bladder, urethra, small intestine, rectum, uterus, or vagina caused by weakness of or injury to the ligaments, connective tissue, and muscles of the pelvis. Women may feel pressure that feels as if something is bulging out of their vagina or they are sitting on a ball, have a sense of fullness in their pelvis, or have problems with urination or bowel movements. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs only in women and become more common as women age.
A dropped or prolapsed bladder cystocele occurs when the bladder wall bulges into the vaginal space. It results when supporting muscles and tissues for the bladder give way. Anterior prolapse, also known as a cystocele SIS-toe-seeloccurs when the supportive tissue between a woman's bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina.
The pelvic organs include the vaginauterusbladderurethraand rectum. These organs are held in place by muscles of the pelvic floor. Layers of connective tissue also give support.
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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.
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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.
As you age, your organs can shift positions. Pregnancy, childbirth or extra weight can stretch and weaken muscles that support your pelvic organs. A sheet of muscles and ligaments called the pelvic floor supports the uterus, small bowel, colon and bladder.
A cystocelealso known as a prolapsed bladderis a medical condition in which a woman's bladder bulges into her vagina. Causes include childbirthconstipationchronic coughheavy lifting, hysterectomygeneticsand being overweight. If the cystocele causes few symptoms, avoiding heavy lifting or straining may be all that is recommended. A bladder that has dropped from its normal position and into the vagina can cause some forms of incontinence and incomplete emptying of the bladder.