Uterine prolapse occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor are stretched and weakened, so they fail to provide adequate support for the uterus. As a result, the uterus slips into the vagina or protrudes from it.
Uterine prolapse can affect women of any age. However, it usually affects postmenopausal women who had one or more vaginal births.
In general, mild uterine prolapse does not require treatment. However, if it makes you feel uncomfortable or interferes with your normal life, the treatment may help.
Anterior prolapse, also known as “cystocele,” occurs when the supporting tissue between the bladder and the vaginal wall of a woman weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to protrude into the vagina. The anterior prolapse is also called “prolapsed bladder.”
Distending the muscles that hold the pelvic organs can cause anterior prolapse. Such distensions occur during vaginal delivery or chronic constipation, heavy coughing or heavy lifting. Previous prolapse also tends to cause problems after menopause, when estrogen levels decrease.
Prolapse of the small intestine, also called an “enterocele,” occurs when the small intestine descends into the lower pelvic cavity, pushes the upper part of the vagina, and a lump forms. The word “prolapse” means sliding or leaving the place.
Childbirth, age, and other processes that put pressure on the pelvic floor can weaken the muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic organs, and this increases the likelihood of a small bowel prolapse.
Prolapse of the posterior vaginal wall occurs when the thin wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina becomes weak, causing the vaginal wall to protrude. Posterior vaginal prolapse is also called “rectocele.”
Labor and other processes that put pressure on the pelvic tissues can cause posterior vaginal prolapse. It is possible that a mild prolapse does not cause signs or symptoms.