Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Your pelvic organs include your bladder, uterus (womb) and rectum. These organs are held in place by strong tissues(fascia) and ligaments. The fascia and ligaments hold your pelvic organs inside the pelvis along with help from the pelvic floor muscles.
The fascia and ligaments may stretch over time or may tear as a result of childbirth. The pelvic floor muscles can compensate for this stretching or tearing but if they become weak then the pelvic organs may not be held in their correct place and will bulge into the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse is the term used to describe any bulge although it may be divided further into cystocele (bladder prolapse), rectocele (rectal prolapse) or uterine prolapse.
Female pelvic organ prolapse is a common occurrence. It won’t go away by itself but there is help available. An early prolapse may be unnoticeable but as it becomes larger you may notice symptoms such as:
Causes of Prolapse
The main cause of prolapse is pregnancy and vaginal birth although other common causes include chronic coughing, heavy lifting and constipation. Prolapse may also run in the family. It is more likely to occur after menopause or if you are overweight, but it can happen to young women, particularly if they have recently had a baby.