Vaginal Prolapse

Vaginal prolapse is the inward and downward bulging of the vaginal walls. The severity of vaginal prolapse may be defined as:

  • Causes

    Vaginal prolapse is caused by weakened support structures in the pelvic region. The lack of support causes the walls of the vagina to weaken, sag, and collapse.

    Pelvic Floor Muscles and Organs
    Pelvic floor muscels
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  • Definition

    Vaginal prolapse is the inward and downward bulging of the vaginal walls.
    The severity of vaginal prolapse may be defined as:

    • First degree—collapse into the upper part of the vagina
    • Second degree—collapse further into the vaginal canal, down to the level of the vaginal opening
    • Third degree—collapse that extends beyond the opening

  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Vaginal prolapse that has no symptoms may be diagnosed during routine examinations. You may be referred to a gynecologist, who will do a pelvic exam.

  • Prevention

    To help prevent vaginal prolapse:


    • Do
      Kegel exercises
      .
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • To avoid constipation, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

    • If you smoke,
      talk to your doctor about ways to quit
      . Smoking may cause chronic coughing and weakening of connective tissues.
    • Limit heavy lifting.

  • Risk Factors

    Your risk of vaginal prolapse increases with age. Other factors include:


    • Multiple
      vaginal deliveries

    • Post-
      menopause
    • Obesity

    • Straining caused by chronic
      cough
      ,
      constipation
      , or heavy lifting
    • Family history

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Pelvic pressure
    • A feeling of vaginal fullness or heaviness
    • A feeling of pulling in the pelvis
    • Vaginal discomfort
    • Urinary urgency and frequency
    • Urination when laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising
    • Constipation
    • Difficult or painful intercourse
    • Low backache that is relieved with lying down

  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. First or second degree prolapse without symptoms may not require treatment. Treatment options include: