Counties Manukau Health Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Uterine or Bladder Prolapse
If the uterus (womb) or bladder slips out of position, this is referred to as a prolapse. It is caused when the supporting muscles become weak, allowing a part of the uterus or bladder to bulge into the vagina.
The most common reason that these muscles become weak is childbirth, and a uterine prolapse or bladder prolapse (also called cystocoele) is more common in women who have had a lot of babies. Symptoms include pain, heaviness in the vaginal area and a frequent need to pass urine.
In mild cases, exercises may help improve the symptoms, but women with more severe prolapses may need to have surgery. It is important that factors such as being overweight, smoking and having a chronic cough are reduced before surgery is considered otherwise the surgery is unlikely to have long term success.
Pelvic examination should be performed to exclude lumps in the pelvis that may be causing the prolapse by pushing the structures into the vagina.