Uterine and bladder prolapse means the uterus and/or bladder have dropped from the pelvis into the vagina. This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments weaken and no longer provide adequate support for the uterus or bladder. When this happens, they move down into the vaginal canal.
Post-menopausal women who have had at least one vaginal delivery are most often affected by uterine prolapse. Damage to supportive tissues during pregnancy and childbirth along with gravity, loss of estrogen and repeated straining can weaken pelvic floor muscles.
Indications of uterine prolapse include:
- Feeling of heaviness in the pelvis
- Low back pain
- Pain during intercourse
- A protrusion from the vagina
- Urinary incontinence or retention (Bladder Prolapse)
- Frequent urinary tract infections (Bladder Prolapse)
This condition cannot be treated with medication, but lifestyle changes such as losing weight, stopping smoking and biofeedback techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor can help.
Other possible treatments include:
- Vaginal pessary (a ring inserted into the vagina to help hold it in place)
- Severe cases may require vaginal repair surgery