Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse refers to the abnormal descent or ‘dropping’ of a pelvic organ such as the uterus (uterine prolapse), the vaginal wall attached to the bladder (cystocele), the vagina itself (vault prolapse) or the back wall of the vagina that is bordering the rectum (rectocele). 

Patients vary in the severity and type of discomfort that they sense relative to the extent of prolapse. Symptoms of prolapse may include pressure in the pelvis, pain or discomfort with intercourse, and in some cases, a protrusion or bulge through the vaginal opening. Symptoms of bladder prolapse may include incomplete emptying of the bladder, need to strain to urinate, pelvic pressure, and in many cases, incontinence of urine. Symptoms of prolapse of posterior vaginal wall are similar, with patients demonstrating pressure and pain with bowel movements, constipation, and the need to press on the vagina or nearby so as to evacuate the stools adequately. 

Prolapse is very common among all age groups but especially among the postmenopausal women who have experienced vaginal childbirth. The symptoms and protrusion associated with prolapse may be successfully corrected in many cases with conservative therapy, such as pessaries, or with surgical procedures. This depends on the patient’s desires and lifestyle and medical/surgical history. 

Treatment by our urogynecologists is tailored to each patient's situation and desires. Options are offered and discussed, and a plan of care set accordingly.  

Treatment options