Pelvic organ prolapse involve a dropping down prolapse of the bladder, urethra, small intestine, rectum, uterus, or vagina caused by weakness of or injury to the ligaments, connective tissue, and muscles of the pelvis. Women may feel pressure that feels as if something is bulging out of their vagina or they are sitting on a ball, have a sense of fullness in their pelvis, or have problems with urination or bowel movements. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs only in women and become more common as women age.
Pelvic organ prolapse POP occurs when the tissue and muscles of the pelvic floor no longer support the pelvic organs resulting in the drop prolapse of the pelvic organs from their normal position. The pelvic organs include the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, and rectum. The bladder is the most commonly involved organ in pelvic organ prolapse.
This weakening allows the uterus, urethra, bladder, or rectum to droop down into the vagina. If the pelvic floor muscles weaken enough, these organs can even protrude out of the vagina. If you do have symptoms, your symptoms will depend on the organ that is prolapsed.
If you have pelvic pain, getting a proper diagnosis is never as cut-and-dried as learning, say, that you have high blood pressure. But unlike in the past—where women had to swear off sex and tight jeans to avoid pain—today more doctors are equipped to help you figure out what's wrong so you can get relief. What doctors now know: Chronic pelvic pain is rarely due to just one problem. Even so, you still need to be your own educator and advocate.
Normally, supporting ligaments and other connective tissues hold your uterus in place inside your pelvic cavity. Weakening of these supportive structures allows the uterus to slip down into the vagina. As a result, the vagina also is pulled down and may turn inside out.
In vaginal prolapse the vagina stretches or expands to protrude on other organs and structures. The situation seldom involves the vagina alone. Supports for the uterus often stretch allowing it to also fall prolapse when a woman strains during a bowel movement.
The uterus, bladder, and rectum are all located around the vaginal canal. Because of the way these organs are arranged, it is possible for them to herniate or bulge into the vaginal canal when supportive tissues in the pelvic region become weak. Such bulges are called prolapses.
The uterus and the bladder are held in their normal positions just above the inside end of the vagina by a "hammock" made up of supportive muscles and ligaments. Wear and tear on these supportive structures in the pelvis can allow the bottom of the uterus, the floor of the bladder or both to sag through the muscle and ligament layers. When this occurs, the uterus or bladder can create a bulge into the vagina. In severe cases, it is possible for the sagging uterus or bladder to work its way down far enough that the bulge can appear at the vagina's opening or even protrude from the opening.
Make An Appointment. When vaginal prolapse occurs, an organ has dropped prolapsed out of its normal position and can sometimes even protrude from the vagina. The definition of pelvic organ prolapse is different depending on what anatomic structure in the pelvis is pushing into the vagina, such as the bladder, uterus or rectum. When vaginal vault prolapse occurs, the upper part apex of the vagina has dropped to a lower position.