What is vaginal prolapse and what do I need to know about vaginal prolapse?

 What is vaginal prolapse and what do I need to know about vaginal prolapse?

When a woman's pelvic floor muscles, tissues, and ligaments weaken and stretch, vaginal prolapse occurs. Organs may slip out of their natural position as a result of this. When the top of the vagina — also known as the vaginal vault — sags and collapses into the vaginal canal, it is referred to as vaginal prolapse. The vagina can protrude outside of the body in severe cases.

Prolapses can be small (with only a little movement) or large (with a lot of movement). An incomplete prolapse is a minor prolapse. A larger prolapse (sometimes known as a complete prolapse) occurs when the organ has moved significantly from its natural position. A complete prolapse might cause a portion of the organ to protrude from the body. This is a extremely serious prolapse.

Causes of vaginal prolapse

Vaginal prolapse is caused by a variety of factors. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to suffer vaginal prolapse if they:

  • Vaginally delivered babies, especially repeat deliveries

  • Nearing or going through menopause?

  • Certain lifestyle factors, such as being overweight, are present.

  • Were born with a rare disease like bladder exstrophy

As one ages, the chances of developing a prolapse increase as well. Women who have had multiple pregnancies with vaginal births, are more prone to have a vaginal prolapse later in life.

  1. Childbirth: Compared to a caesarean section, vaginal birth increases the chance of prolapse (when the baby is delivered through a surgical opening in the wall of the abdomen). It’s also suggested that having more children, as well as having a large baby (weighing more than 9 pounds), increases the risk of prolapse.

  2. Surgery: A prolapse can be caused by a procedure such as a hysterectomy or radiation treatment in the pelvic area.

  3. Menopause: The ovaries stop releasing hormones that control the monthly menstruation cycle when one reaches menopause. Estrogen is particularly significant since it helps to maintain the strength of the pelvic muscles. When the body does not produce as much oestrogen as it used to, the pelvic muscles can become weak, resulting in a prolapse.

  4. Aging: Women are more likely to get a prolapse as they become older.

  5. Extreme physical activity or carrying heavy objects: Excessive physical activity can weaken the pelvic muscles, causing the organs to sag out of place.

  6. Genetics: It’s possible that the pelvic support system is naturally weaker than average. This is something one can inherit through their family.

  7. Prolapse can also be caused by activities or situations that put extra pressure on your abdominal area. These can include the following:

  • Being overweight.

  • Straining bowels to get a bowel movement.

  • Suffering from a chronic cough (such as in smokers or people with asthma).

Prevalence of vaginal prolapse

Vaginal prolapse is a rather common occurrence. Prolapse affects about one-third of all women at some point in their lives. Your chances of getting vaginal prolapse increase if you have more than one risk factor.

Signs and Symptoms of vaginal prolapse

  • Pressure in the Vaginal Canal

Women with vaginal prolapse frequently experience pressure in the vaginal area, which they describe as a throbbing discomfort. Women also state:

  1. Fullness in the vaginal canal (such as the feeling that something is stuck in the vagina)

  2. She has the impression that something is leaking from her vaginal opening.

  • Additional Symptoms of Vaginal Prolapse

All of the pelvic organs are supported by one another. When one organ prolapses, it might have an impact on the function of other organs nearby. As a result, some women may encounter:

  1. Changes in bowel function, such as having trouble passing stool.

  2. Bladder dysfunction, such is the inability to empty the bladder.

  3. Secondary prolapses, such as rectocele prolapse (sagging of the connective tissue between the vagina and the rectum) or cystocele prolapse (sagging of the connective tissue between the vagina and the rectum), are common.

  4. There is pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.

  5. Tampons are difficult to use.

Diagnosis of vaginal prolapse

The doctor will go over your medical and surgical history as well as perform a physical examination. Ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are only used in rare cases. Urodynamics testing, a collection of tests that measure bladder function, may be suggested in specific instances.

Treatment of vaginal prolapse

The severity of the symptoms determines the treatment for vaginal prolapse. In many cases, there will be no need for treatment. A physician may suggest pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles in mild cases. A doctor may insert a vaginal pessary to strengthen the vaginal wall in moderate cases. Surgery, such as colposuspension, a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which the vaginal wall is attached to a stable ligament in the pelvis, may be beneficial in the most severe cases.

It’s critical to have an open and honest discussion about these issues with your healthcare professional. Some treatment choices may prevent you from becoming pregnant or having sexual relations.

Non-surgical treatments are usually used as a first line of defence and are most effective with minor prolapses. There are a variety of non-surgical therapy methods available, including:

  • Exercise: Kegel exercises are workouts that strengthen the muscles in the pelvic. Tighten the pelvic muscles as if you’re trying to hold back urine to execute these exercises. Hold the muscles in place for a few seconds before releasing them. This should be done ten times. One can do this up to four times each day, and it can be done anywhere.

  • Vaginal pessary: A pessary is a device that is put into your vagina and looks like a little plastic or rubber doughnut. It serves as a support structure, allowing items to stay in place. Your healthcare professional will fit and place a pessary for you. You’ll have to clean it periodically and take it off before you have sex.

Surgery is a therapy option for more severe cases. These are some of the possibilities:

  • Vaginal vault suspension:  The vagina is attached to the ligaments that used to hold it up inside the pelvis during this treatment. The procedure is performed through a vaginal cut (incision).

  • Sacrocolpopexy: This treatment includes tying a piece of mesh to your tailbone and linking it to your vagina to give it a lift. This operation is performed via your belly using small incisions and laparoscopy, which is a less invasive procedure.

  • Colpocliesis: The vaginal wall is stitched shut during this surgery. The prognosis of this procedure is favourable; you have a low probability of developing another prolapse. However, once this operation is completed, you will be unable to engage in penetrative intercourse. In elderly women with prolapse, a colpocliesis is more likely to be performed.

Lifting techniques

It is possible to strain when lifting something heavy. This strain has the potential to cause a prolapse. You can reduce your risk of prolapse by following a few simple guidelines.

  • Don’t lift by yourself.

  • Before lifting anything, be sure you have a firm foundation.

  • Lift with your legs.

  • When lifting something, keep your feet apart and sturdy on the ground.

  • When lifting something, don’t jerk or twist.

  • Before lifting, reposition objects closer to your body.

  • Take small steps.

  • Objects should be lowered in the same manner as they were picked up.

The prognosis for a vaginal prolapse is generally good. Treatment and dietary adjustments are usually effective. Talk to a doctor about all of your treatment options and what each one means for you. Your healthcare practitioner can assist you in creating healthy lifestyle practices that may reduce your chances of getting a vaginal prolapse in the future.


  1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17597-vaginal-prolapse

  2. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/vaginal-prolapse%3famp=true

  3. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.healthywomen.org/amp/need-know-about-vaginal-prolapse-2653477039

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