A genital tract prolapse (pelvic organ prolapse) is a weakness of the supporting structures of the uterus (womb), pelvic floor and vagina.

  • Weakness in the front wall of the vagina (cystocele) is when the bladder is pushing into the vagina
  • Weakness in the back wall of the vagina (rectocele) is when the rectum is pushing into the vagina
  • Weakness in the supports of the uterus can cause a total pelvic prolapse (procidentia)
  • Weakness in the upper part of the vagina can cause a hernia (enterocele)

Prolapsed bladders (cystocele) can cause a variety of problems like discomfort and urinary incontinence. Many women will notice a bulge or a dragging sensation. Usually you will not be able to tell whether it is the bladder or the bowel that is causing the problem! Prolapsed bowels (rectocele) can also cause bladder symptoms as well as bowel emptying symptoms. Your urologist is trained in pelvic organ prolapse and has the skills to manage both your prolapse symptoms as well as any incontinence problems you may have.



There are simple conservative measures that your urologist may recommend for you as well as surgical options.

Pelvic floor exercises
These are easy to learn and can be taught to you by our continence nurse specialist. 

Oestrogen replacement
This can be in the form of a cream which is put into the vagina. 

A ring pessary can be inserted into the vagina which will hold the prolapse back.

If conservative treatments do not improve the problem or are inappropriate, then surgery might be an option.

Surgery may be done through the vagina or abdomen (tummy) and this will depend on the presence of other symptoms and the type of prolapse. Click below for more information.

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AuthorVanessa Ortynsky