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50% of women who have given birth have this

Many women will experience the frustration of pelvic organ prolapse. In fact, about 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop prolapse during her lifetime. Dropped bladders, bulging rectums and fallen uterus are form of pelvic organ prolapse. As many as 50% of women who have given birth experience some degree of pelvic organ prolapse.

The three main forms of prolapse include:

  • Bladder prolapse - The front wall of the vagina where the bladder sits, begins to move to or through the opening of the vagina. Commonly this is called a cystocele. Many people will use the word bladder, but the front wall of the vagina is actually what can be seen and felt. This can cause pressure, bulging sensation and difficulty emptying the bladder completely.

  • Rectum prolapse - In this case we are speaking about the back wall of the vagina pushing to or through the opening of the vagina. This can also be called a rectocele. "Rectal prolapse" is actually when the rectum pushes through the opening of the rectum called the anus. Rectoceles can also cause bulging and pressure. Most commonly women complain of difficulty emptying their rectum many times requiring them to use their hand to push in the vaginal area to complete a bowel movement.

  • Uterine prolapse - With uterine prolapse, it actually does mean exactly that, the uterus begins to drop toward or through the opening to the vagina. As this happens, the top of the vagina also falls down. This can cause a combination of the symptoms listed above as uterine prolapse usually includes some degree of prolapse of the front and back of the vagina as well.

If you experience pelvic organ prolapse, contact your local Urogynecologist to learn about ways to treat pelvic organ prolapse.

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