A woman’s bladder is held in place by supportive pelvic floor muscles and tissue. When these tissues are stretched and/or become weak (through vaginal childbirth or with chronic constipation, violent coughing or heavy lifting), the bladder can drop through this layer and into the vagina.
This results in a condition known as bladder prolapse, also called cystocele. In severe cases, the prolapsed bladder can appear at the opening of the vagina. It can even protrude through the vaginal opening.
Sometime bladder prolapse may not cause symptoms. Other times, the symptoms can be bothersome. The most common one is the feeling of heavy pressure in the pelvis and vaginal area. Other signs and symptoms are:
Summa Health Medical Group urologists can diagnose bladder prolapse through a clinical history and pelvic exam. In addition to measuring how serious the prolapse is and what parts of the vagina are falling, we may perform other tests and imaging studies to check the pelvic floor, such as:
While mild cases may not require need treatment, moderate conditions may require a flexible ring to support the bladder or surgery. In rare cases, estrogen may also be used. Contact us to discuss your symptoms – and the best treatment options.