The pelvic organs include the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, small intestine and rectum. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscle and fascia (connective tissue) supporting the pelvic organs become stretched, torn or weaken with aging and lead to sagging or bulging into the vagina. 

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling of pelvic pressure, heaviness or fullness that worsens with standing, lifting of coughing
  • Organs bulging into or out of the vagina
  • Pulling or aching feeling in the pelvis and vagina
  • Low back pain
  • Leakage of urine (urinary incontinence)
  • Needing to push or manually reduce the organs back into the vagina to empty the bladder or have a bowel movement
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Problems with inserting tampons or applicators

Types of POP include:

  • Uterine prolapse—uterus
  • Vaginal vault—top of the vagina
  • Cystocele—bladder
  • Urethrocele—urethra
  • Enterocele—small intestine
  • Rectocele—rectum

Treatment Options for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pessaries are devices made of silicone that are available in different shapes and sizes and can be fitted by a trained health care provider in most women with prolapse. Some pessaries are can be removed by the user while others require removal by a health care provider. If properly fitted, a pessary should be comfortable and provide significant relief of prolapse symptoms

Location Information

National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery
Physicians Office Building
106 Irving Street, N.W.
Suite POB 405 South
Washington, D.C. 20010-2975

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