Women's pelvic organs are prone to slipping down into the body cavity. When this happens it is referred to having prolapsed.
Five common types of prolapse:
Cystocele. Often referred to as a dropped or bulging bladder, this is the most common prolapse among women following pregnancy and childbirth. Symptoms may include vaginal pressure, slowing of the urinary stream, overactive bladder and an inability to fully empty the bladder.
Rectocele. The mirror image of a cystocele, a weak lower vaginal wall allows the rectum to bulge upward. Rectoceles may cause such symptoms as difficulty with bowel movements, a feeling of fullness and fecal soiling.
Enterocele. This prolapse of the intestines is something like a hernia. Symptoms are often vague, including a pressure in the pelvis and vagina and perhaps a lower back ache. Often this prolapse exists with a vaginal vault prolapse in women who have had a hysterectomy.
Vaginal Vault. This condition occurs only among patients who have had a hysterectomy. It can cause severe pressure and bulging symptoms. Surgical repair is common.
Uterine: Prolapse of the uterus occurs when the supporting ligaments of the uterus become lax. Symptoms may include a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the vagina, low back pain, and in severe cases, protrusion of the uterus through the vaginal opening.
Depending on the type of prolapse, treatments can include surgery, dietary and fitness changes or a pessary, which is a rubber or plastic devise inserted vaginally to relieve symptoms.