By Dr. Joseph Berenholz
Vaginal prolapse is a condition in which a woman's uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel or anterior vaginal wall loses its support and partially drops from its normal position and into the vaginal canal. This condition most often affects women subsequent to menopause, childbirth or a hysterectomy, but it can also be caused by failure of the tissues and muscles that offer pelvic structural support. Symptoms include pelvic pressure and discomfort, urinary incontinence, and recurrent UTIs.
There are several different types of vaginal prolapse:
- Uterine prolapse – The uterosacral ligaments at the top of the vagina weaken, causing the uterus to fall and protrude into the vagina. This condition often weakens the front and back walls of the vagina.
- Rectal prolapse – The back wall of the vagina weakens, and the pushing of the rectal wall against the vaginal wall creates a bulge. This type of prolapse is referred to as a rectocele.
- Vaginal vault prolapse – Following a hysterectomy, a lack of support weakens the vaginal walls and causes the top of the vagina to gradually drop towards the vaginal opening. This condition may also coincide with an enterocele or herniated small bowel.
For information about the treatment of vaginal prolapse, please call Dr. Joseph Berenholz at 248-855-2229.