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Female Pelvic Prolapse Description and Types

Pelvic Prolapse can occur in a woman when the ligaments and muscles that support her pelvic organs become stretched and weakened.  When weakening occurs, the organs that are supported by those ligamentous structures can prolapse, which means they slip or fall out of place.  While there is more than one type of prolapse that can occur in a female, if left untreated, the condition can worsen over time and depending on the type, may lead to problems with the function of surrounding organs including the kidneys.

Female Pelvic Prolapse Types:

Cystocele – This type of pelvic prolapse is characterized by the sagging of the bladder through weakened pelvic floor muscles and out into the vagina.  In extreme cases, the bladder may be visible at the opening of the vagina or may drop through it.  This type of prolapse is often accompanied by difficulty emptying the bladder, chronic urinary tract/bladder infections or problems with urinary continence.

Rectocele (Posterior Prolapse) – This type of pelvic prolapse occurs when the thin wall of muscular tissue separating the rectum and vagina is weakened and can sometimes result in the rectum slipping out of place and bulging through the opening of the vagina.  Rectocele can be fairly common, even in women who haven't been pregnant or gone through childbirth and sometimes, it produces no obvious symptoms.

Uterine Prolapse – This type of pelvic prolapse occurs when the uterus protrudes into the vaginal canal or through the opening of the vagina.

Enterocele – This type of pelvic prolapse occurs when the top of the vagina is pushed downward and the small intestine protrudes into the vaginal canal or through the opening of the vagina.  Enterocele can occur more frequently in women who have undergone surgery to remove their uterus (hysterectomy).

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