What Is Vaginal Prolapse?


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Julii Brainard answered
Prolapse is when the insides of the vagina fall out.  In minor cases prolapse results in bladder incontinence.  In severe cases the cervix and part of the uterus can come through the vaginal opening, with the bladder pushing behind them.

The main risk for prolapse is pregnancy.  During pregnancy the weight of the uterus bears down hard on the pelvic floor (basically, the muscles holding up the area between the vagina (or scrotum in men) and the back passage.  Giving birth by Caesarean section doesn't reduce the risk of prolapse, it's pregnancy itself that does the damage.

Other contributory factors for developing prolapse are genetic conditions (collagen deficiency), obesity, heavy lifting, previous pelvic surgery, spinal injury, age and the menopause.

The good news is that in most cases, simple exercises that anyone can do (logically called 'pelvic floor exercises in the UK, and kegels in the USA) can usually resolve and prevent prolapse.  The next link explains well how to do them.

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