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Vaginal Prolapse Definition & Overview

Definition

Vaginal prolapse is the inward and downward bulging of the vaginal walls. It occurs when the supporting tissues of the lower pelvis weaken. The lack of support causes the walls of the vagina walls to collapse. Other structures or organs near the vagina are also shifted. Types of vaginal prolapse include:

  • Cystocele (dropped bladder)—when the collapse involves the front of the vagina and bladder
  • Rectocele —when the collapse involves the back of the vagina and rectum
  • Enterocele—when the collapse involves the top vaginal wall and small bowel

The severity of vaginal prolapse may be simply defined as:

  • First degree—collapse into the upper part of the vagina
  • Second degree—collapse further into the vaginal canal
  • Third degree—collapse that reaches the vaginal opening or extends beyond the opening

There are more sophisticated ways of measuring and describing prolapses. Specialist physicians will use them.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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