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.
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