Prolapsed Bladder Overview
The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine. The pressure created when the bladder fills with urine is what causes the urge to urinate. During urination, the urine travels from the bladder and out the body through the urethra.
In women, the front wall of the vagina supports the bladder. This wall can weaken or loosen with age. Childbirth and surgery such as a hysterectomy can weaken this part of the vaginal wall. If it deteriorates enough, the bladder can prolapse, meaning it is no longer supported and descends into the vagina. This may trigger problems such as urinary difficulties, discomfort, and stress incontinence (urine leakage caused by sneezing, coughing, exertion, etc).
Prolapsed bladders (also called cystoceles or fallen bladders) are separated into 4 grades based on how far the bladder droops into the vagina.
Prolapsed bladders are commonly associated with menopause. Prior to menopause, the ovaries produce the hormone called estrogen, which helps keep the vaginal tissues strong and healthy. After menopause, the tissues that support the vagina weaken.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2015
George Lazarou, MD, FACOG
Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Martin I Resnick, MD
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