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Prolapsed Uterus

Prolapsed Uterus Overview

The uterus (womb in which a fetus develops) is normally held in place inside the pelvis with various muscles, tissue, and ligaments. Sometimes, because of childbirth or difficult labor and delivery, these muscles weaken. As a woman ages and with a natural loss of the hormone estrogen, her uterus can collapse into the vaginal canal, causing the condition known as a prolapsed uterus.

Muscle weakness or relaxation may allow the uterus to sag or come completely out of the body to a variable extent. Prolapsed uterus can be described in the following stages:

  • First degree: The cervix droops into the vagina.
  • Second degree: The cervix sticks to the opening of the vagina.
  • Third degree: The cervix is outside the vagina.
  • Fourth degree: The entire uterus is outside the vagina. This condition is also called procidentia. This is caused by weakness in all of the supporting muscles.

Other conditions are usually associated with prolapsed uterus. They weaken the muscles that hold the uterus in place:

  • Cystocele: A herniation (or bulging) of the upper front vaginal wall where a part of bladder bulges into the vagina, which may lead to urinary frequency, urgency, retention, and incontinence.
  • Enterocele: The herniation of the upper rear vaginal wall where a small bowel portion bulges into the vagina. Standing leads to a pulling sensation and backache and is relieved when lying down.
  • Rectocele: The herniation of the lower rear vaginal wall where the rectum bulges into the vagina. This makes bowel movements difficult to the point that the woman may need to push on the inside of the vagina to empty the bowel.
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Uterine Prolapse »

Uterine prolapse is a descent or herniation of the uterus into or beyond the vagina.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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