Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, Chief Medical Editor
Medically Reviewed on 7/29/2022
Doctor's Notes on Prolapsed Bladder
A prolapsed bladder is medically known as a cystocele. It occurs due to the weakening of the tissues between a woman's bladder and her vagina, allowing the bladder to droop into the vagina. A cystocele can be mild or severe and may be caused by:
- muscle straining while giving birth,
- heavy lifting, or
- repeated straining during bowel movements,
Signs and symptoms of a prolapsed bladder include:
- leakage of urine and
- an inability to completely empty the bladder.
Other associated symptoms may include:
- a feeling of fullness or pressure in the pelvis,
- lower back pain,
- urgent need to urinate,
- pain during sexual intercourse, and
- a bulge in the vagina that can be felt or seen.
What Is the Treatment for Prolapsed Bladder?
Treatment for a prolapsed bladder depends on the severity of the condition.
- Mild cases may not require specific treatment other than avoiding heavy lifting or straining.
- Nonsurgical treatments for prolapsed bladder include estrogen therapy to strengthen the walls of the vagina or a pessary, which is a small object inserted into the vagina to hold the bladder in place.
- For more serious cases, there are various surgical procedures designed to treat prolapsed bladder.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.