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Prolapsed Uterus

Prolapsed Uterus Facts

The uterus (the womb, in which a fetus develops) is normally held in place inside the pelvis with various muscles and ligaments. Sometimes, because of childbirth or difficult labor and vaginal delivery, these tissues are weakened. As a woman ages and with age-related decrease in the concentration of the hormone estrogen, her uterus can move downward 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. Prolapsed uterus can be described in the following stages:

  • First degree: The cervix descends downward into the vagina.
  • Second degree: The cervix comes down 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 ligaments.

Other conditions are usually associated with prolapsed uterus. They weaken the muscles and ligaments 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 retention.
  • Enterocele: The herniation of the upper vagina along with a segment of small intestine into the vagina. Standing leads to a pulling sensation and backache and is relieved when lying down.
  • Rectocele: The protrusion forward of the back wall for the bagina, along with concomitant bulging forward of the rectum into the vagina. This may make bowel movements difficult to the point where the woman may need to push on the inside of the vagina to empty the rectum.
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
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