Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the tissues that support the pelvic organs become weak or torn, resulting in the drop (prolapse) of the pelvic organs from their normal position. There are several different types of prolapse, and many women may experience more than one type.
Healthy Female Anatomy
Pelvic Organ Prolapse can involve many different organs including the uterus, bladder, vagina, and rectum.
Cystocele (pronounced “sis-tuh-seel”)
A cystocele occurs when the bladder bulges or presses into the vagina. As the supportive tissue at the front wall of the vagina fails, its attachment to the pelvis weakens, allowing the bladder to fall into the vaginal wall.
Rectocele (pronounced “rek-tuh-seel”)
A rectocele occurs when the rectum bulges or presses into the vagina. Similar to the cystocele, when the supportive tissue at the rear wall of the vagina fails, the rectum can then fall into the vaginal wall.
Enterocele (pronounced “en-te-ro-seel”)
An enterocele is formed when the small bowel bulges or presses into the vagina. This usually occurs in conjunction with another form of prolapse and is repaired during the same procedure.
Vaginal Vault Prolapse
A vaginal vault prolapse occurs when the upper part of the vagina falls into the vaginal canal. This can occur in women who have had a hysterectomy, because the natural support structures in the vagina provided by the uterus no longer exist.
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