The organs in our body are usually held firmly in place by connective tissue and muscles. For various reasons, though, the connective tissue in women’s pelvic floor may become weaker. As a result, one or more of the pelvic organs – including the womb (uterus), bladder and the last part of the bowel (rectum) – may slip down. This is called pelvic organ prolapse (also known as vaginal prolapse or genital prolapse). If the womb slips down, it is called uterine prolapse. Sometimes these organs slip down so far that the vagina or womb bulges out of the vaginal opening.
The most common type of pelvic organ prolapse is bladder prolapse (also called cystocele): Here, the bladder pushes down and against the wall of the vagina. But because the organs are connected to each other, they often drop down together. The treatment options for prolapses include pelvic floor exercises, vaginal pessaries and surgery.