Things to know:
- Bladder Prolapse also called fallen prolapse, happens when the bladder falls into the front wall of the vagina
- Bladder prolapse is common among women, with symptoms varying based on each individual
- Women who have had multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of Cystocele
About Bladder Prolapse
Bladder prolapse occurs when a woman’s bladder sticks through the vaginal front wall. Anterior vaginal wall prolapse is the name for this form of prolapse. Bladder prolapse is mainly caused by the tissues of the vaginal walls weakening and straining. Women’s bladders might enlarge and leak into the vaginal canal.
Symptoms of Bladder prolapse
Symptoms of bladder prolapse will depend on the level of severity and cause due to which it occurred. Below are some of the common known cystocele prolapse symptoms
- Swelling feeling of a vaginal bulge(bulge that can be seen or felt)
- a bulge or swelling felt at the vaginal opening
- Persistent urge to pass urine
- Recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Feeling of constant pressure and heaviness in and around the vaginal area
- No relief after urinating
- Pain during and after sex
- Pain in the lower back, lower belly, pelvis, and vagina
- Tissue protruding from the vaginal opening, which may be painful and/or bleeding
- Discomfort while injecting tampons during mensuration
- Difficulty to get the urine flow started
Causes of Bladder Prolapse
There can be several reasons behind bladder prolapse. However, one of the major and most common causes of cystocele prolapse is stress caused to the vagina during pregnancies, especially in women who have had vaginal deliveries or in women who are at risk of having complicated childbirth.
- Frequent urge to pass stool
- Being overweight or obese
- Women involved in heavy lifting and intensive physical activity
- History of pelvic surgery
- Chronic coughing
- Multiple pregnancies (vaginal deliveries)
Stages of bladder prolapse
The severity of bladder prolapse can be measured in several stages. A commonly used grading done for stages is:
- Stage 1: The bladder juts a little into the vaginal canal
- Stage 2: The bladder falls or extends far into the vagina that it comes close to the opening
- Stage 3: The bladder extends beyond the vaginal opening
- Stage 4 – the most severe type, in which all of the pelvic organs, including the bladder, protrude beyond the vaginal opening
To ascertain the prolapsed stage, many experts use the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification (POP-Q) system to measure in centimeters where the prolapse is in relation to the vaginal opening.
Diagnosis of Bladder Prolapse
A medical history and a pelvic exam can help diagnose the stage of bladder prolapse. The doctor may ask you to lay down in a certain position so as to access the severity of the prolapse and determine which area of the vagina is protruding.
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Cystoscopy (endoscopy of the urinary bladder)
- Urodynamic testing
Bladder prolapse treatment
Some women with bladder prolapse do not have any severe bothersome symptoms and therefore do not require any treatment. Women whose flow of urine is being blocked or feel pressured and heaviness around the vagina are the ones who need to seek treatment.
Below are some of the ways to fix a prolapsed bladder without surgery
- Kegel exercises- help to improve and strengthen the pelvic muscles
- Pelvic floor therapy-Restores the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles by stretching shortened and contracted muscles, which can help reduce pelvic floor pain caused by excessive tension and cramping
- Pessary- Prosthetic device inserted into the vagina to provide support to the inner side of the vagina
Other than these, there are ways to fix a prolapsed bladder, i.e. through surgery or medication. The way to fix or the treatment will depend on the severity of the bladder damage.
- Prescription based therapy- Drugs prescribed by doctors can help strengthen the bladder
- Open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, Minimally invasive surgeries are some of the ways that can help repair your body and improve the vaginal area
The best way to fix a prolapsed bladder depends on every individual’s case. However, laparoscopic surgery is one of the best surgeries done for prolapsed bladder.
After surgery, it takes approximately 1-2 weeks to recover from open surgery fully. During the time of recovery, it is recommended to avoid any lifting.
After prolapse surgery, you might need to stay for 2-3 days in the hospital. Women with serious complications might have to stay a bit longer after the surgery.