What is Pelvic Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the muscles and connective tissues that support the pelvic floor become so weakened that pelvic organs (bladder, uterus or rectum) slip out of their usual positions and protrude into the vaginal canal.


Diagram of pelvic area


Symptoms of Pelvic Prolapse

  • A heavy feeling or bulging in the pelvic area
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulty urinating or having a bowel movement

More common than many people realize, this condition affects millions of American women. Age is the most influential risk factor, with 56 the average age of noticeable symptoms and half of all women affected by age 80. Additional factors include multiple childbirths, hysterectomy, obesity, constipation, lifting heavy objects and chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Pelvic Prolapse

  • Cystocele – when the bladder drops.
  • Rectocele – a herniation(bulge) of the rectum through a defect in the connective tissue between rectum and vagina
  • Uterine prolapse – when the uterus drops into the vagina


Treatment options may include medications (such as estrogen), physical therapy (pelvic floor muscle training and biofeedback), pessaries, dietary changes to relieve constipation, and surgery. Dr. Robison can help you decide which treatment is best for you.