Learn About Uterine Prolapse

What is the definition of Uterine Prolapse?

Uterine prolapse occurs when the womb (uterus) drops down and presses into the vaginal area.

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Uterine Prolapse?

Pelvic relaxation - uterine prolapse; Pelvic floor hernia; Prolapsed uterus; Incontinence - prolapse

What are the causes of Uterine Prolapse?

Muscles, ligaments, and other structures hold the uterus in the pelvis. If these tissues are weak or stretched, the uterus drops into the vaginal canal. This is called prolapse.

This condition is more common in women who have had 1 or more vaginal births.

Other things that can cause or lead to uterine prolapse include:

  • Normal aging
  • Lack of estrogen after menopause
  • Conditions that put pressure on the pelvic muscles, such as chronic cough and obesity
  • Pelvic tumor (rare)

Repeated straining to have a bowel movement due to long-term constipation can make the problem worse.

What are the symptoms of Uterine Prolapse?

Symptoms may include:

  • Pressure or heaviness in the pelvis or vagina
  • Problems with sexual intercourse
  • Leaking urine or sudden urge to empty the bladder
  • Low backache
  • Uterus and cervix that bulge into the vaginal opening
  • Repeated bladder infections
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Increased vaginal discharge

Symptoms may be worse when you stand or sit for a long time. Exercise or lifting may also make symptoms worse.

Not sure about your diagnosis?
Check Your Symptoms
What are the current treatments for Uterine Prolapse?

You do not need treatment unless you are bothered by the symptoms.

Many women will get treatment by the time the uterus drops to the opening of the vagina.

LIFESTYLE CHANGES

The following can help you control your symptoms:

  • Lose weight if you are obese.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or straining.
  • Get treated for a chronic cough. If your cough is due to smoking, try to quit.

VAGINAL PESSARY

Your provider may recommend placing a rubber or plastic donut-shaped device, into the vagina. This is called a pessary. This device holds the uterus in place.

The pessary may be used for short-term or long-term. The device is fitted for your vagina. Some pessaries are similar to a diaphragm used for birth control.

Pessaries must be cleaned regularly. Sometimes they need to be cleaned by the provider. Many women can be taught how to insert, clean, and remove a pessary.

Side effects of pessaries include:

  • Foul smelling discharge from the vagina
  • Irritation of the lining of the vagina
  • Ulcers in the vagina
  • Problems with normal sexual intercourse

SURGERY

Surgery should not be done until the prolapse symptoms are worse than the risks of having surgery. The type of surgery will depend on:

  • The severity of the prolapse
  • The woman's plans for future pregnancies
  • The woman's age, health, and other medical problems
  • The woman's desire to retain vaginal function

There are some surgical procedures that can be done without removing the uterus, such as a sacrospinous fixation. This procedure involves using nearby ligaments to support the uterus. Other procedures are also available.

Often, a vaginal hysterectomy can be done at the same time as the procedure to correct uterine prolapse. Any sagging of the vaginal walls, urethra, bladder, or rectum can be surgically corrected at the same time.

Who are the top Uterine Prolapse Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
12
conditions
Obstetrics and Gynecology

UAB Medicine

UAB Medicine Physicians

2000 6th Ave S 
Birmingham, AL 35233

Holly Richter is an Obstetrics and Gynecologist in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Richter has been practicing medicine for over 30 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Uterine Prolapse. She is also highly rated in 12 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Bowel Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence, Stress Urinary Incontinence, and Uterine Prolapse. She is licensed to treat patients in Alabama. Dr. Richter is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
6
conditions
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Duke Health

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

9500 Euclid Ave 
Cleveland, OH 44195

John Jelovsek is an Obstetrics and Gynecologist in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Jelovsek has been practicing medicine for over 23 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Uterine Prolapse. He is also highly rated in 6 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Uterine Prolapse, Bowel Incontinence, Urinary Incontinence, and Stress Urinary Incontinence. He is licensed to treat patients in Ohio. Dr. Jelovsek is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
Elite
Highly rated in
7
conditions
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Duke Health

Duke Raleigh Hospital

3400 Wake Forest Rd 
Raleigh, NC 27609

Alison Weidner is an Obstetrics and Gynecologist in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Weidner has been practicing medicine for over 30 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Uterine Prolapse. She is also highly rated in 7 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Uterine Prolapse, Urinary Incontinence, Stress Urinary Incontinence, and Rectocele. She is licensed to treat patients in North Carolina. Dr. Weidner is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Uterine Prolapse?

Most women with mild uterine prolapse do not have symptoms that require treatment.

Vaginal pessaries can be effective for many women with uterine prolapse.

Surgery often provides very good results. However, some women may need to have the treatment again in the future.

What are the possible complications of Uterine Prolapse?

Ulceration and infection of the cervix and vaginal walls may occur in severe cases of uterine prolapse.

Urinary tract infections and other urinary symptoms may occur because of a cystocele. Constipation and hemorrhoids may occur because of a rectocele.

When should I contact a medical professional for Uterine Prolapse?

Call your provider if you have symptoms of uterine prolapse.

How do I prevent Uterine Prolapse?

Tightening the pelvic floor muscles using Kegel exercises helps to strengthen the muscles and reduces the risk of developing uterine prolapse.

Estrogen therapy after menopause may help with vaginal muscle tone.

Female reproductive anatomy
Uterus
What are the latest Uterine Prolapse Clinical Trials?
E-PACT: Extension Trial of Permanent Versus Delayed-absorbable Monofilament Suture for Vaginal Graft Attachment During Minimally-invasive Total Hysterectomy and Sacrocolpopexy
Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
Three Arm Apical Suspension Trial for Post-Hysterectomy Vault Prolapse: Prospective Randomized Trial Involving Sacral Colpopexy, Transvaginal Mesh and Native Tissue Apical Repair
What are the Latest Advances for Uterine Prolapse?
Autologous rectus fascia graft in the treatment of high-stage apical vaginal prolapse: preliminary results of a new surgical approach with native tissue.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Successful treatment of locally advanced bulky cervical cancer complicated by irreducible complete uterine prolapse: A case report.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : July 13, 2021
Published By : John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Cox L, Rovner ES. Bladder and female urethral diverticula. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 130.

Kirby AC, Lentz GM. Pelvic organ prolapse, abdominal hernias, and inguinal hernias: diagnosis and management. In: Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, Lobo RA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 20.

Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A. Pelvic organ prolapse. In: Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A, eds. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 10.

Newman DK, Burgio KL. Conservative management of urinary incontinence: behavioral and pelvic floor therapy and urethral and pelvic devices. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 80.

Winters JC, Krlin RM, Hallner B. Vaginal and abdominal reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 124.