A bladder prolapse occurs when the bladder slips down past its normal position and bulges into the vagina. This is usually as a result of the supportive tissue between the bladder and vaginal weakening and stretching, allowing the bladder to drop down to the vagina. This condition can also be called an anterior prolapse.
A prolapse is usually caused by a muscle strain, that can be as a result of:
Childbirth- women that give birth naturally one or more times are at a higher risk of a bladder prolapse
Menopause- as the level of oestrogen, which helps to keep the pelvic floor strong, reduces
Hysterectomy- having your uterus removed can weaken the pelvic floor
In mild cases, non-surgical treatments will often be effective, however for more severe cases surgery may be necessary. Mild cases of bladder prolapse, do not often have noticeable signs or symptoms, however, as it gets worse you may notice;
Pressure or fullness in your pelvis or vagina
Discomfort when you strain, cough or lift
The sensation that your bladder is not never fully empty
Repeat bladder infection
Pain or incontinence during sex
In severe cases, a bulge may protrude through your vaginal opening, that may feel like you are sitting on an egg.
It is more likely that the symptoms will be noticeable when standing for a long period of time, then possibly go when you are lying down.
If you have a severe prolapse that is uncomfortable and causing pain, then it may be a good idea to see your doctor about the issue. If you have a mild case then will doctor will suggest that you avoid activates that may be causing the issue such as heavy lifting. They may also suggest that you do certain exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder.
For more severe cases, your doctor may suggest that you use vaginal pessaries or have surgery; however, your doctor will go through all of the treatment options that can help your individual case.
To help prevent and reduce your risk of having a bladder prolapse you can:
Do Kegel exercise on a regular basis to help strengthen your pelvic floor
Prevent constipation by having a healthy, mixed diet with lots of fibre
Avoid lifting heavy objects, and use your legs, not your waist and back, if you have to lift something heavy
Control coughing by getting treatment and stopping smoking
Improve weight to reduce the pressure on your organs and improve your general wellbeing
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.