Vaginal Prolapse Treatment

The vagina is a muscular, tube-shaped organ that composes part of the female reproductive system. It extends from the vulva or outer portion of the female genitals to the cervix inside the body. The vagina is a key part of sexual arousal and performance. It is also called the "birth canal".

Over time, the muscles of the vagina can weaken and begin to sag or droop as support structures that hold it in place begin to weaken. This is called a vaginal prolapse and the condition is caused by pelvic floor relaxation. Pelvic floor relaxation can cause support for the rectum, bladder, and urethra to sag as well.

Vaginal Prolapse Causes

The most common causes of vaginal prolapse include:

Vaginal prolapse is most common in women who have had their uterus removed (hysterectomy).

Vaginal Prolapse Symptoms

Many women who experience a vaginal prolapse report feeling a sensation that something is "dragging" or "out of place" in the vagina.  Symptoms may vary slightly depending on where in the vagina a prolapse is located.

In some cases, the vagina may actually protrude out through the vaginal opening to the outside of the body.

Other common symptoms of vaginal prolapse include:

Vaginal Prolapse Diagnosis

The best way to diagnose a vaginal prolapse is for your healthcare provider to ask questions about your symptoms and then perform a physical exam. He or she may ask you to sit upright and strain, or bear down to see how the vagina and muscles respond.

Your provider will need to examine your vagina closely for problems and he or she may also examine other areas like your bladder or urethra to test their muscle strength and any signs of prolapse.

You may also need tests like an ultrasound, MRI or studies of your bladder for more information.

Non-Surgical Treatment of Vaginal Prolapse

Most vaginal prolapses will get worse with time. If you are not sexually active and the prolapse isn't causing discomfort or other problems, your provider may suggest non-surgical treatment. This may include:

Surgical Management of Vaginal Prolapse

Surgical management is best for women who are sexually active and in cases where the vaginal prolapse is problematic or painful. Many healthcare providers are now accessing the vagina laparoscopically through the abdomen - this means they use only small incisions and a camera to operate.

Repair is made while you are under general anesthesia and you can expect to stay in the hospital for 2-4 days depending on how extensive your repair was and if other areas (such as the rectum or urethra) also needed to be repaired.

Request More Information

To request more information about vaginal prolapse and its treatment, please call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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