The most obvious symptom of vaginal prolapse is a noticeable bulge protruding from the opening of the vagina. Additional symptoms include:
- Feelings of pelvic pressure or discomfort
- Perception of something falling out
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- leakage of urine
- Difficulty emptying the rectum
- Fecal incontinence
- Experiencing a sense of looseness or discomfort during sexual intercourse
Pelvic organ prolapse is diagnosed by physical exam. During the pelvic exam, the physician evaluates the anterior vaginal wall, posterior vaginal wall, top of the vagina, and uterus, inspecting for signs of organ prolapse. The prolapse is then carefully measured - usually in both the lying down and standing up positions. It is important for the physician to carefully measure all aspects of pelvic floor support before suggesting a treatment plan.
In the below videos, Dr. Patrick Culligan, Director of Urogynecology at the Center for Female Pelvic Health in NYC, describes the symptoms of the most common types of prolapse. These descriptions are broken down into two sections for "with uterus" or "without uterus", which show the different types of prolapse that can occur depending on whether a patient has had a prior hysterectomy.
For Patients With Uterus
For Patients Without Uterus
Cystocele (Without Uterus)
Rectocele (Without Uterus)
Vaginal Vault Prolapse