Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery
Understanding pelvic organ prolapse
The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that help support the vagina, uterus, bladder and rectum, and that help control the bladder (urinary continence) and rectum (bowel continence). The pelvic floor can be damaged by childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or surgery.
The tissues and muscles in your pelvis form a hammock-like support system. When your pelvic floor weakens or sustains damage, you can experience pelvic organ prolapse. This occurs when one or more of these pelvic organs slips out of position and presses into or out of your vagina.
There are different types of pelvic organ prolapse, depending on which organ moves out of position, including:
- Cystocele—The bladder drops into the vagina.
- Enterocele—The small intestine bulges into the vagina.
- Rectocele—The rectum bulges into the vagina.
- Uterine Prolapse—The uterus drops into the vagina.
- Vaginal Vault Prolapse—The top of the vagina loses its support and drops.