What is pelvic organ prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a disorder in which one of the organs in the pelvic floor falls out of its normal position. The female pelvic floor consists of the bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum. All of these organs are supported by muscles, ligaments and fibers that attach to the bony anatomy of the pelvis.

The type of prolapse you may experience is based on the organ that prolapses.

  • Cystocele is a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina, and is the most common
  • Enterocele is a prolapse of the small bowel
  • Rectocele is a prolapse of the rectum
  • Uterine prolapse is a prolapse of the uterus
  • Vaginal vault prolapse is a prolapse of the vagina

What are the symptoms?

If most common signs and symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Feelings of pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
  • A feeling that something is falling out of your vagina
  • Painful intercourse
  • Lower back aches and pains (uterine prolapse)
  • Spotting or bleeding from the vagina
  • Urinary incontinence or urinary retention (cystocele)
  • Constipation or using manual pressure to help evacuate stool from the rectum (rectocele)

What are the causes?

POP can result from anything that puts increased pressure within the abdomen. This may include:

  • Pregnancy and labor
  • Hysterectomy
  • Obesity
  • Respiratory problems with a chronic, long-term cough
  • Chronic constipation

Genetics can also play a role in pelvic organ prolapse. You may be at risk if your connective tissues are weaker than average.

Schedule treatments in the South Bay

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with pelvic organ prolapse, schedule an appointment at South Bay Urology in Torrance. We will identify the problem and create a treatment plan. While surgery is often one course of action, we also provide biofeedback training and pelvic floor re-education to manage your condition, as well as office pessary insertion for a non-surgical approach to symptom control. Request an appointment online or give us a call at (310) 542-0199 to get help from experts in the South Bay of Southern California.


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