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Bladder Prolapse – Causes, Symptoms, and Therapy

News

10.02.2022

Urine is stored in the balloon-like bladder in the pelvis. When it is full, pressure is created and it stimulates the desire to urinate. From the bladder, urine passes through the urethra and is excreted out of the body.

Since in women, the bladder is held in place by the muscles and connective tissues that support the vaginal wall, loosening of the wall can occur with age. Childbirth can also affect it. In severe cases, it may drop through the vaginal opening to a greater or lesser extent.

Although, usually, a prolapsed bladder is associated with menopause due to less estrogen, which maintains the strength of the muscles in and around the vagina, there are other factors that cause prolapse or cystocele.

How can bladder prolapse occur?

The occurrence of a prolapsed bladder is usually associated with:

Childbirth

The stressful birth process is a very common cause of weakened muscles and vaginal tissues that support a woman’s bladder.

Menopause

The strength and endurance of the vaginal muscles are highly dependent on estrogen levels, which decrease significantly after menopause.

Chronic straining

Damage to the pelvic floor muscles can also occur if heavy objects are lifted frequently. There is also straining with bowel movements or long-term conditions such as cough or constipation.

What are the symptoms of a prolapsed bladder?

Usually women feel something like a bulge in the vagina and notice tissue in it. This is the first symptom, and the others can be:

  • pelvic and low back pain, discomfort;
  • difficulty urinating
  • feeling of fullness even after urinating;
  • protruding tissue from the vagina
  • more frequent bladder infections;
  • dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

Based on the extent to which the bladder has dropped into the vagina, there are several stages. In the first, the bladder protrudes a little way into the vagina; in the second it protrudes so far into the vagina that it’s close to the vaginal opening; in the third, it protrudes out of the vagina; and in complete prolapse, it protrudes out of the vagina with all pelvic organs.

What is the treatment for prolapsed bladder?

If the stage of prolapsed bladder is not severe, treatment is usually not needed, and only following a doctor’s recommendation to avoid lifting heavy objects and straining is sufficient.

In a more serious case, the specialist takes into account various factors such as the stage of prolapse, the woman’s age and general condition, appoints tests and examinations to select the most appropriate treatment.

●       Non-surgical treatment

It may involve placing a pessary to hold the bladder in place in the vagina. Another option is estrogen replacement therapy to help strengthen and support the muscles in the vagina. Its application can be in the form of tablets or topically as a cream and patch. Muscle exercises are also recommended to strengthen the pelvic floor.

●       Surgical treatment

Severely prolapsed bladder most often requires surgery to correct it. Such an operation is performed through the vagina, making an incision in the vaginal wall. The prolapsed area is closed and the wall is already strengthened.

●       Other therapies

In order to strengthen the pelvic muscles, the use of electrical stimulation as a type of physical therapy or biofeedback is practiced, and the exercises are monitored by a sensor that helps the doctor determine their effect.

Although it can be painful and uncomfortable, bladder prolapse can be treated and is not life-threatening. To prevent it, including high-fiber foods in the menu and increasing fluid intake will reduce the risk of constipation, which often provokes prolapse. For prevention, it is also important to avoid lifting weights as much as possible and to regulate body weight.

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