Cystocele or fallen bladder or bladder prolapse occurs when the woman’s bladder drops or sags into the vagina because of weakening of the wall between them. This may cause uneasiness and troubles while emptying the bladder. This may cause unwanted urine leakage like when a woman coughs or sneezes or puts any pressure on the bladder. Fallen bladder may also cause incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Depending on the severity cystocele can be of the following types
Grade 1: This is a mild stage in which the bladder droops only a short way into the vagina
Grade 2: This is a more severe stage in which bladder droops as far as the opening of the vagina
Grade 3: This is an advanced stage in which the bladder protrudes out of the vagina.
A fallen bladder may be caused by
- Lifting weights
- Childbirth, due to excessive muscle straining
- Strain during bowel movements
- Menopause, when the estrogen production stops
- Lower abdominal pain or pressure
- Protrusion in the vagina which you can feel
- Lower back pain
- Urine leakage
- Pelvic heaviness or fullness
- Sexual difficulties
- Pelvic pressure and urine leakage while coughing, lifting or standing
Grade 2 and grade 3 types can be diagnosed from a physical examination and description of symptoms.
Treatment options vary depending on the stage of the cystocele and individual preferences. The treatment options are
- Avoid activities like lifting or straining if the discomfort is low
- Recommend Pessary, a device inserted into the vagina to hold the bladder in place
- Surgical procedure to move the bladder back to position
- Estrogen replacement therapy to strengthen the muscles around the bladder and vagina.