(Pelvic Floor Hernia; Pudendal Hernia; Pelvic Relaxation)
DefinitionUterine prolapse occurs when the uterus slips out of place and into the vaginal canal. The severity of uterine prolapse is defined as:
- First degree—the cervix protrudes into the lower part of the vagina
- Second degree—the cervix protrudes past the vaginal opening
- Third degree—the entire uterus protrudes past the vaginal opening
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CausesThe uterus is normally supported by pelvic connective tissue. It is held in position by special ligaments. Weakening of the tissue causes the uterus to descend into the vaginal canal.
Risk FactorsUterine prolapse is more common in Caucasians. Other factors that may increase your chance of uterine prolapse include:
- Increasing age
- Multiple vaginal deliveries
- Straining caused by chronic cough, constipation, or heavy lifting
SymptomsSymptoms may include:
- Pelvic pressure
- A feeling of vaginal fullness or heaviness
- A feeling of pulling in the pelvis
- Vaginal discharge
- Urinary urgency and frequency
- Urination when laughing, sneezing, coughing, or exercising
- Protrusion of pink tissue from the vagina that may be irritated or itchy
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Uterine prolapse that has no symptoms may be diagnosed during routine examinations. Your doctor may refer you to a gynecologist, who will do a pelvic exam.
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