The organs of the pelvis — the area of the body between the hip bones — include the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, intestines, and rectum. These organs are held in place by a group of muscles and other tissue. When this support system becomes stretched or torn, it allows pelvic organs to slip out of their normal places or sag down (prolapse).
The vagina is also called the birth canal. It connects the uterus to the outside of a woman’s body.
The uterus, also known as the womb, is the place where a baby develops.
Normal vagina and uterus
A prolapse occurs when an organ of the body droops down or slips out of its normal place. Prolapses that involve the vagina and uterus include the following:
More than one-third of women in the U.S. have some sort of pelvic area prolapse. Almost 25% feel some symptoms from the condition. Up to 11% of women require surgery for prolapse at some point in their lifetime.
The organs of the pelvis — the area of the body between the hip bones — include the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, urethra, intestines and rectum. These organs are held in place by a group of muscles and other tissue. When this support system becomes stretched or torn, it allows pelvic organs to sag down, or prolapse. The most common causes of vaginal and uterine prolapse are as follows:
In many cases a woman will feel no symptoms from prolapse and will find out about it only during an exam.
In cases where symptoms do occur, the following are most common:
Often a physical exam is all that is needed to diagnose prolapse. If additional information is needed, a number of tests may be done that measure how well each of the pelvic organs is working.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 11/30/2015