The symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse include a bulging feeling in the vagina that worsens as the day progresses, urinary incontinence, or constipation. The types of pelvic organ prolapse are listed below:
- Cystocele – The bladder bulges into the vagina through the tissue between the bladder and vagina, causing the bladder to come down into the vagina; it does not break through the tissue. It is graded from 1 to 3 according to the amount of descent.
- Rectocele – The anterior wall of the rectum bulges into the posterior wall of the vagina and can cause a feeling of increased pressure and difficulty moving bowels.
- Urethrocele – The tissue between the vagina and the urethra weakens, causing the urethra to push into the vagina.
- Uterine prolapse – The uterus slips into the vagina, causing a bulging sensation. It is measured in grades between 1 and 4, with 4 being the most involved.
- Enterocele – Organs such as the small intestine can bulge through the vagina. This is more commonly seen following a hysterectomy. This does not mean that after a hysterectomy you are likely to have an enterocele.
A physical therapist trained in women’s health cannot repair the fascia or damaged tissue, although the therapist can assist you in supporting the prolapse with a strong pelvic floor, which will alleviate the symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse.