If pelvic organ prolapse is confirmed, it will usually be staged to indicate how severe it is (1-4; 4 being the most severe).
The main types are:
- anterior prolapse (cystocele) – where the bladder bulges into the front wall of the vagina.
- prolapse of the uterus and cervix or top of the vagina –which can be the result of previous treatment to remove the womb.
- posterior wall prolapse(rectocoele or enterocoele) –when the bowel bulges forward into the back wall of the vagina.
Symptoms may include:
- a sensation of a bulge or something coming down or out of the vagina, which sometimes needs to be pushed back.
- discomfort during intercourse.
- Problems during urination – such as slow stream, a feeling of not emptying the bladder fully, needing to urinate more often and leaking a small amount of urine upon coughing, sneezing or exercise (stress incontinence).
Some women with a pelvic organ prolapse do not have any symptoms and the condition is only discovered during an internal examination for another reason, such as a cervical screening.