Causes of uterine prolapse include pregnancy, childbirth, weakness in the pelvic area, obesity and loss of collagen, according to WebMD. Excessive weight lifting, major surgery in the pelvic region and conditions that lead to increased pressure within the abdomen are also causes. A uterine prolapse occurs when the surrounding support ligaments, muscles and other tissues weaken to such an extent that the uterus drops to the vaginal canal. Caucasian women face an increased risk.
In a first-degree uterine prolapse, the cervix drops into the vagina, explains WebMD. The cervix falls near the opening of the vagina in a second-degree uterine prolapse, and it rests outside of the vagina itself in a third-degree diagnosis. A fourth-degree prolapse features the uterus itself resting outside the vagina, in a total collapse of all supporting structures. Symptoms of a uterine prolapse include a feeling of fullness within the pelvis or abdomen, lower back pain, difficulty urinating and defecating, trouble walking, and foreign sensations around the vagina. Trouble using the bathroom or experiencing a complete uterine prolapse necessitates emergency medical treatment.
Preventative measures for a uterine prolapse include Kegel exercises, which can strengthen the pelvic floor, reports WebMD. These work by tightening the surrounding muscles in a similar fashion to restricting urine flow. Estrogen insertions can also help prevent uterine prolapse. Corrective surgery, done through the abdomen or vagina, works to repair sagging tissues.