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What is a bladder prolapse?

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Quick Answer

A bladder prolapse is a condition where a woman's bladder intrudes into her vagina through a weakened vaginal wall, explains WebMD. This weakening of the vaginal wall, which normally supports the bladder, can happen through aging or from traumatic events such as childbirth.

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Bladder prolapse can occur with various levels of severity, according to WebMD. Grade 1, or mild bladder prolapse, is a condition where only a small part of the bladder protrudes into the vagina. Grade 2, or moderate bladder prolapse, is when the bladder protrudes enough to reach the opening of the vagina. Grade 3, or severe bladder prolapse, is when the bladder actually protrudes from the body through the vaginal opening. Grade 4 bladder prolapse, also known as complete bladder prolapse, occurs when the bladder has completely protruded from the vagina, and it is often accompanied by the prolapse of other pelvic organs such as the uterus.

Bladder prolapse can cause difficulty urinating, incomplete urination, pelvic discomfort, incontinence and low back pain, notes WebMD. Other symptoms include more frequent bladder infections and pain during sexual intercourse. Treatments for a bladder prolapse vary by severity. Minor cases are often treated by simply avoiding heavy lifting. If this is insufficient, small devices to hold the bladder in place are available. For severe cases, surgery may be required.

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