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What happens when a woman's bladder drops?

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Quick Answer

When a woman experiences a bladder prolapse, or bladder drop, the bladder bulges into the vagina and, in severe cases, may protrude from the opening of the vagina, according to the Urology Care Foundation. This occurs due to weakened pelvic muscles resulting from repeated straining, menopause, childbirth or other factors that place stress on these muscles. It can cause the feeling of a vaginal bulge, frequent or uncomfortable urination, pelvic or lower back discomfort, incontinence, or pain during sex.

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Full Answer

For some women, the prolapse is so mild that treatment is not necessary, explains the Urology Care Foundation. This is true in cases where the woman does not experience any blockage of urine or other problematic symptoms. Conservative treatment may include exercises or therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, estrogen replacement therapy, or use of a pessary, which is a vaginal support device. In some cases, the prolapse worsens over time, requiring the woman to undergo surgery.

Surgical repair of a prolapse may involve suturing the woman's own tissues to strengthen the vaginal wall or the use of mesh or other surgical materials, reports the Urology Care Foundation. The surgeon may perform the operation through the vagina or through the abdomen using minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgical techniques.

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