A prolapsed uterus may be marked by a sensation of fullness or pressure in the pelvic area, along with lower back pain, and the feeling that something is emerging from the vagina, according to WebMD. Sexual intercourse may be painful. It may also be difficult to urinate, defecate and walk.
The uterus prolapses in four stages, states WebMD. During the first stage, the cervix hangs into the vagina; in the second, the cervix droops just inside the vaginal opening. By the third stage, the cervix is outside the vagina, and in the fourth stage the entire uterus has followed it outside.
A prolapsed uterus is usually caused by weakened pelvic muscles, says WebMD. These muscles might weaken because of childbirth and labor, but it is also associated with aging and a drop in estrogen levels. Certain chronic conditions such as bronchitis and constipation may contribute as well, putting extra pressure in the abdomen when coughing or straining. People who are obese are at greater risk of prolapsed uteruses.
Kegel exercises, which are designed to strengthen and tone the pelvic muscles, can help prevent the uterus from prolapse, according to WebMD. Tightening the pelvic muscles helps exercise the pelvic diaphragm. In severe cases, the uterus may need to be removed surgically. Otherwise, a prolapsed uterus can be treated with a pessary for support.