What Is a Fallen Bladder?


Fallen bladder, or cystocele, is a disorder that is caused by the bladder falling into the vagina. The disorder is often found in women who have given birth, gone through menopause, lifted heavy objects and/or experienced bowel problems, according to South Coast Urogynecology.


The disorder is caused by the muscles around the bladder and/or vagina becoming strained or weakened, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. A lack of estrogen during menopause can also cause cystocele.


Women have grade one cystocele if their bladder droops toward the vagina. Grade two is characterized by the bladder reaching the vagina opening. Grade three cystocele means that the bladder reaches past the vagina opening.


Symptoms of cystocele include an outflow of urine, problems emptying the bladder, a frequent need to urinate, painful sensations during urination and/or pelvic pain.


A doctor can often detect a fallen bladder during a physical examination. During a voiding cystourethrogram, a physician uses x-rays to get pictures of the bladder.


A pessary, a ring that fits inside the vagina, is used to hold the bladder in its normal position. Sometimes a doctor will surgically constrict the tissue or muscles around the bladder and vagina to keep the bladder in place.

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