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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

When a body part falls down or slips from its usual position, it is considered prolapse. When prolapse occurs within the pelvic region, it is referred to as pelvic organ prolapse (POP). The condition also may be described as a vaginal hernia.

There are several types of pelvic organ prolapse. They are:

  • Cystocele (prolapse of the bladder into the vagina or “dropped bladder”)
  • Rectocele (bulging of the rectum into the vagina)
  • Enterocele (bulging of the small bowel through a hernia in the top of the vagina)
  • Uterine prolapse (bulging of the uterus)
  • Vaginal vault prolapse (prolapse of the vagina after a hysterectomy)
  • Rectal prolapse (bulging of rectal tissue through the anus)

Treatment varies, and may include:

  • Conservative treatments with pessaries and/or pelvic floor exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical options
    • Laparoscopic, minimally-invasive surgery and robotic surgery
    • Vaginal reconstructive surgery
    • Abdominal pelvic reconstructive surgery
Last UpdateJanuary 10, 2012