Pelvic organ prolapse


Prolapse occurs when an organ falls or sinks out of its normal location. The pelvic organs normally have tissue (muscle, ligaments, etc.) holding them in place. Certain factors, however, may cause those tissues to weaken, leading to prolapse of the organs.

Our approach

North Shore-LIJ urogynecologists are experts in diagnosing and treating pelvic prolapse. They will recommend the right treatment option for each patient based on the individual specific type and severity of prolapse, age, overall health and future desire to have children. If surgery is required, the physicians have unique specialty training to handle pelvic surgeries.


Common causes of pelvic organ prolapse are:

  • Childbirth
  • Repeated heavy lifting
  • Chronic coughing or constipation
  • Previous surgeries in the pelvic area
  • Hysterectomy
  • Obesity
  • Genetics


Common symptoms of prolapse include:

  • A bulge or lump in the vagina
  • Part of the vagina protruding from the body
  • A pulling or stretching feeling in the groin
  • Difficult or painful sexual intercourse
  • Vaginal pain, pressure, irritation, bleeding or spotting
  • Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
  • Difficulty with bowel movements
  • Delayed or slow urinary stream


There are several types of pelvic organ prolapse:

  • Cystocele is defined as the protrusion or prolapse of the bladder into the vagina.
  • Urethrocele is the prolapse of the urethra into the vagina. These are caused by a defect in the pubocervical fascia (fibrous tissue that separates the bladder and vagina).
  • Rectocele occurs when the rectum prolapses into the vagina, caused by a defect in the fibrous tissue that separates the rectum and vagina.
  • Enterocele occurs when a part of the small intestine prolapses into the vagina.
  • Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus protrudes downward into the vagina.