A prolapsed bladder is a health condition that often goes undiagnosed and untreated. It affects women of all ages, but it’s most common in older women.
Prolapsed bladder occurs when the bladder drops from its normal position into the vagina due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.
It can cause a variety of symptoms and discomfort, so identifying the signs and symptoms of prolapsed bladder early is key to seeking appropriate treatment and managing your condition.
Experiencing discomfort while urinating or pelvic pressure can be a sign of prolapsed bladder. This condition occurs when the bladder descends and drops out of its normal position in the body.
In this article, we will take a look at some common signs and symptoms of prolapsed bladder and how to manage them.
What is Prolapsed Bladder?
A prolapsed bladder is a condition in which the bladder falls from its normal position in the pelvis and into the vagina.
This can happen when the muscles and ligaments that support the bladder become weak or loose.
Prolapsed bladder is also called cystocele or anterior prolapse. It’s different from a hernia, which happens when an organ bulges through a hole in the abdominal wall.
Symptoms of the prolapsed bladder may include urinary difficulty, discomfort or pain in the abdomen and pelvis area, feeling a bulge in the vagina, and urine leakage.
Treatment for a prolapsed bladder may include lifestyle changes, exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, medications, and in some cases surgery.
Prolapsed bladder is common after menopause, but it can happen at any age. It’s more likely to occur if you’ve had one or more vaginal deliveries, are overweight, or have chronic constipation.
If you think you may have a prolapsed bladder, talk to your doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Prolapsed Bladder
When the bladder prolapses, or drops down into the vagina, it can cause several different symptoms. Some women may only experience mild symptoms, while others may find that the prolapse is very uncomfortable and causes significant problems.
The most common symptom of a prolapsed bladder is a feeling of pressure in the pelvic area. This pressure may be felt when standing, sitting, or during sexual intercourse.
Women may also feel as though they need to urinate more frequently or have difficulty holding their urine. In some cases, small amounts of urine may leak from the urethra when coughing or sneezing.
If the prolapse is more severe, it may cause pain in the pelvis or lower back, and difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
Women with a severe prolapse may also experience incontinence or leakage of urine from the urethra.
In some cases, the prolapsed bladder can become stuck outside of the vagina, which can be very painful and require medical attention.
A Feeling of Pressure in Lower Abdomen
Many women with prolapsed bladder feel a heaviness or pressure in their lower abdomen, especially after lifting something heavy or during strenuous exercise.
The feeling may be similar to an uncomfortable pressure or a sensation of fullness.
If left untreated, this type of discomfort can worsen and might even become painful.
It’s important to speak with your doctor if you are feeling any sensation that isn’t normal for your body, such as a sense of pressure in the abdomen.
Frequent Urination and/or Urgency to Urinate
One of the most common symptoms is the feeling of needing to constantly urinate.
Symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency may increase gradually and could be barely noticeable in some cases.
People with a prolapsed bladder will also experience an urge to urinate more often than normal, even without having taken in large amounts of fluids.
This is due to pressure on the bladder caused by the prolapse.
Difficulty or Inability to Empty Bladder Completely
People with prolapsed bladder may experience difficulty or even an inability to empty the bladder completely when they need to urinate.
This can be due to physical obstruction or is caused by the weakening of both the vagal nerve and bladder wall muscles.
Symptoms such as a slower-than-usual urine stream, urinary urgency, and frequency can occur.
Painful or Difficult Urination
Pain or difficulty urinating is another possible sign of a prolapsed bladder. This can be caused by a weakened valve between the bladder and the urethra, which results in increased pressure when trying to empty the bladder.
The pain may also come from the pressure placed on adjacent organs as the bladder prolapses down into the pelvis.
If you are experiencing painful or difficult urination that lasts for more than a couple of days, you should contact your doctor to have it evaluated.
Urinary Incontinence or Loss of Bladder Control
One of the most common symptoms of a prolapsed bladder is urinary incontinence or a loss of bladder control.
This can come in the form of stress incontinence – when the bladder leaks during physical activity such as running, coughing, or laughing – or urge incontinence which causes an urgent need to urinate.
If you are experiencing any change in your control over urination, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Causes of Prolapsed Bladder
Several different things can cause prolapsed bladder. Pregnancy and the subsequent delivery of a child are common contributing factors.
This is because the extra weight from the baby puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and the connective tissue that supports the bladder. The bladder may slide down into the vagina as a result.
Other causes of the prolapsed bladder include being overweight, chronic coughing, and constipation.
These all put extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue, which can lead to prolapse. Additionally, menopause can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, making prolapse more likely.
If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk of prolapsed bladder.
Treatment for Prolapsed Bladder
There are several different treatment options available for prolapsed bladder, depending on the severity of the condition.
In some cases, simple lifestyle changes may be enough to improve symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
These changes may include avoiding heavy lifting, losing weight if obese, and avoiding constipation by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to improve symptoms, several different medical treatments can be effective.
For milder cases of prolapsed bladder, pelvic floor muscle exercises may help to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and prevent it from prolapsing further.
More severe cases may require surgery to correct the position of the bladder or to support it with artificial implants.
In addition, medications may be prescribed to reduce symptoms such as urinary incontinence.
Finally, physical therapy can help to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and help to prevent further bladder prolapse.
While treatment options may vary depending on the severity of the condition, it is important to remember that early diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce the risk of further complications.
Prevention of Prolapsed Bladder
There are several things you can do to help prevent prolapsed bladder, including:
- Avoiding constipation: Constipation is a common cause of prolapsed bladder, so it’s important to keep your stool soft and regular. You can do this by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
- Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles: These muscles support the bladder and help keep it in place. You can strengthen them through pelvic floor exercises like Kegels.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight puts extra pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and can lead to a prolapsed bladder. So, keeping your weight in check is important for prevention.
- Avoiding heavy lifting: Lifting heavy objects can also put pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and lead to a prolapsed bladder. So, it’s best to avoid lifting anything too heavy if you’re at risk for this condition.
- Avoiding straining: Straining during activities like using the bathroom can also increase your risk of a prolapsed bladder. Because of this, taking preventative measures is important.
- Stopping smoking: Smoking can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and increase your risk of a prolapsed bladder. If you are a smoker, you should give up the habit as soon as possible.
- Seeing your doctor: If you have any symptoms of a prolapsed bladder, it’s important to see your doctor right away. They can help diagnose and treat the condition before it becomes more serious.
By following these tips and seeing your doctor, you can help reduce your risk of developing a prolapsed bladder.
We hope this article has provided you with a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of prolapsed bladder. Although it can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition, it is important to recognize the warning signs so you can get help early on.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or if you think something is wrong, please visit your doctor as soon as possible for further assessment and treatment.
With proper care and attention, the prolapsed bladder should not stop you from living your life to the fullest!