Prolapsed Bladder: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Overview

A
prolapsed bladder occurs when a woman’s vagina wall is damaged, causing the bladder
to drop into the vagina. The condition, also called cystoceles or fallen bladder,
is often associated with menopause. After menopause, women’s bodies stop creating
as much estrogen as before, which may lead to muscles weakness in and around the
vagina.

Since the condition occurs specifically in the bladder, a hollow organ in the pelvis that stores urine, women with prolapsed bladder often experience symptoms related to urination.

According
to the statistics, about 35% to 50% of women have pelvic organ prolapse.

Causes

A prolapsed bladder happens mainly because of the weakness of a woman’s muscles and supportive tissues in and around the bladder and vagina. Usually, as women grow old, their muscles and supportive tissues naturally become weaker. But there are other factors too that increase the risk of getting a prolapsed bladder:

  • Vaginal
    childbirth
  • Constipation
  • Heavy lifting
  • Repetitive
    straining for bowel movements
  • Overweight
  • Chronic
    or violent coughing
  • Straining

Symptoms

Women
with a prolapsed bladder can experience different symptoms according to the
severity of their conditions. For women with a mild prolapsed bladder, they may
show no signs or symptoms. While for others, they may experience the following
symptoms:

  • Discomfort
    or pain in the pelvis
  • Tissue
    protruding from the vagina
  • Difficulty
    urinating
  • Trouble
    emptying the bladder after urinating
  • Stress
    incontinence
  • More
    frequent bladder infections
  • Painful
    intercourse
  • Low
    back pain
  • A sensation
    of pelvic heaviness or fullness
  • Incomplete
    urination

If
you have the above-described symptoms, you should go to the hospital and get a
definite diagnosis so that the situation will not get any worse.

Diagnosis

To confirm a diagnosis, the doctor may need several procedures. At first, the doctor will conduct a physical examination to check the patient’s symptoms. Then, medical tests will usually be ordered, including:

  • A
    bladder ultrasound

A bladder ultrasound uses a transducer to produce detailed images of a woman’s bladder. The images will show the amount of urine left in the woman’s bladder after she urinates. If the amount of urine left in the bladder is more than 100mL, it normally suggests that the woman who receives the test has trouble emptying her bladder. This whole procedure is painless.

  • Catheter
    examination

Besides
a bladder ultrasound, the doctor may use a catheter to measure the amount of
urine left in the bladder. By inserting the catheter into the bladder, the doctor
can find out whether the woman has a problem emptying her bladder or not.

  • A voiding
    cystourethrogram

A
voiding cystourethrogram is an X-ray exam of the bladder. This procedure can
produce images of the bladder shape, enabling the doctor to check if there are
any problems.

With
the above test results, the doctor can confirm a diagnosis and provide a treatment
plan accordingly.

Treatment

Based
on the severity of the condition, the patient with a prolapsed bladder will receive
different medical care so as to maximize the treatment effects.

Non-surgical
treatment

For
patients with mild prolapsed bladder, the doctor may advise them to avoid heavy
lifting and straining as long as the situation does not get any worse and the
symptoms do not cause much trouble.

The
doctor may recommend the following non-surgical treatment methods:

  • Pelvic muscle
    exercises
  • Pessary
  • Estrogen
    replacement therapy

Surgical treatment

However, if the symptoms do cause inconvenience for the patient’s life, the doctor may recommend surgery to manage the situation. A prolapsed bladder surgery is usually performed through the vagina.

Keywords: prolapsed bladder; cystoceles; fallen bladder.

Related Posts:

Menopause: Treatments & Home Remedies

What are the Causes of Bladder Pain?

What Can I Do to Stop Frequent Urination?

What Does Bacteria in Urine Mean?

What are the Causes of Frequent Urination Night?

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