What is a Pelvic Organ Prolapse & Why Does it Happen?

A prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and the pelvic organs can bulge (prolapse) from their natural position into the vagina. Sometimes the prolapse can be so severe that it can protrude from the vagina.

Pregnancy and childbirth place a lot of stress on the pelvic floor. Women are at increased risk if your baby was large, you had an assisted birth (forceps/ventouse) or your labour was prolonged.

 Straining on the toilet (IBS for example) can cause weakness and overstretching

 Previous hysterectomy (the top of the vagina is supported by ligaments and muscles. If these supports weaken, a vault prolapse may occur)

 Chronic coughing

 Heavy lifting causes an increase in pressure on your abdomen resulting in pressure on your pelvic floor muscles

 High impact exercise

 Age

 Obesity

 Family history of prolapse

 More common particularly after the menopause as the hormone oestrogen is significantly reduced if HRT (Hormone replacement therapy) is not used.