What is a prolapse?

A prolapse happens when one of the pelvic organs (bladder, bowel or womb) slips out of its normal position in the pelvis.  This is very common, especially in women who have had children, with around 50% showing signs of prolapse on examination.  About half of all women over the age of 50 complain of symptoms of prolapse.

How will I know if I have a prolapse?

Some women will have no symptoms at all with a mild prolapse and may be unaware that it is present. Commonly with a larger prolapse  women report  a feeling of a ‘lump’ or of ‘something coming down’ in the vaginal area. There may also be a feeling of heaviness or a dragging sensation underneath. Problems with bladder or bowel control or discomfort during sexual intercourse may occur.

Normal Female Anatomy


Bladder Prolapse (cystocele)-front wall of vagina

Possible symptoms:

  • Stress incontinence (leakage on cough/sneeze/exercise)
  • Increased urgency and frequency of passing urine
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Discomfort during sex


Bowel prolapse (rectocele) – back wall of vagina

Possible symptoms:

• Difficulty emptying the bowel completely
• Needing to apply pressure underneath or vaginally to help with bowel opening
• Increased difficulty with bowel control
• Discomfort during sex


Womb (uterine) prolapse


  • ‘Dragging’ sensation
  • Difficulty emptying or controlling bladder & bowel
  • Discomfort during sex


After a hysterectomy has been performed, the top end (or vault) of the vagina may bulge down. This is called a vault prolapse and happens to one in ten women who have had a hysterectomy to treat their original prolapse.

What can you do to help?

  • Supervised pelvic floor exercises with correct technique
  • Learn how to ‘brace’ your pelvic floor before heavier activities
  • Maintain a strong ‘core’
  • Learn about ‘pelvic floor friendly’ exercise
  • Learn correct technique for emptying your bowels to avoid constipation and straining
  • Avoid unnecessary heavy lifting
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking

How Can I Help You?

If you are struggling with the symptoms of prolapse I can provide a full pelvic floor assessment and personalised treatment plan with prolapse management advice and exercises. Our treatment rooms are based in Southend on Sea.

Don’t suffer in silence! Call me today on 0789 824 6219