Cystocele (SIS-toe-seel) also called, as the anterior vaginal prolapse is a condition when the urinary bladder drops from its original position in the pelvis and impinges on the vaginal wall.
In a normal individual, the organs in the pelvis are held in position by the connective tissue and muscles of the pelvic floor. These include the urinary bladder, uterus and intestines.
During cases such as vaginal birth, chronic lifting of heavy objects over an extended period, forceful coughing and vaginal delivery of a child a lot of pressure is experienced by the pelvic floor. This can make the pelvic floor weak leading to anterior prolapse.
It is a treatable condition.
For mild to moderate prolapse, noninvasive, conservative methods have been found to be effective.
Severe cases, however, need surgery to fasten the positions of the organs in the pelvis, such that they do not hinder the normal processes of each of these organs.
Weakening of the muscles, connective tissues and ligaments of the pelvic floor because of trauma resulting from chronic exertion or childbirth, lead to the bladder collapsing and impinging on the vagina.
The reasons responsible for stress of the pelvic floor are mentioned below:
History of lifting heavy objects
Constipation, leading to strained bowel movements
Bronchitis or chronic coughing
Pregnancy and childbirth
Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus, rare cases)
Genetics: Some women may be born with weak connective tissue, rendering them susceptible to anterior prolapse.
Signs and symptoms are not noticed for anterior prolapse in mild cases. Only in later stages following symptoms may show up:
Feeling of pressure in the pelvic area when bearing down, lifting or coughing
Some cases the bulge may be seen or felt in the vagina
A full feeling in the vagina or pelvis
Difficulty starting urination
A feeling that the bladder is not completely empty, even after urination
Urinary incontinence (frequent need to urinate)
These signs may relieve themselves after lying down and reappear when standing for extended time intervals.
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