The term “pelvic floor” describes the group of muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder, bowel, vagina and uterus. When these muscles lose their strength and tone, they are said to “prolapse.” This is extremely common in women – it’s thought that more than half of all women over age 55 have some form of this problem. Heredity, childbirth, obesity and menopause are all contributing factors.
Your doctor may have mentioned the following terms:
- Prolapsed uterus: occurs when the uterus is significantly lower than its normal position.
- Cystocoele: prolapse of the bladder
- Urethrocoele: prolapse of the urethra (the tube coming from the bladder)
- Rectocoele: prolapse of the back wall of the vagina
- Enterocoele: prolapse of the small intestines into the back wall of the vagina
It is common for more than one of these conditions to be present at the same time. Women who experience a prolapsed uterus may have the sensation of heaviness or pulling in their pelvis. Some women feel as though something is “falling out” of their vagina. They may also experience low back pain and pain during intercourse.