What Is Cystocele?
Cystocele is a condition to describe the bladder dropping into or sagging against the vaginal wall. It is also known as a prolapsed bladder. This happens when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and can no longer provide the needed support for the bladder. Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common condition in women.
The cystocele (prolapsed bladder) can be grouped into grades:
Mild cases. There is only a slight protruding of the bladder into the vagina.
Severe cases. The bladder has sunk deep into the vagina and has reached the vaginal opening.
Advanced cases. The bladder bulges out through the opening of the vagina.
The board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta are fully qualified and have the experience necessary to diagnose a pelvic organ prolapse and determine the correct treatment option for you.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can also cause other organs to prolapse including the rectum wall (rectocele) and small bowel (enterocele). If you feel that your bladder or any other pelvic organ has slipped out of place, please call or make an appointment online to speak to one of our experts.
What Causes Cystocele?
A cystocele can be caused by the following:
- Straining muscles during childbirth
- Repeated straining during bowel movements
- Chronic coughing
- Advancing age
- Lifting heavy objects
- Previous pelvic surgery
- Weak muscles around the vagina caused by lack of estrogen after menopause
What Happens When You Have a Cystocele?
The following symptoms or a combination of symptoms may mean that you have a cystocele:
- Feeling heavy or full in the pelvic area
- A noticeable bulge in the vagina
- Needing to push organs back up into the vagina to empty the bladder or have a bowel movement
- Discomfort in the lower belly or pelvis
- Pelvic pressure that increases with standing, lifting, or coughing or as the day goes on
- Lower back pain
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Frequent urination with urgency
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Pain during sex
- Problems putting in tampons or vaginal applicators
To be certain it is advisable to get a professional diagnosis through a pelvic exam.
How Is a Cystocele Treated?
Treatment depends on the grade of the cystocele and may include:
- Activity changes. You may be asked to avoid certain activities, such as heavy lifting or straining during bowel movements, as these could cause the cystocele to worsen.
- Kegel exercises. Regular, daily pelvic floor muscle exercises make them stronger.
- Vaginal pessary. A pessary is a small device placed in the vagina to support the bladder.
- Surgical treatment. This may be used to move the bladder back into a more normal position.
- Hormone replacement therapy. This treatment option is used to help strengthen the muscles around the vagina and bladder. Before choosing this option, there are some risks to consider, so it would be best to discuss them with your healthcare provider first.
The team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta diagnose pelvic organ prolapse and offer personalized treatments to keep your pelvic organs in place and relieve your symptoms.
Call or make an appointment online for expert urological care. We have offices throughout Metro Atlanta, including Griffin.