Urology of Greater Atlanta

The Symptoms of a Cystocele
(Prolapsed Bladder)

Cystocele is a common condition that can easily be treated by one of our board-certified urologists. In this article, you’ll learn about its symptoms and the treatment options that are available.

What Is Cystocele?

Cystocele is a condition that describes the bladder dropping into or sagging against the vaginal wall. It is also known as a prolapsed bladder.

A cystocele occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened and can no longer provide the needed support for the bladder. This dysfunction is a common condition in women.

The cystocele (prolapsed bladder) can be grouped into grades:

Grade 1

Mild cases. There is only a slight protruding of the bladder into the vagina.

Grade 2

Severe cases. The bladder has sunk deep into the vagina and has reached the vaginal opening.

Grade 3

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. We have multiple offices throughout Georgia for your convenience.

What Causes Cystocele?

A cystocele can be caused by the following:

  • Straining muscles during childbirth
  • Repeated straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic coughing
  • Advancing age
  • Being overweight
  • 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
  • Constipation
  • Problems putting in tampons or vaginal applicators

To be certain, it is advisable to get a professional diagnosis through a pelvic exam.

When to See a Doctor

You are unlikely to experience pain with a cystocele. However, they can be uncomfortable to live with. You may struggle to empty your bladder fully, which may lead to bladder infections. 

You should make an appointment with one of our board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta if you have symptoms that bother you or impact your daily activities.

How Is a Cystocele Treated?

Treatment for a cystocele depends on the grade of the cystocele and may include the following:

  • 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 may make them stronger.
  • Vaginal pessary—A pessary is a small device placed in the vagina to help 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.

Contact Urology of Greater Atlanta Today!

The team of board-certified urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta can diagnose pelvic organ prolapse and offer you personalized treatments to keep your pelvic organs in place and relieve your symptoms.

Contact us today or make an appointment online for the expert urological care you deserve! We have multiple locations throughout Georgia for your convenience.

Stockbridge, Country Club Drive

290 Country Club Drive Suite 100, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge Drive

4799 Blue Ridge Drive Suite 107, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

Sandy Springs

1100 Lake Hearn Drive NE STE 320
Atlanta, GA 30342

Griffin, West College Street

230 West College Street Bldg. C, Griffin, GA 30224

Spivey Station

7823 Spivey Station Blvd Suite 210, Jonesboro, GA 30236


4143 Hospital Drive NE Covington, GA 30014