Uterine prolapse

Alternative Names

Pelvic relaxation – uterine prolapse; Pelvic floor hernia; Prolapsed uterus

Definition of Uterine prolapse

Uterine prolapse is falling or sliding of the uterus from its normal position in the pelvic cavity into the vaginal canal.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The uterus is held in position in the pelvis by muscles, special ligaments, and other tissue,. The uterus drops into the vaginal canal (prolapses) when these muscles and connective tissues weaken.

Signs and tests

A pelvic examination performed while the woman is bearing down (as if trying to push out a baby) will show how far the uterus comes down.

Treatment

Treatment is not necessary unless the symptoms are bothersome. Most women seek treatment by the time the uterus drops to the opening of the vagina.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most women with mild uterine prolapse do not have bothersome symptoms and don’t need treatment.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/12/2008

Female reproductive anatomy
Uterus

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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