Vaginal vault prolapse is a condition in which the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags or drops down into the vaginal canal or outside of the vagina. This can occur either in conjunction with uterine prolapse or even after a hysterectomy. It is caused by weakness of the pelvic and vaginal tissues and muscles and can occur along with prolapse of the bladder (cystocele), urethra prolapse (urethrocele), rectal prolapse (rectocele), or small bowel prolapse (enterocele).
- Vaginal Bleeding
- Pressure in the vagina and pelvis
- Recurrent bladder infections
- Urinary Incontinence
- Urinary frequency or urgency
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Enlarged vaginal opening
- Abnormal or excessive discharge from the vagina
- Protrusion of tissue from the opening of the vagina
- Childbirth: Vaginal delivery raises the risk of prolapse more than a cesarean. It’s also believed that the more children a woman deliver, the higher the risk of prolapse.
- Surgery: A procedure like a hysterectomy, or radiation treatment in the pelvic area, could cause a prolapse.
- Menopause: During menopause, your ovaries stop producing hormones that regulate your monthly menstrual cycle. The hormone estrogen is particularly important because it helps keep your pelvic muscles strong. When your body does not make as much estrogen as before, those pelvic muscles can become weak and prolapse can develop.
- Aging: As you grow older, you are at a higher risk of forming a prolapse.
- Genetic or hereditary factors: Your pelvic support system could naturally be weaker than typical. This can be passed down throughout your family.
- Being obese or overweight
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Chronic cough and bronchitis
- Frequently lifting heavy objects
If you suffer from symptoms of uterine or vaginal vault prolapse there are surgical and non-surgical treatment options to consider. Treatment depends on the severity of your condition, age, as well as your general health. Non-surgical options include exercise, vaginal pessary, and estrogen replacement therapy. Surgical treatment options include a hysterectomy and/or vaginal vault suspension (Sacrocolpopexy).