How pelvic organ prolapse presents
POP presents in a wide variety of ways. When a bladder begins to fall, it puts pressure on the front wall of the vagina. This is called a cystocele and is the most common of organ prolapses to occur in pregnancy. Since the organ can't fit through the urethra, which becomes blocked by the bladder, pressure from it pushing against the vaginal wall can be felt.
The symptoms of POP
When the rectum falls against the back wall of the vagina (rectocele), a strange pressure in the back half of the body can be felt. The rectocele causes a blocking of bowel movement. A piece of the rectum may find its way out of the anal opening, which remains strong, or a small space may have opened between the vagina and rectal wall that allows a small piece of rectum to move into the space.
Now it's really getting serious
Although all of these are very uncomfortable, it is more concerning when organs actually begin to appear outside of the body, as in a vaginal, rectal or uterine prolapse.
When a vaginal prolapse occurs, pieces of the vaginal wall can be seen or felt protruding from the birth canal. If the uterus has prolapsed, it is possible to see the actual cervix coming out. An anorectal propapse presents with a large lump of tissue protruding from the anus during or after a bowel movement. This tissue does not remain in place when pushed back in.
Regardless where the tissue is protruding from or where the pressure is felt, a prolapse requires the immediate care of a physician. There are different ways to treat POP, which we'll discuss in another article.