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Prolapse is caused by weakening of tissues that support the pelvic organs.

The risk of developing pelvic organ prolapse is increased because of age, childbirth, menopause, being overweight, hysterectomy, constipation or chronic cough. The symptoms of prolapse level 1 and 2 can be improved with physiotherapy sessions.

There are several types of prolapses.

Cystocele is when the front of the vaginal wall weakens, allowing the bladder to herniate into the vagina. This condition changes the angle of the urethra (tube that carries urine from the body) and often results in stress incontinence. When a cystocele occurs, the urethra also may prolapse into the vagina (called urethrocele). When prolapse of both the bladder and the urethra occurs, the condition is called cystourethrocele.

Enterocele is a condition that occurs when the front and back vaginal walls separate, allowing the small bowel to press against or herniate into the vagina. This condition is more common following removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).

Rectocele, also called proctocele, is when the back of the vaginal wall weakens and the rectum presses against or prolapses into the vagina. This condition may create a bulge that is more noticeable during a bowel movement.

Weakening of the ligaments that support the top of the vagina (called the uterosacral ligaments) may cause the front and back of the vaginal walls to weaken as well, resulting in prolapse of the uterus (womb).