When a patient is experiencing a fallen bladder, they are likely suffering from a condition called cystocele, or bladder prolapse. Bladder prolapse occurs when a patient’s bladder falls through the vaginal canal and creates physical and emotional concerns. This occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments that are responsible for supporting the bladder are weakened. The weakening of the muscles can be caused by childbirth, aging, obesity, and chronic constipation. This loss of strength causes the pelvic organ to sag and results in bladder prolapse.
Bladder prolapse can cause the inability to empty the bladder, incontinence, and chronic urinary tract infections. Common symptoms of bladder prolapse include:
- Inability to empty the bladder
- Urgency to urinate
- Pain and pressure in the vagina
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Bladder visible through the vaginal canal
Dr. Gandhi can perform a physical examination to determine if a woman is suffering from bladder prolapse. Other testing may be done to ensure that the bladder is not infected and it is emptying properly.
Bladder prolapse is determined based on the grade, which is a scale of severity. Grade 1 is the mildest of cases, and occurs when a very small portion of the bladder droops into the vaginal canal. Grade 4 is when the entire bladder is outside of the vagina, and typically requires surgery to address permanently. When the severity of the condition is determined, Dr. Gandhi of Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology can provide an effective treatment option.
There are a variety of treatments available for bladder prolapse. For patients with mild bladder prolapse, exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments may help in supporting the organ. This may include pelvic floor trainers and exercises including Kegels. A pessary may be inserted to help support the bladder, as well as the use of estrogen replacement therapy for more advanced cases. When the prolapse is left untreated, it can get increasingly worse, and may eventually require surgical intervention.
If you believe you may be experiencing bladder prolapse, or prolapse of any of the pelvic organs, Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology can help you. Dr. Gandhi and his team of professionals offer the best, most compassionate care for women in the area in a state-of-the-art facility to ensure patients receive the most effective and technologically advanced treatments.