Uterine prolapse is falling or sliding of the uterus from its normal position in the pelvic cavity into the vaginal canal.
Overview, Causes, & 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.
Uterine prolapse usually happens in women who have had one or more vaginal births. Normal aging and lack of estrogen hormone after menopause may also cause uterine prolapse, Chronic cough and obesity increase the pressure on the pelvic floor and may contribute to the prolapse.. Uterine prolapse can also be caused by a pelvic tumor, although this is rare.
Chronic constipation and the pushing associated with it can worsen uterine prolapse.
Pictures & ImagesFemale reproductive anatomy
External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.Uterus
The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.
Review Date : 5/12/2008
Reviewed By : 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.