Uterine Prolapse: Stages, Symptoms, Treatment & Surgery (2024)

What is uterine prolapse?

Uterine prolapse is a condition where the muscles and tissues around your uterus become weak. This causes your uterus to sag or drop down into your vagin*. It can happen to anyone assigned female at birth (AFAB), but is most common after menopause and in people who’ve had more than one vagin*l delivery.

The muscles, ligaments and tissues in your pelvis are called your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your uterus, rectum, vagin*, bladder and other pelvic organs. A prolapse occurs when your pelvic floor muscles are damaged or weakened to the point where they can no longer provide support. This causes your pelvic organs to drop into or out of your vagin*.

Uterine prolapse can be mild or severe depending on how weak the supporting muscles of your uterus have become. In an incomplete prolapse, your uterus may have slipped enough to be partway in your vagin*. This creates a lump or bulge. In a more severe case, your uterus can slip far enough that it comes out of your vagin*. This is called a complete prolapse.

What are the stages of uterine prolapse?

Your healthcare provider may use a system to classify uterine prolapse. The stages of uterine prolapse are:

  • Stage I: Your uterus drops into the upper part of your vagin*.
  • Stage II: Your uterus falls into the lower part of your vagin*.
  • Stage III: Your uterus is protruding from your vagin*.
  • Stage IV: Your entire uterus slips outside of your vagin*.

Who gets uterine prolapse?

Uterine prolapse is most likely to happen in people who:

  • Have had one or more vagin*l deliveries.
  • Have reached menopause.
  • Have a family history of uterine prolapse.
  • Have had prior pelvic surgeries.

Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing the hormones that regulate your monthly menstrual period. One of these hormones is estrogen. This particular hormone helps keep your pelvic muscles strong. Without it, you’re at a higher risk of developing a prolapse.


How common is uterine prolapse?

Uterine prolapse is a fairly common condition. Your risk of developing the condition increases with age. You’re also at a higher risk of uterine prolapses if you’ve had multiple vagin*l deliveries.

How serious is a prolapsed uterus?

Uterine prolapse can disrupt normal activities and be uncomfortable. Very mild cases may not require treatment or cause any discomfort. However, severe cases may make it difficult to pee or have a normal bowel movement. Uterine prolapse is typically a quality of life issue, and healthcare providers treat it when symptoms of the condition begin to interfere with your daily life.

Uterine Prolapse: Stages, Symptoms, Treatment & Surgery (2024)


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