Pelvic organ prolapse is usually (but not always) a consequence of childbirth. It may happen as a result of chronic straining as well. It occurs at a rate of approximately 30% in the general female population.

Prolapse through the vagina can be of any of the following:
Urethrocele – prolapse of the urethra through the vagina
Cystocele – prolapse of the bladder through the vagina
Uterine Prolapse – prolapse of the uterus through the vagina
Rectocele – prolapse of the rectum through the vagina

The rectum can also prolapse through the back passage. This is a rectal prolapse.

Prolapses are staged according to how far they come down. Stage II (two) is the most common and this is where the part comes down as far as or even to 1 cm just outside the entrance to the vagina. This measurement is on straining (Valsalva manoeuvre). Typically prolapses behave differently depending on the time of day and on what is in the bladder and in the bowel.


The pelvic floor muscles may be weak as a result of damage to part of the pelvic floor. The remaining muscles then become overloaded as a result of the damage to the neighbouring muscle. This is in part because of how hard the muscles have to work in compensation and in part because of how the woman holds herself in response to the feeling of something coming down.

Thus, even though there is descent of the organs and even though ultimately strengthening is indicated it will be necessary to release the tense or loaded pelvic floor muscle first in order to ensure that it works correctly with strengthening. Therefore with pelvic organ prolapse, the usual pathway of release before strengthening on this website should be followed.