Looking for Real Uterine Prolapse Pictures?
We are guessing that you are looking for pictures of uterine prolapse because you think you have one. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, you’re feeling more comfortable searching for answers on your own. We’ll get straight into vaginal prolapse photos in a moment.
But first, know that we’re well aware that this must be terrifying. We understand exactly how you feel because we have been there. You’re not stuck with it, though. You can absolutely heal and feel like yourself again.
Here, you’ll find some photos of vaginal prolapse along with relevant and actionable information you can use to get started with your healing journey.
You’re not alone. Pelvic organ prolapse is very common. Sadly, women often don’t get the medical attention they deserve until after things get really bad. Many are turned away by their healthcare provider. Others are simply afraid to bring it up.
Regardless of where you are and how you feel, searching for pictures of uterine prolapse has led you to us. We’re honored that you’ve chosen us as your source of information.
So, let’s explore what uterine prolapse is, what’s caused it, and how you can heal.
What Is Uterine Prolapse?
Prolapse of the post-vaginal wall, rectocele
DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Uterine prolapse, also referred to as vaginal or genital prolapse, is a form of pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic floor dysfunction.
It occurs when the uterus does not have adequate muscle and tissue support most commonly due to pelvic floor tightness, scar tissue, fascial adhesions, and hormonal shifts, and is pulled out of its normal place into or through the vaginal canal.
As you can see in these pictures of uterine prolapse, in its healthy position, the uterus is located in between the bladder and the rectum. However, when uterine prolapse occurs, it’s no longer in its normal position, but rather in the place where a healthy vaginal canal should be.
Existing studies on women in different geographic regions estimate that anywhere from 5.9% to 40% of all women have some degree of uterine prolapse.
Nonetheless, the condition is a lot more common than that. The exact numbers of its prevalence are unknown and there is little research and medical literature on its natural progression.
Studies also often lump uterine prolapse with other forms of prolapse, making it even harder to determine its frequency. Last but not least, many women never seek medical attention, preventing their cases from being registered.
Doctors do not consider pelvic organ prolapse a life-threatening health condition but admit that it significantly reduces women’s quality of life.
The 4 Stages of Vaginal Prolapse In Pictures
Prolapse of post-vaginal wall, rectocele
Prolapse of the back vaginal wall (rectocele) into the opening of the vagina in an 81 year old female patient.
The rectum is pushing against weakened tissues in the vaginal wall.
DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
According to medical literature, the exact positioning of a prolapsed uterus depends on the severity of the condition. The further it is pulled through the vaginal canal, the more severe your vaginal prolapse is. Doctors distinguish a total of four stages which they refer to as grades:
• Grade 1: The uterus is no longer in its normal position and has been pulled into the upper part of the vagina. You may experience prolapse symptoms such as heaviness or pulling in your lower belly and pelvic area. Nevertheless, it’s also highly possible that you may be asymptomatic. From the outside, though, things will look as normal.
Medical professionals are currently discussing whether they should be diagnosing this stage at all. Although so many women experience Grade 1 prolapse, especially after they’ve given birth, not diagnosing it during the initial stages is actually normalizing and ignoring the issue.
• Grade 2: The uterus has been pulled further through the vagina and the cervix is nearly at its opening. From the outside, you may not see anything. However, you will likely feel the descended cervix if you insert your fingers into the vagina.
• Grade 3: The cervix and the upper part of the uterus start bulging through the vaginal opening. So, if you notice a bulge as indicated in the pictures of uterine prolapse above, it’s a sign of a more advanced prolapse.
• Grade 4: During this stage, the entire uterus has been pulled through the vaginal opening and is visible.
You can also see the different stages of uterine prolapse in the pictures above.
In actuality, that’s a very generalized and simplified way of looking at it.
Each woman’s pelvic floor is as unique as her fingerprint. Depending on where the scar tissue is located, your uterine prolapse will look different. It may be toward a side of your pelvic cavity or more toward its front or back. So, in many cases, it will not resemble the photos of vaginal prolapse you will normally see online.
Commonly found vaginal prolapse photos in addition to being simplified, focus primarily on the muscles and do not include critical tissues such as fascia and nerves.
To provide a more accurate visual, we’ve created more detailed pictures of uterine prolapse.
Vaginal wall prolapse
Vaginal wall prolapse. Close-up of a bulge in a 72 year old woman’s vaginal wall.
This is a cystocele, a condition where the vaginal wall weakens, in this case the anterior wall, and allows the bladder to fall into the vagina.
DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Other Forms of Pelvic Organ Dysfunction
Uterine prolapse isn’t the only form of pelvic organ prolapse. Women also suffer from:
• Cystocele – prolapse of the bladder into the vagina.
• Enterocele – it develops when the small intestine protrudes into the lower pelvic cavity and squeezes at the top part of the vagina, creating a bulge.
• Vaginal vault prolapse – it develops when the entire vaginal canal is pulled outside the vagina.
• Rectocele – prolapse of the rectum into the vaginal canal.
• Rectal prolapse – rectum prolapse through the rectal opening.
• Urethrocele – it happens when the urethra protrudes out of the urethral opening or squeezes into the vaginal canal.
Each of these can occur on its own, but women can also experience more than one of them at the same time.
Symptoms of Uterine Prolapse
If you have uterine prolapse, you may experience the following symptoms:
• Heaviness or a pulling sensation in the lower abdomen or pelvic region
• A feeling of fullness, aching, discomfort, or pressure in the pelvis and vaginal region that becomes more pronounced after coughing, lifting, or standing
• Pain during sex
• Difficulty urinating
• Occasional urinary tract infections
• Urinary incontinence
• Lower back pain that may go away when you lie down
• Vaginal bleeding
• Feeling stuck, hopeless, abandoned, or like a failure
It’s not uncommon for women to experience no symptoms during the earlier stages of uterine prolapse.
Prolapse of the vaginal wall
Prolapse of the vaginal wall (rectocele) in an 82 year old female patient after a previous vaginal hysterectomy.
DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Causes and Risk Factors of Uterine Prolapse
The most common cause of vaginal prolapse is traumatic or lengthy childbirth. Pregnancy puts significant stress on the pelvic floor, and it can be further exacerbated by trauma during labor.
In addition to that, various risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing uterine prolapse. They include:
• Physical or emotional trauma
• Scar tissue and fascial adhesions
• Hormonal shifts and imbalances
• Biomechanic and genetic differences that determine the natural elasticity of your tissues
• Obesity or significant weight gain
• Chronic constipation and diet that leads to frequent constipation
• Poor nutrition
• Chronic coughing
• Previous abortion(s)
• Prior history of pelvic floor dysfunction such as pelvic floor tightness
• Multiple pregnancies
• Pregnancies carrying more than one baby
• Frequent pregnancies with little recovery time between them
• Lack of adequate recovery postpartum
• Carrying heavy loads
• Delivery that’s performed by unskilled birth attendants
• Varying health conditions
• History of pelvic surgery
Menopause is another significant risk factor. As muscles and tissues lose their tone and elasticity, the chances of developing uterine prolapse increase.
You may have pelvic prolapse if your symptoms resemble the ones described and demonstrated in these pelvic organ prolapse photos. However, if you want a more accurate assessment of whether you have pelvic prolapse, you need to undergo a pelvic exam.
During the exam, your physician will probably ask you to bear down as if you were experiencing a bowel movement. In most cases, this is all the physician needs to know if an organ has been dislocated, and, if so, which one. However, in other cases, a medical history is required to elicit associated symptoms.
Standard Uterine Prolapse Treatment Methods and Their Drawbacks
The information and studies available on pelvic organ prolapse are scarce. This dramatically affects the choice of treatment options that most medical professionals recommend. Depending on the severity of your vaginal prolapse, doctors would likely recommend one or a combination of the treatment methods below:
This is often the recommended course of action for Stage 1 prolapse.
2. Kegels, Behavioral, and Lifestyle Changes
These are common suggestions for women with mild vaginal prolapse. Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor, aiming to increase its tone and ability to keep the uterus and other pelvic organs in place. Kegels can be beneficial for some women in certain cases.
Unfortunately, uterine prolapse is not one of them. Routinely performing Kegels, especially if doing so incorrectly, can push the uterus further down the vaginal canal, increasing the severity of the prolapse. Thus, Kegels are, for many, ineffective and can actually worsen your condition.
Suggestions often include limiting behaviors such as not carrying heavy loads, avoiding certain activities, not sitting on the toilet for a prolonged time, and more.
Reducing excessive may also be recommended. Research indicates that clinically obese women who shed as little as 5% of their body weight can prevent or reduce pelvic floor disorders, including prolapse.
Pessaries tend to be the first line of treatment for uterine prolapse of moderate severity. They are soft, removable medical devices that act as a mechanical barrier holding the uterus in place. While they are relatively inexpensive and can reduce symptoms, their use often leads to complications. In fact, over half of the women with a pessary experience complications.
You can see pictures of pessary use to alleviate uterine prolapse symptoms above.
4. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT is often recommended for older women in addition to a pessary or surgery. Since estrogen and progesterone decrease during menopause and lead to lower muscle tone and weaker tissues, doctors aim to boost their levels to help the body provide better tissue support for the pelvic organs.
However, prolonged hormone replacement therapy can result in complications such as an increased risk of endometrial cancer.
Vaginal prolapse surgery is something that doctors recommend for severe cases that fall under Stage 3 or Stage 4. There are various types of surgery for uterine prolapse, and all have their respective pros and cons.
None of the surgeries guarantees permanent healing, and it’s common to require consequent surgeries to maintain the results. Each of the surgeries also results in additional scar tissue, contributing to the root cause of uterine prolapse. Even if women may experience temporary improvement, it eventually worsens the condition.
Gynecologists, however, overwhelmingly agree on one thing – that the most effective type of surgery and one that is the least likely to fail involves hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus.
One major drawback with all the conventional vaginal prolapse treatment methods is that they patch the problem, but do not address its root cause – tightness and scar tissue in the pelvic muscles and tissues that inhibit their healthy performance. Therefore, the results are only temporary.
So, what if you do not agree with any of these options?
Natural Healing Methods
Don’t give up! Despite the lack of medical information on the topic, there are various treatment methods that can help you not only to heal but also to reverse uterine prolapse without any medical intervention. They are safe, have science backing them, and help you achieve permanent results even in severe cases.
Here are some examples of natural prolapse treatment methods that can help you get rid of vaginal prolapse for good:
• Pelvic floor therapy
• Scar tissue remediation
• Diet and lifestyle changes
• Block therapy
• Mind over medicine
Keep in mind that even though these are natural and safe, it’s best to work with a qualified and experienced professional for the best results.
Heal Uterine Prolapse Naturally with Moonrise Health
If you have not received adequate support from your healthcare provider and want to heal without pessaries or surgery, Moonrise Health can help.
We are a women’s health coaching provider founded by a woman who healed naturally from a Stage 3 pelvic organ prolapse. Unwilling to go through with surgery – the only option her doctors suggested, Filippa embarked on a self-healing journey full of uncertainty. Having healed naturally, she was determined to help women skip the uncertainty and learning curve and access simple and actionable information that empowers them to make informed healing decisions.
Our signature Pelvic Dysfunction Program “The No Kegels System” offers personalized healing plans that involve 100% natural, effective, and scientifically proven body- and mind-based techniques and lifestyle management practices. 93% of our customers experience significant results after just 12 weeks.
And it’s not just the program itself. “The No Kegels System” gives you exclusive access to our private community of women just like you healing uterine prolapse and other women’s health issues naturally. So, you no longer need to be going through this alone and Googling your way to feeling better.
For an overview of the Pelvic Dysfunction Program and how it works, click here.
Let’s start your healing and make this the last time you need to look for pictures of uterine prolapse!