What Are the Signs of a Prolapsed Uterus?

Amanda R. Bell

A prolapsed uterus, which occurs when the muscles that support the womb become too weak to hold it in place, can present with several symptoms. Signs of a prolapsed uterus include pressure and pain in the waist area and issues with urinating and defecating. In some cases, this problem can cause a feeling of looseness in the vagina, pain during intercourse, and an overall sensation that something is about to fall out of the vaginal opening. In severe instances, tissue from the uterus may stick out of the vaginal opening or the uterus may come out entirely.

During childbirth, the uterus can begin to move into the vaginal canal.
During childbirth, the uterus can begin to move into the vaginal canal.

When the pelvic floor muscles become weak, either due to trauma, childbirth, or a lack of estrogen, the uterus can begin to move into the vaginal canal. This can cause noticeable pressure in the pelvic region, with some women reporting a feeling of sitting on a small, round object. Due to the inability of the muscles to support the uterus and surrounding area, the lower back may hurt, especially when standing. Occasionally, this can make it difficult for a patient to walk.

A prolapsed uterus can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful for a woman.
A prolapsed uterus can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful for a woman.

As the uterus moves into the vaginal canal, issues related to going to the bathroom can occur. Some women experience a frequent urge to urinate, while others have difficulty relieving themselves. A woman can also have abnormal bowel movements. In some cases, she may experience rectal urgency, characterized by a feeling of always having to go to the restroom. Depending on how far down the uterus has traveled, some patients may have severe constipation.

In severe cases of uterine prolapse, the uterus can begin to leave the body completely.
In severe cases of uterine prolapse, the uterus can begin to leave the body completely.

If a woman experiences a sensation of looseness in the vaginal tissue, it can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful, especially if the uterus is close to the vaginal opening. Women often report an overall feeling of something falling out of the vaginal opening; this is similar to the sensation many women experience during pregnancy right before they go into labor.

A prolapsed uterus may be diagnosed via ultrasound.
A prolapsed uterus may be diagnosed via ultrasound.

When a prolapsed uterus is not diagnosed in time, a woman may be able to feel the uterus inside of the vaginal opening; it can also become visible outside of the body. These signs indicate that the condition is serious, and the uterus may leave the body entirely. This stage, known as a complete uterine prolapse, can be extremely severe. When this health issue is identified in time, a supportive device or surgery can provide enough support to the uterus to keep it in place.

Women with a prolapsed uterus can experience a frequent urge to urinate.
Women with a prolapsed uterus can experience a frequent urge to urinate.
A woman who has strong pelvic floor muscles may decrease her chances of experiencing uterine prolapse.
A woman who has strong pelvic floor muscles may decrease her chances of experiencing uterine prolapse.
The uterus falls from its normal position in a prolapsed uterus.
The uterus falls from its normal position in a prolapsed uterus.
The need for treating a dropped uterus is typically dependent on the degree of  prolapse.
The need for treating a dropped uterus is typically dependent on the degree of prolapse.

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