vaginal prolapse

Last reviewed 05/2019

Prolapse (derived from the Latin term: Prolapsus – ‘‘a slipping forth’) is falling, slipping or downward displacement of an organ or structure beyond its normal confines (1).

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or genital prolapse is a protrusion of one or more pelvic organs (bladder, rectum, uterus, vaginal vault, bowel) through vaginal fascia into the vagina and the downward displacement ('prolapse') of the associated vaginal wall from its normal location to or outside the vaginal opening (2).  

POP can be classified according to the compartment affected:

  • anterior vaginal wall prolapse - urethrocele, cystocele
  • posterior vaginal wall prolapse - rectocele, enterocele
  • prolapse of the cervix or uterus
  • prolapse of the vaginal vault - which can only occur after prior hysterectomy.