What is cystocele?

Cystocele, also known as anterior prolapse, occurs when the supporting tissue between the bladder and the vagina weakens and stretches causing the bladder to drop or sag into the vagina. It can be divided into 3 grades:

  • Grade 1 mild: the bladder drops slightly into the vagina.
  • Severe grade 2: The bladder sinks until it meets the opening of the vagina.
  • Advanced grade 3: The bladder protrudes through the opening of the vagina.

Treatment depends on the degree of cystocele.

Symptoms of cystocele

Symptoms may vary depending on the degree of cystocele. In mild cases, symptoms are usually not visible. However, in higher grades, symptoms are usually visible and may include the following:

  • Feeling of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis and vagina.
  • Discomfort when straining: coughing, sneezing…
  • Sensation of wanting to urinate even after going to the bathroom
  • Bladder infections
  • Pain and/or urinary incontinence during sexual intercourse.

Depending on the degree of symptoms may vary, and can also affect the daily life of women affecting their quality of life.

What are the causes of cystocele?

There are several factors that cause the muscles, ligaments and tissues of the pelvic floor to weaken over time. These include childbirth, overweight or obesity, repeated heavy lifting, pressure on the abdomen (constipation, chronic cough…).

Can it be prevented?

It is recommended to undergo regular gynecological examinations from the age of 45. In the case of cystocele due to childbirth, the pathology may appear earlier.

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What is the treatment?

Treatment depends on the degree of cystocele. In general, mild degrees do not require treatment, however it is important to see a gynecologist for occasional visits to see if the condition is worsening.

It is also important to do exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor. In cases with a higher degree of cystocele, other types of treatments such as estrogen therapy or a presario device to keep the bladder in place can be considered.

In extreme cases, surgery may be chosen to position the bladder in place.