What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse?

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include the following: a feeling of pressure in the vaginal area, bulge in the vagina or outside the vagina, incomplete bladder emptying, urinary frequency or urgency, urinary incontinence, incomplete emptying of the bowel or the need to press or push to empty the bowel and discomfort during intercourse.

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The most common symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) are pelvic pressure, pelvic pain or pain with intercourse. Many patients will complain of worsening pain as the day progresses. If they have been on their feet for long periods of time, the gravity can cause worsening of their prolapse and by the end of the day they are having a significant amount of symptoms. Other symptoms of POP are problems with emptying your bowel or bladder or noted bulging in the vagina.

Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include the following:

  • urgency of urination
  • difficulty initiating the flow of urination
  • needing to give support to the bladder in order to urinate or to be able to empty completely
  • needing to double void in order to empty (go to the bathroom and then go again 20 to 30 minutes later)
  • pressure in the vagina
  • recurrent bladder infections
  • vaginal ulceration/bleeding
  • recurrent yeast or bacterial infections of the vagina
  • dryness
  • painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • difficulty with insertion during intercourse
  • incontinence of urine (the unplanned, uncontrolled loss of urine which affects quality of life)
  • constipation
  • needing to defecate twice in order to empty, usually 10 to 20 minutes following the first bowel movement
  • needing to give support to the rectum, either by pressing in the vagina or around the opening, in order to move the bowels
  • rectal incontinence
  • hemorrhoids
  • kidney disease

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse depend on the degree of prolapse and what organ is prolapsing (protruding into the vaginal canal). Clearly, women will feel a bulge in the vaginal canal that is bothersome. Some women describe feeling low back pain or a dragging sensation or weight sensation in the low back as well as the vaginal canal. In some cases, they might complain of constipation, discomfort or difficulties with intercourse, or urinary symptoms—both difficulty emptying or incontinence.

Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can include vaginal bulge, pain or pressure in the vaginal area, difficulty emptying the bladder, symptoms of an overactive bladder and difficulty passing stool.

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Learn about symptoms of pelvic prolapse in this video with Dr. Oz, Dr. Elizabeth Mueller, Dr. MaryPat Fitzgerald and Dr. Kimberly Kenton.

Dr. Jill Rabin
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic pressure and heaviness
  • Difficulty controlling urine and stool
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • A dripping or bulging feeling in the vagina
  • Irritation of protruding tissue
  • A feeling of “sitting on an egg”
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Urinary retention
Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

More About this Book

Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like!

Advance praise for Mind Over Bladder "Where is the closest bathroom?" If you listen hard enough, these are the words you hear from the lips of millions of women as they enter malls, lobbies, museums,...

Continue Learning about Female Reproductive System Disorders

What conditions can affect the uterus?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Occasionally, something happens that changes the integrity of this hardy muscular organ, causing eve...
More Answers
How do I manage my pelvic organ prolapse on a daily basis?
UCLA HealthUCLA Health
A specific type of exercise—pelvic floor exercises, or Kegels—can help symptoms of pelvic organ prol...
More Answers
What is the treatment for pelvic pain?
Bolanle Sogade, MDBolanle Sogade, MD
Robotic surgery is making pelvic pain treatment less invasive and with shorter recovery time. In thi...
More Answers
What are the symptoms of female genital problems?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
Women can experience a variety of genital problems that may be caused by infections, sexually transm...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.