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What is vaginal vault prolapse?

Vaginal vault prolapse is a condition in which the upper part of the vagina drops down into the vaginal canal. Vaginal vault prolapse can be a complication of a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) because the uterus helps to hold up and support the vagina. It is also more likely to occur in women who have given birth vaginally, who are obese or who have had other pelvic organ prolapses. Certain behaviors, such as frequently coughing violently, pushing forcefully when having a bowel movement, or other actions that increase the physical stress on the vaginal area, can increase risk for vaginal vault prolapse.
 
Symptoms of vaginal vault prolapse may include:
  •  a feeling of pressure in the vagina
  •  a feeling that tissue is dropping into the vaginal canal
  •  difficulty emptying the bladder or a weak urine stream
  •  frequent urinary infections
  •  vaginal discharge and bleeding
  •  pain during sexual intercourse
  •  a feeling that you need to push excess tissue out of the way to urinate or defecate more easily or completely
Vaginal vault prolapse can be treated with surgery, pelvic floor exercises and/or use of a pessary (a small medical device inserted into the vagina to provide structural support).

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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.