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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Cystocele
      Category : Health Centers > Urinary System & Kidneys


Alternate Names : Dropped Bladder, Fallen Bladder

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Cystocele is a condition in which part of the bladder drops down, or protrudes, into the wall of the vagina.

What is going on in the body?

The bladder is the holding place for urine. It lies just above the vagina in a female. Between the bladder and vagina is a wall made of tissues and muscles that support the bladder and the urethra. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

When a woman has a cystocele, the wall supporting the bladder is weaker than usual. This weakening allows part of the bladder to protrude or drop down into the vagina. As the bladder droops into the vagina, the urethra becomes stretched, allowing urine to leak out of the urethra.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

A cystocele results from a weakening or stretching of the tissues supporting the bladder. The causes of this weakening include:

  • muscles and tissues being stretched during childbirth
  • heavy lifting that causes stress on the muscles surrounding the vagina and bladder
  • repeated straining during bowel movements, which can be caused by frequent constipation
  • menopause. Estrogen helps keep the muscles around the bladder and vagina strong. During menopause, estrogen levels decrease.
  • normal aging, which can cause the muscles to become weaker


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    Cystocele: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/13/01

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