Alternate Names : Dropped Bladder, Fallen Bladder
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
repeated straining during bowel movements, which can be caused by frequent
menopause. Estrogen helps keep
muscles around the bladder and vagina strong. During menopause, estrogen levels
normal aging, which can cause the muscles to become weaker