A cystocele is an anterior prolapse that occurs when the supportive tissue between the vaginal wall and bladder weakens and stretches. This prolapse also causes the bladder to bulge into a woman’s vagina. Cystocele can be an extremely painful medical condition, so you should get checked out immediately if you believe you may be suffering from cystocele.
Mild cases of cystocele may not cause any pain or any other symptoms. The more serious cases of cystocele will cause heavy pressure on the pelvis, extreme discomfort when you strain and pain or urinary leakage during intercourse. Feeling like you have a full bladder immediately after urinating and multiple bladder infections are also common symptoms of cystocele. These symptoms will be more noticeable when standing for a long time, and they may not be present at all if you are lying down. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, then there is a very good chance that you may be suffering from cystocele.
The muscles and tissues that support your bladder naturally weaken over time, but it still takes a severe trauma to this area to cause cystocele. Some of the most common causes of cystocele are natural childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic coughing, obesity and straining for bowel movements. Due to the natural weakening over time, older women are more susceptible to getting cystocele. A woman who has delivered multiple children or has had a hysterectomy will also be at a greater risk for an anterior prolapse.
It is recommended that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Sherry Thomas as soon as possible if you believe you have a cystocele. During your first appointment, we will give you a pelvic exam while lying down and standing up to test your pelvic floor muscles and to search for a bladder prolapse. We may also test a urine sample to search for any other problems with the bladder.
Once we have determined that you have a cystocele, we will decide on a form of treatment. The exact treatment you receive will be determined by the severity of your cystocele. Mild cases usually only require you to perform a few exercises every day at home to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If these exercises do not fix the problem, then you will most likely be given a supportive device or estrogen therapy.
The supportive device is a rubber ring placed inside your vagina to help provide extra support for the bladder. Estrogen therapy is a common treatment for women that have already experienced menopause. The extra estrogen in the body will naturally help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. If you have a severe case of cystocele, then surgery may be your only treatment option. Surgery is always the final option when treating cystocele. It is only done after the supportive device, estrogen therapy and exercises have proven to be ineffective.
Dr. Sherry Thomas is a urogynecologist and surgeon with her practice. She has helped many women with various health issues they had. If you believe you have cystocele or if you have any questions about cystocele treatment, please feel free to contact us today so that we may assist you.