The pelvic floor comprises of muscles, connective tissue and ligaments that support the bladder and various pelvic organs. A cystocele or a fallen bladder or a prolapsed bladder occurs when the supportive tissue between the vaginal wall and the urinary bladder weakens, and the bladder bulges in to the vagina. The pelvic floor may become weak over time, either due to trauma from childbirth or chronic straining of the pelvic floor muscles.
Causes And Symptoms Of A Fallen Bladder
Probable causes are:
- Lifting heavy weights.
- Straining at stool due to chronic constipation.
- Chronic cough.
Fallen Bladder Symptoms
Fallen / prolapsed bladder is characterized by:
- Sensation of fullness or pressure in the pelvis, more so, when you standing for prolonged periods of time.
- Aggravation when you cough, strain, or lift.
- Tissue may protrude through the vagina.
- Recurrent bladder infections.
- Sensation that you have not completely emptied the bladder after urinating.
- During sexual intercourse there may be pain or urinary incontinence.
Kegel Exercises And Treatment For Cystocele
Kegel exercises are done to manage a cystocele effectively. They strengthen and fortify the pelvic floor muscles and also provide relief from the symptoms of a fallen bladder.
To perform Kegel exercises:
- You have to work on the muscles you use to stop urinating.
- Hold for 5 seconds, and then relax for 5 seconds.
- Next time hold the contraction for 10 – 15 seconds.
- Perform 3 sets of ten repetitions daily.
You can perform the Kegel exercises unobtrusively just about any time, when you reclining on the couch or are at your desk.
The treatment regimen depends up on how severe the cystocele.
Mild cases usually do not need any treatment. Follow all the self-care guidelines, such as, exercises that reinforce the pelvic floor muscles; and see if there is any worsening.
- Ensure that you do Kegel exercises daily. They fortify the pelvic floor muscles, and are particularly important after delivery.
- Manage constipation effectively; drink plenty of water and consume foods that are packed with dietary fiber.
- Do not lift heavy weights and if you must, lift it correctly. When lifting, make use of your legs instead of your back.
- Treat chronic, relentless cough quickly.
- Manage your weight; get guidance on weight loss approaches, and try to achieve an ideal body weight.
In severe cases, your doctor will suggest:
- Pessary: is a rubber / plastic ring that is introduced in to the vagina to prop up the urinary bladder. The doctor will fit it and show you how to clean and replace it.
- Estrogen therapy: is recommended by a lot of health care professionals; they usually advice a vaginal pill, or ring or cream; more so, if you are menopausal. The hormone estrogen helps keep the pelvic muscles strong.
- Surgery: is conducted vaginally and it entails lifting the fallen bladder back in to its original place, getting rid of surplus tissue, and tightening the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor. The surgeon may place a graft to support the vaginal tissues. In case you have a cystocele along with a fallen uterus, the surgeon will advise excising out the uterus along with repair of the impaired pelvic floor.