The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a common gynaecological condition. It is caused by weakening of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the vagina. One or more of the pelvic organs may drop down or bulge out of the vagina.

Types of Prolapses:

  • Uterine prolapse - The womb (uterus) moves down and presses on the vagina 
  • Cystocele - The bladder pushes into the weakened front wall of the vagina
  • Rectocele - The bowel pushes into the weakened back wall of the vagina

For more information about prolapse watch the videos on this page: Understanding Pelvic Organ Prolapse. 

What symptoms might a prolapse cause?

  • Heavy dragging feeling or a feeling of "something coming down"
  • A lump in the vagina 
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or discomfort with intercourse
  • Wanting to go to the toilet more than usual 
  • Leakage of urine
  • Frequent urinary tract infections


The pelvic floor muscles help to support the organs in the pelvis. Pelvic floor exercises has been proven to improve pelvic organ prolapse symptoms.  

Research has shown that up to 32% of people cannot contract their pelvic floor correctly and up to 25% of people are doing the wrong thing when contracting their pelvic floor, which could actually make your symptoms worse. Therefore It is important to ensure you have a pelvic floor assessment before starting pelvic floor muscle training.

For more information on prolapse have a read of our leaflet: Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises and Bladder advice