Signs and Symptoms of Vaginal Prolapse

Symptoms of vaginal prolapse vary, depending on the type. In some cases, the condition is asymptomatic (i.e., does not cause symptoms). The most common sign of the condition is a sensation that structures in the pelvis are out of place. General symptoms include pressure in the vagina or pelvis (usually decreases when lying down), painful intercourse (dyspareunia), and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI). In some cases, a lump or mass develops at the vaginal opening.

Other symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse include the following:

  • Constipation or difficulty emptying the bowel completely (may indicate rectocele, enterocele, vaginal vault prolapse, or uterine prolapse)
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder (may indicate cystocele, enterocele, vaginal vault prolapse, or uterine prolapse)
  • Enlarged vaginal opening (may indicate vaginal vault prolapse)
  • Pain that increases when standing for long periods of time (may indicate enterocele, vaginal vault prolapse, or uterine prolapse)
  • Protrusion of tissue (may indicate rectocele if towards the back of the vagina or cystocele if at the front of the vagina)
  • Urinary stress incontinence

Women who experience signs of vaginal prolapse should contact their physician or health care provider. Pelvic organ prolapse is rarely life threatening, but the condition requires treatment to prevent worsening of symptoms.

Publication Review By: Amy Stein Wood, MPT, BCIA-PMDB, Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Apr 2006

Last Modified: 01 May 2014