Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Diagnosis of pelvic organ prolapse begins with a physical exam of your pelvic organs. The exam helps your doctor determine the type of prolapse and its severity. Your doctor also will ask you questions about medical and family history, including details about your symptoms.

Tests for pelvic organ prolapse may include:

  • Cotton swab test. Your doctor inserts a small, cotton-tipped applicator lubricated with anesthetic gel into your urine tube (urethra), and you're asked to strain. The applicator indicates loss of support to the urethra.
  • Bladder function test. This test measures your bladder's ability to store and empty urine. It helps your doctor determine the most appropriate type of surgery for bladder or urethral prolapse.
  • Pelvic floor strength tests. Your doctor will test the strength of your pelvic floor and sphincter muscles. Your doctor also will test the strength of muscles and ligaments that support the vaginal walls, uterus, rectum, urethra and bladder.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI creates a detailed, 3-D image of your pelvis.
  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound helps your doctor view your kidneys, bladder and the muscles around your anus.
  • Cystoscopy. Doctors use cystoscopy to evaluate symptoms of urinary urgency, frequency, bladder pain or blood in the urine. Your doctor inserts a thin tube with a light and camera on the tip (cystoscope) into your urethra to view your urethra and bladder.
Nov. 20, 2012