Animals that walk on four legs only rarely get posterior prolapse. The upright weight placed on a woman's pelvic floor is the main reason women experience posterior prolapse.
Increased pelvic floor pressure
Other conditions and activities that increase the pressure already on the pelvic floor and can cause or contribute to posterior prolapse include:
- Chronic constipation or straining with bowel movements
- Chronic cough or bronchitis
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Being overweight or obese
Pregnancy and childbirth
Pregnancy and childbirth increase the risk of posterior prolapse. This is because the muscles, ligaments and fascia that hold and support your vagina become stretched and weakened during pregnancy, labor and delivery. As a result, the more pregnancies you have, the greater your chance of developing posterior prolapse.
Not everyone who has had a baby develops posterior prolapse. Some women have very strong supporting muscles, ligaments and fascia in the pelvis and never have a problem. Women who have only had cesarean deliveries are less likely to develop posterior prolapse. But even if you haven't had children, you can develop posterior prolapse.
Aug. 01, 2012
- Park AJ, et al. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and nonsurgical management of posterior vaginal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed June 4, 2012.
- Culligan PJ. Nonsurgical management of pelvic organ prolapse. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;119:852.
- Park AJ, et al. Surgical management of posterior vaginal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Rogers RG, et al. An overview of the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and management of pelvic organ prolapse in women. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Hagen S, et al. Conservative management of pelvic organ prolapse. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine. 2012;22:118.
- Lightner DJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 5, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.