A small posterior prolapse may cause no signs or symptoms. Otherwise, you may notice:
- A soft bulge of tissue in your vagina that may or may not protrude through the vaginal opening
- Difficulty having a bowel movement with the need to press your fingers on the bulge in your vagina to help push stool out during a bowel movement ("splinting")
- Sensation of rectal pressure or fullness
- A feeling that the rectum has not completely emptied after a bowel movement
- Sexual concerns, such as feeling embarrassed or sensing looseness in the tone of your vaginal tissue
Many women with posterior prolapse also experience prolapse of other pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus or small intestine.
When to see a doctor
When a posterior prolapse is small, you don't need medical care. Posterior prolapse is common, even in women who haven't had children. In fact, you may not even know you have posterior prolapse.
In moderate or severe cases, however, posterior prolapse can be bothersome or uncomfortable. Make an appointment with your doctor if:
Oct. 04, 2014
- You have a bothersome bulge of tissue that protrudes from within your vagina through your vaginal opening when you strain
- Constipation treatment isn't successful at producing soft and easy-to-pass stool between three times a day to three times a week
- Park AJ, et al. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and nonsurgical management of posterior vaginal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- 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/home. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- 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/home. Accessed July 30, 2014.
- 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.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 29, 2014.