Uterine prolapse occurs when pelvic floor muscles and ligaments stretch and weaken, providing inadequate support for the uterus. The uterus then slips down into or protrudes out of the vagina.

Uterine prolapse can happen to women of any age, but it often affects postmenopausal women who've had one or more vaginal deliveries. Damage to supportive tissues during pregnancy and childbirth, effects of gravity, loss of estrogen, and repeated straining over the years all can weaken your pelvic floor and lead to uterine prolapse.

If you have mild uterine prolapse, treatment usually isn't needed. But if uterine prolapse makes you uncomfortable or disrupts your normal life, you might benefit from treatment.

Aug. 17, 2012