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What Is a Prolapsed Cervix?

Giving birth vaginally, especially to large babies, may result in a prolapsed cervix.
Being overweight can increase the risk of developing a prolapsed cervix.
Lifting heavy objects can play a role in developing a prolapsed cervix.
A gynecologist may discover a prolapsed cervix during a yearly exam.
The lower third of the uterus is known as the cervix.
Kegel exercises can be used to strengthen the pelivic floor.
In extreme cases, surgery for a prolapsed cervix may be necessary.
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  • Written By: A. Gabrenas
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2014
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A prolapsed cervix is a health condition in which the lower part of a woman’s uterus extends further into the vagina than it should. In severe cases, the cervix may extend so far that it actually comes out of the vaginal opening. The condition is sometimes also referred to as a uterine prolapse. It can affect any woman, but some are generally considered to be at higher risk. Depending on the severity, treatment may range from watchful waiting to lifestyle changes to surgery.

The cervix is the bottom opening of the uterus. In most women, the cervix and uterus are normally held in place at the top of the vaginal canal by the pelvic muscles. When these muscles are injured or become weak, a prolapsed cervix can result.

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Certain women may be at greater risk for weakened pelvic muscles and resulting uterine prolapse, including those who have given birth vaginally, especially to large babies, and those with lower levels of estrogen. Vaginal childbirth often increases the risk of a prolapsed cervix because it exerts a lot of pressure on the pelvic muscles, stretching them out. A lack of estrogen in the body, often a part of the normal aging process, may lead to muscle weakness in many places in the body, including in the muscles that normally hold the uterus in position. Other conditions that may play a role in uterine prolapse include being overweight, lifting heavy objects, straining to go to the bathroom often, coughing a lot or having a pelvic tumor.

Some women may have no symptoms of a prolapsed cervix, especially if it is minor. If symptoms do occur, they may include a feeling of pressure in the vagina, pain during sex, problems urinating or backache. Women with severe cases may also feel or see the uterine tissue coming out of the vaginal opening.

When women have few or no symptoms, health-care providers often recommend watchful waiting, which generally involves regular exams to check to make sure the prolapsed cervix isn’t worsening. If symptoms get worse, healthcare providers may recommend more active treatments. In less severe cases, this may include lifestyle changes such as Kegel exercises to help strengthen the weakened pelvic muscles or weight loss to reduce the strain on the muscles. A vaginal pessary, a device inserted into the vagina to help hold the cervix and uterus in place, may also be recommended. When these more conservative treatments don’t work or the prolapsed cervix is severe, surgery to repair the weakened muscles or remove the uterus entirely in a hysterectomy may be recommended.

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anon290593
Post 5

I had a prolapse of the womb and cervix sorted three weeks ago. Above my scar I now have this abnormal looking stomach overhang, which I never had before and it's causing me distress to look at and it's still numb. Does this go away in time?

I suffer from IBS too, so it's a slow recovery, but I'm desperate to get back to the gym. By the way, I am 44 and kept my womb by choice.

anon177697
Post 4

Absolutely, I had a prolapsed uterus after my second child and I ended up having a hysterectomy. This was 15 years ago now and I've never had any trouble whatsoever since-it was the best thing.

anon176097
Post 3

in five days I'm going to have surgery because i have six prolapsed organs: uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder, rectum and small intestine. They are taking the uterus and the cervix out, and they are cutting some of the large bowel and reattaching it. The ovaries will come out if they look bad. I'm 53 and I've never had children. I have fibromyalgia and a long history of IBS. I was told i have weak tissue, and all the straining with the IBS made things worse. I went into menopause early -- at age 38.

I'm scared to death after reading all the things that can go wrong during and after the surgery.

has anyone had all of this done at the same time? They say it's a five-hour surgery and a seven-day hospital stay, with a recovery of three months at home.

MsLiza
Post 2

@cakesalot - I'm sorry to hear about that. My sister had a prolapsed cervix a few years ago and she considered having a hysterectomy like you, but luckily she was able to get by with a vaginal pessary.

Now, take what I'm going to say with a grain of salt because I am not a doctor, but from reading the information the doctors gave to my sister, I would say that a hysterectomy should probably be your last choice. There's all kinds of hormonal and physical side effects, and one of the brochures we read even said that it could cause problems with your memory and brain function.

So all in all, I have to say I wouldn't want to try it, but again, my sister was in a lot of pain, so if nothing has worked for you so far, I'd say discuss it with your doctor -- who knows, it might be the best option for you.

Good luck!

cakesalot
Post 1

This has been something I've had to deal with for as long as I can remember. I'm done having children and am thinking about going ahead with a hysterectomy. I just don't know if that's going to present more problems as I'm not quite menopausal yet either -- has anyone done this to help with a prolapsed cervix, can you give me some advice?

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