A cystocele is a prolapse of the bladder into the vagina. The cause of this medical condition is weakness of connective tissue that separates bladder from vagina. Apart from the bladder other urinary tract organs such as urethra may prolapse as well. There are three grades of cystocele. The first one occurs when prolapsed bladder is present only in upper part of the vagina. In the second grade cystocele the bladder extends to the vaginal opening and finally, the third grade is present when bladder is obviously protruding through the vaginal opening.
Rectocele presents a protrusion of the rectum into vagina. The cause of this medical condition is weakness of the muscles that separate the rectum from the vagina. This condition can be caused by delivery, develop together with the process of aging and can be a consequence of the previous surgical procedures performed in this area. Hysterectomy is only one surgical procedure that can later result in rectocele. In some women, rectocele may be a cause of painful intercourse. It also causes problems with stool elimination.
Causes of Cystocele and Rectocele
In most of the cases these two conditions are connected to multiple vaginal births. Additionally, persistent intrabdominal pressure can be a common cause of both, cystocele and rectocele. Women who suffer from these conditions are in menopause. The lack of estrogen, which is a common event in menopause, additionally leads to relaxation of the pelvic muscles making it easier for bladder or rectum to prolapse. The best treatment modality for both conditions is surgery.
Initial Treatment and Surgery for Cystocele and Rectocele
The grade of the condition defines the treatment modality that is going to be applied. Namely, in mild cases patients are advised to perform so called Kegel exercises. These exercises will strengthen the muscles of the pelvis and keep the bladder and rectum in their original places. However, once cystocele and rectocele have occurred, the condition tend to progress and majority of women finally need a surgical repair.
Mild to moderate cases of cystocele may benefit from a pessary which is placed into vagina and prevents prolapse of the bladder. This device can be rather helpful especially in those women who cannot be operated.
If the symptoms of the disease keep on the women is surgically treated. In case of large cystocele and rectocele both of these organs are placed back onto their natural place. The repair of the vagina wall is performed in all the women who do not plan to have children any more. Problem with urinal incontinence, which is common in cystocele, is also surgically solved. In rectocele a surgeon repairs the tissue between the rectum and the vagina. The surgery is highly effective and can drastically reduce or even totally eliminate the problems caused by these two medical conditions.