DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am seven months pregnant with my first child. My obstetrician said I have ureterocele. He also mentioned bladder prolapse. I am not having incontinence at the moment, but I have a lot of pain and always feel like I'm on the verge of an accident. I am trying to understand the condition, how I may prevent it from worsening, and if there is any treatment.
ANSWER: Congratulations on your pregnancy. I am sure it is a very exciting and anxious time.
Pelvic organ prolapse is the general term that is applied to any relaxation of the supportive tissues around organs in the pelvis and vaginal area. The condition occurs as a result of changes to your body.
There are three areas that often are affected:
Uterus - known as uterine prolapse
Back wall of the vagina - known as rectocele
Bladder - known as cystocele
There are several factors that can increase a woman's risk of prolapse. Pregnancy is a commonly known risk factor that predisposes women to development of prolapse, although it typically occurs after delivery. Chronic constipation and genetics can elevate a woman's risk.
In your case, diagnosed during your first pregnancy, I would venture that the pressure from your uterus and pregnancy are contributing most of your prolapse.
While women who give birth via vaginal delivery also may have a slight increased risk, I do not think there is any reason for you to consider a cesarean section because you are experiencing symptoms of prolapse. It is likely that many of your symptoms will improve after delivery.