Warning Signs Of A Prolapsed Bladder

A prolapsed bladder is a common problem that can cause discomfort and a variety of symptoms that impact daily activities. Bladder prolapse generally occurs in women and is often associated with pregnancy and birth, when increasing weight causes stress on pelvic organs. A prolapsed bladder can also occur due to menopause, when decreasing estrogen levels affect muscle tone. Frequent straining, such as from lifting objects, severe coughing, or chronic constipation, can also cause a prolapsed bladder. 

Prolapsed bladder treatments are out there. They vary based on the severity of the patient's condition. For instance, severe cases may require surgery to correct the prolapse. A supportive device for bladder prolapse may be needed. Women often use a pessary. Of course, natural remedies for a prolapsed bladder are also out there. Most patients are encouraged to try Kegel exercise to strengthen their pelvic muscles.

Pelvic Pain Or Discomfort


Discomfort from a prolapsed bladder varies from one patient to another and also depends on the severity of the problem. Prolapse may cause pressure on the bladder and vaginal tissue. This can result in pain, particularly when lifting, coughing, or straining. Pain can be sharp and sudden, or a dull, continuous ache. Some women experience a chronic, heavy feeling in the pelvis, as if internal organs are pulling on muscles inside the pelvic cavity. The pelvic pain or discomfort may intensify during long periods of walking or standing. Individuals may feel like there is an obstruction in the area or may even feel the bladder bulging.

Difficulties Urinating


Individuals who have a prolapsed bladder often report having problems urinating. They may have difficulty starting a urine stream, may have pain during urination, or may feel they have to urinate frequently. These issues may cause discomfort or self-consciousness. In some cases, the individual may not be able to urinate at all. This is a serious medical issue that should be treated immediately. Several treatments are available for urination problems, including medications, implant devices, conditioning methods for bladder muscles, and surgery. Physicians will determine the underlying cause of a patient's difficulties urinating and will provide appropriate treatment, including measures to help bladder prolapse.

Stress Incontinence


Stress incontinence is the involuntary release of urine from the bladder, often during physical activity or even due to high-pressure situations. Individuals may leak urine during running, jumping, heavy lifting, or when sneezing and coughing. The leakage may not occur every time they engage in these movements, and may only happen when the bladder is full. Stress incontinence can result from the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles or the urinary sphincter that allows the release of urine during voiding. A prolapsed bladder can cause increased pressure on these structures, leading to the involuntary release of urine. Incontinence can cause severe embarrassment and can often lead individuals to isolate themselves from normal activities.

Incomplete Voiding Of The Bladder


A prolapsed bladder may press down on the tissue and nerves, making it difficult to completely empty the bladder. Some individuals with incomplete voiding of the bladder may have to urinate more than once to empty their bladder, which may require repeated trips to the bathroom. Individuals often report feeling as if they have not emptied completely, even after what they believe is full urination. This problem often leads to interruption of their everyday activities at work or school, which can lead to embarrassment. Individuals who have problems urinating should have a frank discussion with their doctor, who can point them to the appropriate specialist. It may be a prolapsed bladder.

Frequent Bladder Infections


When an individual experiences frequent bladder infections, it may be indicative of a prolapsed bladder. A bladder infection occurs when bacteria is introduced to the urethra and makes its way up the urinary tract into the individual's bladder. Bladder infections result from bacteria multiplying and colonizing once they are in the bladder. In healthy individuals, bacteria that travels into the urethra is typically washed away by urine. Proper sanitary habits help prevent the introduction of bacteria to the region. 

When an individual experiences a prolapsed bladder, their pelvic floor muscles have failed at supporting the bladder. This failure allows the bladder to fall into other surrounding organs and structures. The displacement of the bladder can cause a patient to be unable to void their bladder of urine completely. This malfunction means some urine stays inside of the bladder continuously. When urine stagnates in a patient's bladder, bacteria are allowed to grow and multiply rapidly. This mechanism results in frequent bladder infections due to a prolapsed bladder.

Lower Back Pain


An individual experiencing persistent lower back pain may be affected by a prolapsed bladder. The bladder is secured in place by a floor-like structure formed by multiple ligaments and muscles. Moderate or severe bladder prolapse can cause the bladder to fall into the opening of a woman's vagina. This malfunction can cause the woman to have pain or discomfort in the lower back, pelvis, groin, vagina, and lower abdomen. Individuals affected by bladder prolapse tend to describe the pain as a continuous aching or pulling sensation. 

Lower back pain is known to become worse in women with a prolapsed bladder when engaging in sexual intercourse or during their menstrual period. The bladder's presence on top of tissues where it does not belong can cause nerves in the area to become compressed. When the nerves are compressed, the patient can feel pain in the lower back and pelvis. The force of the bladder pulling on tissues and ligaments when it is displaced and fills up with urine can cause the muscles in the lower back to become fatigued and sore. In addition, urinary tract infections caused by a prolapsed bladder can also cause pain in the lower back.

No Relief After Voiding The Bladder


When individuals feel no relief after voiding their bladder, it may indicate they have a prolapsed bladder. When the bladder prolapses, the malfunction causes part of the bladder to sag to an elevation underneath where the urethra meets the bladder. This bulge can be referred to as a cystocele. As a result of gravity and the impaired position of part of the bladder, patients cannot effectively fully empty their entire bladder. The reason is that urine accumulates in the cystocele, the region of the bladder that sags underneath the point where the urethra meets the bladder, and has no force to push it up to that opening. 

The sensations a healthy individual experiences when the bladder contains a considerable amount of urine that needs to be voided are a result of the nerves in the bladder communicating with the brain. The brain then signals the sphincter to expel the urine, which effectively turns off the sensation individuals feel when they need to urinate. However, the brain will continue to send electrical signals to the nerves around the bladder that cause these sensations in prolapsed bladder patients because urine is still present.


    HealthPrep Staff