Is it very harmful to have your bladder protruding from your cervix?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Is it very harmful to have your bladder fallen and protruding from your cervix?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

I read your letter. I am hoping that you mean that your bladder has fallen down and is protruding into/outside of your vagina, not out of your cervix. While they are located close together inside of your body, it would be difficult for this to happen. Your cervix is actually the entrance to your uterus, which is a totally different organ than the bladder.

With that being said, I actually see many women who have this problem of their bladder falling down. This is known as bladder prolapse (or a cystocele). It can also occur with the uterus, vagina, or rectum. How does this happen? As we age, the muscles in that area can weaken, causing the support system to give out. The organs simply fall down due to gravity!

Bladder prolapse is not usually harmful. It is only a problem if it bothers you or causes symptoms. Since your bladder is involved, perhaps you have urgency or frequency of urination. It sometimes can cause the bladder to not empty itself of urine well, which can lead to urine retention and bladder infections.

Fortunately, there is help for this problem. If you want surgery, they can repair it for you permanently. If surgery is not an option, there are devices, called pessaries, that can be inserted into the vagina that will support the bladder and put it back into place, so it will not fall out/down. Please see a gynecologist who specializes in this, so that you can explore all of your options.

I wish you luck!