Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Uterine Prolapse

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Uterine Prolapse

(Pelvic Floor Hernia; Pudendal Hernia; Pelvic Relaxation)


Uterine prolapse is when the uterus slips into or extends past the vagina.


This problem happens when the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus become weak.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in women over 70 years of age. It is also more common after menopause. Other things that may raise the risk are:


Some women may not have symptoms. Others may have:

  • Pelvic pressure, heaviness, or pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Tissue that slips or extends past the vagina
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Problems passing stool
  • Problems passing urine, such as urgency and frequency


You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical and pelvic exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.


Treatment may be needed if the prolapse is causing symptoms. The first steps may help to ease symptoms and delay the need for surgery. First steps may include:

  • Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
  • Estrogen therapy to prevent further weakness of the pelvic floor
  • A device placed in the vagina to prop up the uterus and bladder


The risk of uterine prolapse may be lowered by:

  • Staying at a healthy weight
  • Limiting heavy lifting
  • Avoiding constipation
  • Doing exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor




  • American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS). ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 185: Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Nov;130(5):e234-e250.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/pelvic-organ-prolapse.
  • Uterine and apical prolapse. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/pelvic-organ-prolapse-pop/uterine-and-apical-prolapse.
  • Vaginal pessary. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/vaginal-pessary.


  • Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.