Cystocele: Causes and Prevention

Cystocele is a condition that occurs when tissues that hold up the bladder stretch and weaken, which causes the bladder to dip down into a woman’s vagina. 

Often called a prolapsed bladder or anterior prolapse, the condition causes the vaginal wall to become stretched. As a result, women suffering from cystocele feel like they are sitting on a ball and feel pressure around their vagina. Additional symptoms include pain during sexual intercourse and discomfort when coughing or lifting.

The condition is caused by pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Because of this, women often experience cystocele during childbirth or when straining to pass a bowel movement. Weight also contributes to the risk of developing cystocele. Women who are overweight or are pregnant could develop the condition because the extra weight puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and the tissues connecting the bladder. Bladder experts at Affiliated Urology have found that other conditions may also lead to cystocele. For example, excessive coughing could strain the pelvic floor muscles, so having a prolonged illness like bronchitis could attribute to the development of cystocele.

Cystocele may seem like a difficult condition to prevent because the causes are often unavoidable. However, the Affiliated Urologists team created a list of preventative measures patients can practice. They suggest performing Kegel exercises regularly to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles so they are less prone to weakening. Kegel exercises are simple and can prevent numerous urological conditions including incontinence and prolapse. Another easy way to prevent cystocele is to incorporate plenty of fiber into the diet, which can make bowel movements easier and more frequent and effectively eliminate the need to strain. Finally, talk to the Affiliated Urology team about strategies to get rid of excess weight. Obesity is a contributing factor to a number of health conditions and can have adverse effect on your urinary system. If medication for another condition is causing weight gain, physicians can work with primary care doctors to possibly find an alternative treatment so patients can remain at a safe weight for their age.

It may be difficult for women to avoid prolapse after childbirth, so if the preventative measures do not effectively mitigate the condition, we advise getting immediate treatment. We can supply women with a vaginal pessary to secure the bladder in place as the muscles recover from labor. If cystocele persists, our team of talented physicians may suggest minimally invasive surgery to reinforce the vaginal tissues.

Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or visit for instructions on scheduling an appointment.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

New patients are always welcome.

Affiliated Urologists


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