Anterior prolapse, also known as a cystocele, occurs when the supportive tissue between a woman’s bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder wall to bulge into the vaginal space. Anterior prolapse tends to occur when there is straining of the muscles, such as during childbirth, severe coughing, chronic constipation or lifting heavy objects. For mild cases of anterior prolapsed, nonsurgical treatment is often effective; however, in more severe cases, surgery may be recommended. The following shows how a cystocele is categorized:


  • Grade 1: The cystocele is mild and the bladder drops only a short way into the vagina
  • Grade 2: The cystocele is severe and the bladder decreases far enough the reach the opening of the vagina
  • Grade 3: The cystocele is advance and the bladder bulges out through the opening of the vagina



Signs and symptoms of anterior prolapsed may include:

  • Pressure on the pelvis and vagina
  • Feeling of a full bladder
  • Frequent bladder infections
  • Frequent urination
  • Discomfort when coughing or lifting objects
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Urinary leakage during sexual intercourse



Anterior prolapsed occurs when the connections between the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments weaken, causing a bulge into the vaginal space. This is caused as a result of lowering of the bladder, resulting in trauma during childbirth or straining of the pelvic floor muscles. The most common causes of anterior prolapse include the following:

  • Childbirth
  • Being overweight
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Severe coughing
  • Straining with bowel movements


Risk factors 

Factors associated with increased risk of developing anterior prolapse include:

  • Giving birth through vaginal delivery
  • Aging (most common after menopause)
  • Being overweight
  • Having the uterus removed
  • Being born with weaker connective tissues (Genetics)
  • Having had previous pelvic surgery



A few complications that might arise from cystocele repair include the following:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Infection
  • Bladder injury
  • Frequent urination
  • Formation of an abnormal connection



A few recommendations for preventing anterior prolapse may include:

  • Exercising to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Treating constipation by eating high fiber foods
  • Avoiding lifting heavy objects
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Maintaining and controlling weight gain
  • Controlling severe coughing