• A cystocele occurs when the supportive tissue between a woman's bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina. A cystocele is also called a prolapsed bladder.

    Possible causes of cystocele include:

    • Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Repeated heavy lifting
    • Straining with bowel movements
    • A chronic cough or bronchitis


    • A feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis and vagina — especially when standing for long periods of time
    • Increased discomfort when you strain, cough, bear down or lift
    • A bulge of tissue that, in severe cases, protrudes through your vaginal opening and may feel like sitting on an egg — often going away when you lie down
    • A feeling that you haven't completely emptied your bladder after urinating
    • Repeated bladder infections
    • Pain or urinary leakage during sexual intercourse

    When surgery is necessary

    If you have noticeable, uncomfortable symptoms, the cystocele may require surgery.

    • How it's done. Often, the surgery is performed vaginally and involves lifting your prolapsed bladder back into place, removing extra tissue, and tightening the muscles and ligaments of your pelvic floor. Your doctor may use a special type of tissue graft to reinforce vaginal tissues and increase support if your vaginal tissues seem very thin.
    • If you have a prolapsed uterus. For a cystocele associated with a prolapsed uterus, your doctor may recommend removing the uterus (hysterectomy) in addition to repairing the damaged pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and other tissues.