What is urethral prolapse?

Urethral Prolapse
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Urethrocele: Overview

Urethrocele (urethral prolapse) is a type of pelvic organ prolapse in which the urethra moves from its normal position and presses against the front wall of the vagina. This is also called anterior vaginal wall prolapse.

Urethrcele occurs when the muscles and tissues that hold the urethra in place get weak or damaged. This may be caused by pregnancy and childbirth, being overweight, or with frequent constipation. Or the muscles and tissues may get weaker as you age.

In most cases, urethrocele does not cause serious health problems. But it may cause you to leak urine. You may notice this when you cough, laugh, or jump. You may also have problems emptying your bladder. And you may feel pressure in your vagina and pain during sex.

You may feel better if you change how you do some of your daily activities. And you can try exercises to make your pelvic muscles strong. Or your doctor may suggest a pessary to help with symptoms. Surgery may also be an option.

Urethrocele (urethral prolapse)

A urethrocele is a form of pelvic organ prolapse in which the urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body—moves from its normal position and presses against the front wall of the vagina. This is also called anterior vaginal wall prolapse. It can happen when the muscles and tissues that hold the urethra in place get weak or damaged.

How can you care for a urethrocele?

  • Do not do activities that put pressure on your pelvic muscles. This includes heavy lifting and straining.
  • Try exercises to tighten and strengthen your pelvic muscles. These are called Kegel exercises. (If doing these exercises causes pain, stop doing them and talk with your doctor.) To do them:
    • Squeeze your muscles as if you were trying not to pass gas. Or squeeze your muscles as if you were stopping the flow of urine. Your belly, legs, and buttocks shouldn't move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds, then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 times a session. Do 3 to 8 sessions a day.
  • Talk with your doctor about a vaginal pessary. This is a device that you put in your vagina to support the urethra. Your doctor can teach you how and when to remove it. You will also learn how to clean it and put it back in.
  • If your doctor prescribes vaginal estrogen cream, use it exactly as prescribed.

Urethral prolapse (urethrocele)

Urethrocele.

The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. When the muscles and tissues that hold the urethra in place get weak or damaged, the urethra can move from its normal position and press against the front wall of the vagina. This is called a urethral prolapse (urethrocele).

It is common for a bladder prolapse (cystocele) to develop along with a urethral prolapse. Both kinds of prolapse can press against the front wall of the vagina. This is also called anterior vaginal wall prolapse.

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