A cystocele occurs when the tough fibrous supporting tissue that holds the bladder in its place at the top of the vagina is torn or stretched during childbirth or with chronic pressure, such as heavy lifting, coughing, or constipation. Damage in this supporting structure allows the bladder to prolapse or fall into the vagina or be visible through the vaginal opening. In the most severe cases, a woman can see her bladder through the vaginal opening while standing or straining.
Cystocele can cause a disruption in the function of the bladder, such as incomplete bladder emptying, loss of urine with exertion, discomfort and pain during and after intercourse, and urinary urgency and frequency.
Cystocele repair is usually accomplished very successfully through the vagina in an outpatient procedure that repairs the torn or stretched fibrous tissues supporting the bladder. This repair allows the bladder to return to its original position and in most cases, the loss function can be corrected at the same time.