Cystocele: Care Instructions

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Normal female pelvic anatomy and of cystocele

Your Care Instructions

Cystocele happens when the bladder sags or presses into the vagina. It is also called bladder prolapse.

Pregnancy, pelvic surgery, or being overweight may damage the muscles and other support tissues in your pelvis. Or the muscles and tissues may get weaker as you age. These can make the bladder sag. This may cause uncomfortable pressure in your vagina.

A cystocele usually does not cause serious health problems. You may find relief by making lifestyle changes and doing exercises to make the pelvic muscles stronger. Talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce symptoms. If your symptoms go on, you may want to talk to your doctor about surgery.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Do not lift heavy objects or do anything that puts pressure on your pelvic muscles.
  • Do pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises. These tighten and strengthen pelvic muscles.
    • Squeeze the same muscles you would use to stop your urine. Your belly and thighs should not move.
    • Hold the squeeze for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds.
    • Start with 3 seconds. Then add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds.
    • Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times for each session. Do three or more sessions each day.
  • Lie down and put a pillow under your knees. This eases pressure on your vagina. You also can lie on your side and bring your knees up to your chest.
  • Ask your doctor about a vaginal pessary. You can place this in your vagina. It supports the bladder. Your doctor can teach you how and when to remove, clean, and reinsert it.
  • If your doctor prescribes vaginal estrogen cream, use it exactly as prescribed.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

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