Cystocele: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/2/2019

A cystocele or "fallen bladder" occurs when the wall between a woman's bladder and her vagina weakens, allowing the bladder to droop into the vagina.

Signs and symptoms associated with a cystocele include urine leakage and incomplete emptying of the bladder (urinary retention). In some cases, the cystocele can cause stretching of the opening of the urethra, leading to urine leakage during coughing, sneezing, laughing, or movements that put pressure on the bladder.

Causes of cystocele

The causes of a cystocele include straining muscles during childbirth, straining from heavy lifting, repeated straining during bowel movements, chronic coughing, repeated straining during bowel movements or constipation, and weakening of the muscles around the vagina caused by lack of estrogen after menopause.

Other cystocele symptoms and signs


Urinary Incontinence in Women: Types, Causes, and Treatments for Bladder Control See Slideshow

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.