Fallen Womb, Prolapse of the Uterus.

Fig. 117. Prolapse of the uterus is a uterus whose supports are so stretched and weakened that it falls into the vagina and sometimes to the outside.

Prolapse of the uterus is fairly common in the post-menopausal period and is also a result of child-bearing plus hard physical work. Inherited weakness of the tissues possibly aids in bringing about this condition, but it is rarely seen in women who have not borne children.

Childbirth, by stretching, and sometimes tearing the pelvic and vaginal tissues produces a “hole” in place of a tube for the vagina. Afterward, hard work may push the uterus down and through this non-supporting defect in the floor of the pelvis. Then sensations of bearing down, falling out, backache, vaginal pain, and a discharge are frequently present. Externally, on straining, a bulge of smooth, moist tissue can be seen and felt at the outlet of the vagina, and it may continue to the point that an orange sized mass protrudes and hangs out on straining or standing. Irritation, ulceration and bleeding of these tissues often follows.

Lying down allows the fallen womb to retract within the vagina and return nearly to its normal position. Permanent relief from prolapse of the uterus, however, is accomplished only through removal of the uterus or suturing it back into normal position along with the surrounding structures, such as the bladder and rectum. Although prolapse of the uterus is a most annoying and rather disabling condition, it is not a serious situation that threatens life. The diagnosis and treatment for each patient must, of course, be determined by a physician of experience in this field since position of the womb may vary considerably.