We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Dropped Uterus?

By Geisha A. Legazpi
Updated Jan 22, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A dropped uterus, also known as a prolapsed uterus or uterine prolapse, is a condition wherein a woman’s uterus is displaced downward and the vagina is everted. Causes of a dropped uterus include childbirth and damage to the pelvic floor during labor, impaired nerve transmission to the pelvic floor muscles, genital atrophy, lack of estrogen or hypoestrogenism, and other medical conditions that increase intra-abdominal pressure or decrease the elasticity of collagen. This condition can cause impaired function and is usually treated surgically.

Together with the upper part of the vagina, a healthy uterus is supported by a muscle called levator ani and fibrous structures collectively called endopelvic fascia. The levator muscles and the endopelvic fascia are also called the pelvic floor because they support the pelvic and abdominal contents. A woman with a dropped uterus has a weakening of this support system and a defect in the upper part of the vagina, leading to vaginal eversion and dropping or descent of the uterus through the vaginal canal.

There are various causes of a dropped uterus. Women who have given birth several times are at an increased risk because childbirth loosens or tears the levator muscle, endopelvic fascia, or perineal body. A problem with the pudendal nerve and associated nerves may cause impaired nerve transmission, leading to weakness of the pelvic floor and subsequent uterine prolapse. Women who have chronic pulmonary disease that leads to excessive coughing, constipation, and obesity may also suffer from a dropped uterus due to an increased intra-abdominal pressure that weakens the pelvic floor. Connective tissue diseases, such as Marfan syndrome, also predispose women to having a dropped uterus.

The need for treating a dropped uterus is usually dependent on the degree of prolapse. In first-degree prolapse the uterus descends into the upper vagina but is not seen externally, while in second-degree prolapse the cervix is already near or outside the vagina. A third-degree or total prolapse is a condition wherein the entire uterus is already outside the vagina. While minimal or first-degree uterine prolapse may not cause symptoms, the effects of a second- or third-degree dropped uterus include vaginal fullness, back pain, spotting, ulceration, pain or difficulty during sexual intercourse, and urinary or fecal incontinence or retention. Women who have mild uterine prolapse without symptoms do not need treatment.

Important considerations in treatment include the age of the patient, desire for conception, degree of prolapse, severity of symptoms, other medical conditions, presence or absence of nerve problems, previous surgical history, and patient’s choice. If the patient decides that her reproductive function has to be preserved, ultrasound imaging and endometrial biopsy are recommended. Pelvic exercises, vaginal support devices such as pessaries, and topical estrogen are considered conservative medical treatment. Severe cases are best treated with surgical procedures, such as colpectomy, colpocleisis, abdominal sacral colpopexy, sacral uteropexy, sacrospinous ligament fixation, iliococcygeus fascia suspension, and uterosacral ligament fixation. A pap smear is recommended prior to surgery.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.