A vaginal vault prolapse is when the upper portion of the vagina loses its normal shape and sags down into the vaginal canal or outside the vagina.
“Yes, your vagina can fall out. Believe it or not, everything can fall out,” OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.
“This can be really, really painful, because once it’s outside, it can get ulcerations, it can get dry, [and a woman can have] problems with urination [and] defecation,” she says.
Vaginal vault prolapse typically occurs in women who have undergone a hysterectomy.
Dr. Lisa explains that the prolapse can be corrected with surgery, during which the vagina is pulled back up and attached to either the lower abdominal wall, the spine or the ligaments of the pelvis. She warns that this type of surgery may not be right for everyone, as there is an increased risk of bleeding associated with the procedure. Additionally, if there are other complications within the pelvic region, this surgery may not be recommended.
A nonsurgical option is to use a pessary, a diaphragm-like object, to push the vagina back into place. Dr. Lisa explains that sexual intercourse is not recommended when a pessary is in use.