A cystocele, also called a bladder prolapse, occurs when the tissues and muscles that hold the bladder in place are stretched or weakened. This causes the bladder to move from its normal position and presses against the wall of the vagina, forming a bulge.
A bladder that has dropped from its normal position may cause two kinds of problems: unwanted urine leakage and incomplete emptying of the badder. In some women, a fallen bladder stretches the opening into the urethra, causing leakage when a woman coughs, sneezes, laughs or moves in any way that puts pressure on the bladder.
Repair of a cystocele may include surgery to move and keep the bladder in a more normal position. The most common procedure for cystocele repair is for the surgeon to make an incision in the wall of the vagina and repair the area by tightening the layers of tissue that separate the organs, creating more support for the bladder.