Prolapse and Sex Facts and Tips Women Want to Know

 Prolapse and Sex Physiotherapy Help for Women

Prolapse and sex often causes women to feel embarrassed and needlessly self conscious. Prolapse can be especially challenging for a woman’s confidence with intimacy, especially when entering a new relationship. This professional information is designed to help women with pelvic prolapse understand the facts associated with prolapse and sex, along with tips to improve prolapse support and intimacy with a prolapse.

Read on now to learn these real facts about prolapse and sex concerns: Prolapsesex

  • Will your partner notice your prolapse?
  • How to improve sex and prolapse?
  • Will sex make your prolapse worse?
  • Will prolapse affect your sex life?

Will Your Partner Notice?

Your partner is highly unlikely to notice your prolapse if it is mild to moderately severe. Men are mostly unaware of the presence of a vaginal prolapse during sex. In fact it takes many months if not years to be able to diagnose a prolapse with careful examination when you are actually looking for one. So unless your partner is a gynaecologist, you can rest assured that he will usually not feel or see your prolapse.

How to Improve Sex With a Prolapse

Use good quality lubricant

Prolapse is associated with thinning of the vaginal walls. Use the best lubricant ingredients for safety and ensure that that you are well lubricated will help to protect your internal tissues during intercourse.

Perform regular pelvic floor exercises

Regular pelvic floor exercises can help a woman’s sexual arousal and ability to achieve orgasm. Pelvic floor exercises (kegel exercises) will also help to improve the pelvic floor muscle support for prolapsed tissues and can help to reduce prolapse symptoms and encourage the prolapse to sit higher within the pelvis

Pelvic floor exercises for men can also improve sex by increasing their ability to maintain an erection by preventing blood escaping from the erect penis. In fact pelvic floor exercises have been shown to be an effective method for treating erectile dysfunction in men (Dorey, 2005). So both women and men can benefit from regular pelvic floor exercises when it comes to sexual satisfaction.

Relax with prolapse and sex

If you have a vaginal prolapse try to remain confident in the knowledge that many women lead happy sex lives without giving their prolapse and sex a second thought. Remember that your partner is most unlikely to notice your prolapse during sex. If your prolapse is mild to moderate it  should not affect either yours or your partner’s sexual satisfaction. If you can remind yourself of these things you may be able to relax with intercourseso that you and your partner can better enjoy the moment.

Can Sex Make a Prolapse Worse? Prolapse sex

No, penetrative vaginal intercourse is most unlikely to worsen a vaginal prolapse. Having a prolapse means the walls of your vagina are bulging down or your cervix has dropped down within your vagina. Sexual intercourse does not pull or draw a vaginal prolapse down any further, in fact quite the opposite. Many women can carry on with their sex lives most happily despite having a mild or moderate vaginal prolapse. Sex will not make a prolapse worse. Discuss this issue with your doctor should you have any specific safety concerns with prolapse and sex.

Will Prolapse Affect Your Sex Life?

Your prolapse should not affect your partner’s level of physical stimulation. Men and women are aroused by stimuli which may be mental or physical. The actual physical stimulation from touching body parts causes sensitive nerves to release chemicals that are pleasurable. A vaginal prolapse rarely affects the sensation a man receives during intercourse. For the women, a prolapse does not affect her pleasure sensitive clitoral nerve endings either. Your partner is most likely to be unaware of a mild to moderate prolapse during intercourse.

Some women may find their prolapse causes some discomfort with intercourse, and this can vary according to the type of prolapse and the prolapse severity. Sometimes discomfort with intercourse can be improved with pelvic floor relaxation and trying an alternative position such as sidelying with the woman’s back facing her partner to reduce the depth of penetration.

Prolapse and sex has been written to help women understand the effect of prolapse on sex by providing accurate facts. These tips are designed to assist women with mild to moderate vaginal prolapse enjoy and improve their sex lives.

prolapse exercisesABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway

Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Prolapse Exercises Inside Out. Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.

We Welcome Your Comments



  1. Is it safe to use an internal vibrator with a prolapse issue? As far as I know there are the two main types: the rabbit type that rotates and the more traditional type of stationary vibrator. Are both safe for use with prolapse? Are there any toys that need to be avoided?

    • Pelvic Exercises says

      Hi Rachel
      This is an interesting question and one only your specialist could answer in relation to your particular case. With mild to moderate prolapse penetrative intercourse is not usually problematic so it is difficult to see how a stationary vibrator would differ from penetrative intercourse. There is no current research available on this issue to my knowledge.

  2. While inserting a nuva ring for the first time i notice something didnt seem quite right. I have no health insurance so turned to the internet! I am quite sure I have a mild prolapse. I have had 3 youngest being 10lbs delivered vaginal and I am a CNA..a job requiring MUCh heavy lifting. I was very embarrassed and depressed…but reading this article helped me greatly, i was worried what my husband would think/feel…but now I can relax a little bit. Thank you.

  3. CATHERINE says

    I can feel my rectal prolapse when i introduce my finger, in fact i can move it upwards,can you consider this as a moderate prolapse?

    • Hi Catherine

      Thanks for your question on Prolapse Severity

      Vaginal proplapse severity is graded as mild, moderate or severe according to how far the lowest edge of the prolapse descends within (and out of) the vagina. Just being able to feel the prolapse with your finger does not necessarily mean it is classified as moderate in size. When the prolapsed tissue becomes close to and/or starts to protrude beyond the hymen, the prolapse classification changes from mild to moderate. It is worth remembering that a prolapse examined lying down can appear to be quite different to when standing up as gravity will have an effect on the prolapse.


  4. I have just been diagnosed with mild vaginal, rectal and bladder prolapse. I don't see any mention of exercises to address all of these areas. Are there any?

    • Hi Kathy

      When it comes to pelvic prolapse, the terminology can be tricky, for example bladder prolapse or cystocoele as it was also previously called, is now referred to as anterior vaginal wall prolapse. The principles for managing your prolapse in general will apply to all three areas, it is not different management for different prolapse if this makes sense.

      In very simple terms prolapse management involves improving your pelvic floor support with pelvic floor / kegel exercises and reducing those factors that place pressure on your prolapse and pelvic floor by reducing the amount of downward pressure with: good bowel management, safe lifting, appropriate general exercise, using your pelvic floor muscles when you cough/sneeze/lift etc.

      All exercise for prolapse regardless of the type of prolapse involves pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises. You will find extensive information and instrucional videos at our pelvic floor exercises library.

      The best place to start looking for our prolapse information is at our Pelvic Prolapse library. You will see a long list of articles and videos on the right hand side facing you on your screen.

      A good general article for you to start with is this one on bladder prolapse Remember that all those factors that place pressure on your bladder prolapse will be the same as those impacting upon the other areas of prolapse you have also.

      I hope this gives you a good starting point Kathy


  5. I have been diagnosed with a severe cystocele and a mild to moserate uterine prolapse. I bought a Kegel 8 machine and do pelcic floor exercises manually – as instructed by my gynae-physio. I think it helps to avoid immediate surgery.
    Hope this helps

  6. Natural Birth Mother of 2 says

    I have moderate diastasis abdominus recti and bladder prolapse/rectocele. Do you know if possibly one is causing the other?
    Thank you 

    • Rectus diastasis and bladder prolapse/rectoceole


      Thanks so much for this question on rectus diastasis and prolapse.

      In short, no a rectus diastasis does not cause a pelvic prolapse however a woman may be predisposed to both if she has flexible connective tissue…

      For the benefit of other readers a rectus diastasis is a split split/separation in the abdominal muscle sheath that joins the upper abdominal or “six pack” muscles in the midline between the sternum and the navel. A separationof the abdominal muscles usually results from pregnancy including large babies and multiple pregnancy weakening and stretching this tissue. It is not possible for a rectus diastasis to cause a pelvic prolapse or vice versa. What we do know however that some women have connective tissue that is quite flexible. These women often have hypermobile (very flexible) joints and can be prone to problems resulting from ligament laxity. These women are also predisposed to pelvic prolapse owing to the flexibility of their tissues, and I would think that this would also apply to rectus diastasis – the more flexible the connective tissue, the greater the likelihood of stretch perhaps beyond the limits of extensibility.

      Hope this helps

  7. Recently i went for my appointment after having my hysterectomy a year ago. they did some surgery on my pelvic too.

    when my urogynae checked my vagina, she said mine is loose, and she was not happy.

    when i am together with my hubby, i am not comfortable and feel weak after that. both of us cant enjoy at all.

    pls advice how should i overcome. need your advice.


  8. hey i have been with my boyfriend for 6 months now and im only 17 but had really bad constipation ages ago and feel i have a prolapse. my vagina feels so tight where the muscles are buldging downwards and i think my cervix has moved down as i can touch it with my fingers, im unsure if the cervix will move upwards still during sex to fit the penis in? and im soo worried my boyfriend will notice something is wrong as it will be totally embarrising , but i really want to sleep with him as i believe i am in love with him, the prolapse is not coming outside of my vagina , but i feel the canal is only around 2 inches deep and i wonder how this will effect our intercorse? i am planning on trying sex on sunday and seeing how it goes, and i do not want to go to the doctors because i am too embarrist. i have constipation and find it hard to empy my bowls but urinating for me is normal and easy and i am still able to produce my own lubricant, i can feel buldges when i insert my finger so scarred to let my partner up there incase he feels it too? PLEASE HELP

    • Hi Emily
      I understand your embarrassment and your worry about this problem however with this kind of issue you do need to go to the doctor to get it diagnosed correctly. Try to see a doctor who you think you can speak with openly. If you don’t know one and you can’t speak with your parents about this, then ask a trusted friend- perhaps a mature woman who she sees for her women’s health issues. Most doctors speak to women about women’s health problems such as yours on a very regular basis so they are accustomed to dealing with these types of issues. Then once you know what you are dealing with you can take action towards management. It does sound as though it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor about your constipation issue as well as the two may very well be related.
      Best wishes

  9. Thanks Michelle i think i will do eventully it is just plucking up the currage to do it , do u know if my boyfriend will notice ? and will sexual intercorse be possible , i am very worried /: i know he loves me but i dont want him to think i am disgusting :( 

    • Hi Emily
      Even with a moderate prolapse women can have intercourse and in most cases the male partner cannot feel the prolapse. If you can insert a tampon readily then this gives some indication of the likelihood of successful penetration . I will also add that one would never think any less of any woman with a prolapse even if they did know about it. Feel proud about your body Emily, a prolapse is nothing to feel ashamed about at all and it often takes years of training to be able to even diagnose a prolapse let alone notice one during intercourse.
      Best of luck MIchelle

      • Thankyou so much, me and my partner had sex the other night and it was great! ( bit painful at first but got better!) do you know if kegal exersizes can completly reverse prolapse? i am doing them very regularly and hoping for the best because i am only 17 and do want children in the future , im so glad i found this website michelle and you have been a great help to me ! :) x

        • Hi Emily
          No a prolapse can’t be reversed however the symptoms can be alleviated in cases of mild to moderate prolapse with Kegel exercises. The other option for women who wish to have children is to be fitted with a pessary ring for prolapse support. This needs to be discussed with your doctor and fitted by a gynaecologist. There are also pessary rings that a woman can insert as she need to in order to support her prolapse. There is no reason why having a prolapse would prevent any future pregnancy. It would be advisable to seek some pelvic floor rehabilitation and guidance from a trained physiotherapist well prior to this to ensure your pelvic floor support. The other potential issue is constipation that often accompanies pregnancy and this needs to well managed also to avoid straining during and after pregnancy.
          I am glad to assist you Emily, stay in touch.

  10. ahhh so im stuck with it for the rest of my life because i dont want surgery :'( thats soo upsetting for me :( since its getting better slowly i hoped it would all go back to normal :(, and can you still give birth vaginaly with prolapse? because i really dont want a cizerian and me and my boyfriend were thinking of having a child soon, but i dont want him or nobody to find out i have a prolapse , i have soo much stress in my life caused by it ! i just want to be a normal healthy woman!

    • I inserted something really large in my vagina when I was 16 and half because I was curious about the vagina stretching in child birth. I had to yank it out and caused some dgree of prolapse. for years I thought I couldnt have sex or get prgnant which was not true. it has affected how i feel about my body long term but i do have a partner and have given birth vaginally to 3 children. i have never felt relaxed about talking about it and have never had any help. i do pelvic floor exercises but only basic ones. i now have a rectocele and cystocele but as yet no surgery. iam 61. i do have some bladder incontinence. the worst thing is that i stopped having orgasms and have only had slight ones a couple of times since although i have no problem with arousal.

      • Michelle Kenway says

        Hi Geraldine

        Thank you for your honest comment – in addition to your honesty it really highlights how prolapse can, for many women affect our feelings about our bodies. There is not nearly enough written about the psychological impact of prolapse and for that matter emotional support for women with prolapse problems.

        Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can help to improve a woman’s sexual sensation and orgasm response so this is a very good place to start, along with sufficient lubrication and arousal. You may be interested in speaking with your doctor about vaginal oestrogen (pessary) to help improve the condition of your vaginal tissues if you suspect this is an issue too. Do you have access to a Pelvic Floor Physio who might be able to assist you with your pelvic floor strengthening routine? Do you have an understanding doctor that you can speak openly with?

        Kindest regards

  11. Hi Emily  I don't mean to sound mean, but if you can't talk to your boyfriend about these things, do you think you should bring a new life into the world with him?

  12. Hi,
    I don’t think anyone’s asked this question and quite frankly I’m embarrassed to ask my doctor. I have a mild rectocele, and was wondering if a) anal sex could have been one of the causes (I have about a million other risk factors). And b) if I should be avoiding anal sex because of the pressure it can put on the pelvic floor muscles. It seems like no one is talking about this anywhere.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Thank you for your question about anal sex and prolapse, and yes agreed it is not openly discussed.

      There are two parts to answering this question. First I need to highlight the difference between rectocoele and rectal prolapse as they are often confused but not the same.

      Rectoele refers to a prolapse of the rectum into the back wall of the vagina, the prolapse is located within/bulging from the vagina – in which case sexual intercourse will not be a factor, this occurs because of the weakening of vaginal walls/supports. In contrast a rectal prolapse is a prolapse of tissue within/out of the retum and anus (not the vagina). In this case anal sex can be a cause owing to the weakening/stretching of the anal sphincter.

      Hope this clarifies things for you – if not let me know

      • Thank you so much for broaching this sensitive and embarrassing subject. I just want to confirm that when you say that sexual intercourse won’t impact rectocele, are you including anal sex? Thanks very much.

        • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

          Hi Heather
          Thanks so much for posting this question. Anal intercourse shouldn’t worsen rectocele however it may contribute to rectal prolapse (true prolapse of the rectum from the anus) owing to stretch on the anal sphincter and supporting tissues.

  13. I found this forum very helpful and reassuring and I just wanted to comment on the great level of communication from the admins.
    I do have a query though – I’m only 17 and yet I have a uterine prolapse. It’s hard to say how severe it is, but I can feel it when I insert a finger. I’ve never given birth so I think it may have been caused by constant constipation and a sudden weight gain. Will it gradually get worse if I don’t do anything about it? If I lose weight, will it significantly improve? Also, how effective are Kegel exercises?
    I’ve never been to a doctor about it because I wasn’t sure it’d be much good, I don’t feel like I need surgery and I certainly don’t want it.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Bro
      Thanks for your comment. I think the first thing you need to do is to see a doctor to get this confirmed as a prolapse. You are correct in that constipation with long-term straining as well as weight gain can contribute to uterine prolapse. I can tell you that for women with prolapse, weight management and weight loss is advisable since obesity is a known risk factor for prolapse. Kegels are known to be effective for women with mild to moderate prolapse in reducing symptoms and elevating the resting position of the pelvic floor. Some women choose to use support pessaries and there are some great pessaries available for women to insert themselves on a daily basis that may suit younger women. Hope this helps you out!
      Best wishes

  14. Thank you for not only answering my question but referring me to the postings by other women. They were amazing in filling me in on other questions I had but, had not asked. You are helping so many women, what would we do without you? Actually I got far more information from your site than I ever did from my GYN.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      My pleasure Dee – when women share their combined knowledge and experience it helps everyone especially when it comes to pelvic floor issues, I think it can help us all feel a lot less isolated, more ‘normal’ and hopeful.
      Take care and enjoy yourself!

  15. I had surgery to correct a bowel, bladder and uterine prolapse after the birth of my last child. I was unable to have intercourse as it was severe. That was 11 years ago and have enjoyed a full sex life since then if any women out there are worried. However, I now notice and can feel a prolapse again and although my past knowledge and questions above have been very helpful, I am concerned about oral sex. With the prolapse being just inside (can be seen when using a mirror for personal hygiene) should oral sex be avoided? also it doesn’t look very nice and am concerned that my partner may be put off if he sees it during oral sex.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Thank you for your question about oral sex and prolapse. First of all there is no medical reason to avoid oral sex with a mild-moderate prolapse – if you think about the visible part of the prolapse it is basically the inside vaginal wall that has moved downwards. Some ladies find that when their prolapse is moderate to severe this tissue can become red and irritated as it wears against the underwear during the course of everyday living. When you lay down flat with your head down, your prolapse will move upwards and protrude far less that when trying to sit up and view with a hand mirror – the sit up action or standing makes the prolapse protrude much more. Sometimes prolapse can be missed altogether during examination for this reason. So this may be reassuring for you too. In working with women and their partners after prolapse surgery, I have never heard any man complain about their partner’s prolapse with oral sex and for the most part they are unaware of the prolapse unless the woman draws attention to it or feels self conscious (needlessly). The estimates are in fact 1 in 2 woman having some degree of prolapse after vaginal delivery.

      So the short answer is oral sex should not be an issue with a mild-moderate prolapse and your partner is highly unlikely to be aware of its existence.

      All the best

      • Thank you very much Michelle, as you also answered another problem I had.
        I have noticed that I get very sore and it feels quite dry during the day, but the feeling goes during the night. I thought maybe the pant liners I wear had changed, but thanks to you, I now realise it is the prolapse.
        I came across this site by chance and am so very glad I did. Your help and reassurance for women is refreshing.
        Thank you very very much.

  16. Frustrated@home says

    Hi there, I’m 30 yoa and recovering from recent (5 weeks ago) anterior and posterior vaginal repair plus sling. My issues were caused by heavy lifting in the gym. As I am usually quite sexually active I’m finding the lack of sex with my husband extremely difficult. Is it possible/safe to practice oral sex/outercourse without damaging my repairs?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Thank you for your question – this really needs to be determined by your surgeon at your 6 week post op appointment. Women differ in terms of the type of repair performed and whether prolapse surgery includes surgery on the perineum to reduce the size of the vagina and decrease the risk of future prolapse. Women are usually advised to avoid placing anything inside the vagina for the first 6-8 weeks post op. I wouldn’t think that clitoral stimulation would be an issue prior to this however ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.

      Hope this helps out.


  17. Hi. I had a baby 2 months ago and had my check uo with my doctor. She says everything is fine and that I don’t have a prolapse, but I can feel something. I feel a bit of a bulge below at the opening of my vagina. If I use a mirror, I can see a round small bulge. It’s not smooth… if I bear down, I can see this bulge and also one below. I have read many articles and watch some videos. As you mentioned it can be difficult to diagnose a prolapse. What do you suggest? I was thinking of buying vagibal weights? My husband says that the opening of my vagina is tight, but inside is just moderatre and he says he can feel hard spots on his penis. Is this the prolapse or could it be scaring from my stitches? Please advise. Need advise. Thanks!

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Bella
      Thanks for your question. Was your checkup performed by your obstetrician? Have you mentioned these symptoms to your regular doctor? The symptoms you describe are suggestive or prolapse but these needs to be assessed by a health practioner. I would suggest against vaginal weights – first and foremost the correct diagnosis is required. Regular daily pelvic floor exercises should help you recover your pelvic floor strength after childbirth, do you have access to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist to assist you?
      KInd regards

  18. Hi Michelle. Thanks for replying. Yes she is an obstetrician. We had a two month check up with her today. I brought up the possibility of a prolapse… explained that in a squating position there is basically a wall at my vaginal opening. She said this is due to weak vaginal walls from giving birth to a large baby. She has said that regular kegek exercise should help this. If not, she has given me a referal to physio. I’m confused how my week vaginal wall is any different than a prolapse.

  19. Hi Michelle
    I am so pleased to have found your website and related videos they have been such a valuable source of information, thankyou so much.
    My question is , is it better to avoid some sexual positions such as being on top? Does the effect of gravity and using abdominal muscles make this position a bad idea?
    Many Thanks

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Donna

      This is an interesting question – If you think about the act of penetrative intercourse it is going to have the effect of pushing the prolapse back within the vagina regardless of the position so that position would not really be a factor to be concerned about in terms of prolapse worsening.

      Some women do have discomfort with penetrative intercourse owing to more severe prolapse, post operative discomfort or pelvic pain problems in which case side lying with your back to your partner position would help allow you to control the depth of penetration. Lying underneath the partner does not allow the woman very much control of the depth of penetration. Ideal position will really depend upon what the pelvic floor issue is.

      Hope this helps

  20. I haven’t been to the doctors but I can definitely say I have viginal prolapse im wondering what could have caused this as I’m only twenty years old and I’ve never had any children and if it could have been from being on contraception at a young age (14-16) also I’ve been with my partner for a year now and sex is definitely uncomfortable at first but it gets better would there be any chance of prolapse stopping me from getting pregnant ? We’ve been having unprotected sex for about six months now and nothing :( thanks for reading

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Stace

      First and foremost a prolapse will not stop pregnancy or reduce fertility in any way.

      Stace painful intercourse can also known as dyspareunia. It can be caused by overly tight or tense pelvic floor muscles that are unable to relax. Unfortunately this is a poorly diagnosed condition and it can take women years to have this diagnosed. If your doctors have ruled out other possible causes of your painful intercourse it may be worth your while reading a little on this to update your knowledge. I am not saying that you have this however you do have one of the main symptoms. I am not sure which country you are living in – can access treatment with a pelvic floor physio?

      This article about pelvic floor muscle tension is worth reading

      Please feel welcome to reply for further assistance, I hope this helps you out

  21. i have a diagnosed rectocele and often need to insert my finger into the vagina to help empty my bowels.. i think i have a loss if sensation because sometimes i dont even know i need to have a bowel movement until i go pee and notice the bulge which i then have to push up to then complete the bm… this makes me very self conscious when it comes to being intimate with my husband… i read in comments above that laying down the it is often less noticeable but im always so worried he will feel or see the bulge… and with the loss of sensation is that something to be more concerned about??

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Laura
      Thank you for your question – women with rectocoele often need to use their hand to support the perineum or finger within the vagina to empty their bowels. To be very honest men usually don’t notice this – when you are lying down the weight of your abdomen is taken off your pelvic floor and the prolapse will be much less noticeable if at all.

      The decreased sensation happens due to the stretching of your tissues and again this is quite normal with a rectocoele. The risk is that because the tissues are overstretched and you have decreased sensation, then they could stretch further if you aren’t in a really good routine of emptying your bowels. It’s important to keep your stool consistency manageable with appropriate diet, avoid straining where possible and be sure to empty your bowels regularly to minimize the risk of further stretching. Does all this make sense and help you a little?

      Let me know

  22. Michelle, I’m so happy to have found your website. I just discovered my prolapse. I am 49 and had a partial hysterectomy five years ago. I still have my cervix. Anyway, I also believe this has been caused by constipation and minimal weight can. But the psychological effects are causing me stress and panic. I feel worthless and so sad like my sensuousness is gone. What can I do I’m so sad. My husband won’t talk to me about it. Please give any advice you feel you can. Thanks.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Mary

      Thanks so much for your message. Yes while some ladies don’t seem to worry too much many others suffer from emotional issues as a result of their prolapse and unfortunately their concerns seem to be largely ignored. I don’t see many women being referred for counselling to help despite the worry and the effects on self esteem that this can cause. It could be useful to get some professional counselling to help you work through this Mary.

      It can be helpful to consider why this is causing you to feel threatened. Is it fear of worsening? Maybe you feel somehow lacking in control? Everywoman is different in their reaction to prolapse. Remember that this isn’t a life threatening condition. There is also a lot you can do to manage your prolapse too which will help to empower you and be in control.

      Here are some articles that might help you manage Mary and this article while written for prolapse after childbirth I think you will relate to the article

      Mary please don’t hesitate to reply further and please don’t feel that you’re on your own – you’re not.

      Best wishes to you

  23. Hi just want to know if prolapse bladder can stop you from having orgasams

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Roz
      If the prolapse causes emotional issues and embarrassment then perhaps. The actual laxity in the vaginal wall tissue may decrease sensation somewhat but having a prolapse doesn’t prevent orgasm.

  24. Hi there – I’m 3 months post giving birth to my beautiful daughter. I have an anterior vaginal wall and a posterior wall prolapse (moderate) diagnosed by a physiotherapist (specializing in women’s health). My partner and I have just tried having sex again the one time (this week) but it’s uncomfortable and I feel like he can’t penetrate me properly. I was a bit sore afterwards. We tried missionary him on top and side lying but I still didn’t feel like he could penetrate me because of the tissues in the way. I had a lot of fear so I’m sure if I relax more next time it will be better? I think I might benefit from counselling as you wrote in a previous comment. Any advice would be great! I’m already doing my pelvic floor exercises too. Will things improve with time? Thanks

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Samantha

      Yes when intercourse is anticipated to be painful this can make it difficult to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Missionary position is usually the worst position as you have no control over the depth of penetration. Side lying is a much better position to commence with and only when you feel ready to do so. Good lubrication and arousal are also important.

      You may like to read this information; scroll down to how to avoid pain after hysterectomy. I know you are post childbirth but the same principles apply. Here is some more information on pelvic floor relaxation too

      I am not sure where you live however there are some excellent physiotherapists who treat postnatal pelvic floor discomfort and the usually sooner this is addressed the better.

      I hope this gives you some understanding and help to get started

  25. I was looking for a bit more info on the anal intercourse and whether there might be a problem.
    with a moderate cystocele, and a mild rectocele, and a husband who is keen to try anal, is there are there possible issues from doing this? Thanks!

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi NB
      Vaginal intercourse isn’t usually a problem for most women with mild to moderate vaginal prolapse in that it doesn’t worsen the prolapse or cause too much discomfort in most cases. Women with more severe forms of prolapse sometimes find that vaginal intercourse is too uncomfortable. Anal intercourse would not worsen a vaginal prolapse such as cystocele or rectocele however anal intercourse can stretch the anal and rectal tissues causing rectal prolapse (i.e. prolapse from within the anus)

  26. I have experience a major lack of interest in sex. I have not been diagonoised with prolaspe but I suspect it with my symptoms. Would a prolaspe cause that?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Tonia
      The prolapse condition itself doesn’t cause decreased sex drive. Concern about how the prolapse might seem to a partner could foreseeably make an individual self conscious and contribute to decreased sex drive.

  27. thanks Michelle. I was so afraid and embarrassed to face my husband when I got my diagnosis. It has made me lost my sex drive because of how I feel. After reading this I hope I can go back to some level of normalcy.

  28. Hi,

    Like everyone, I’m so glad that I found you, Michelle! I get constipated immediately after vaginal intercourse. It made my life so miserable cause I stay constipated for almost >10 days after each intercourse… As I have more vaginal intercourse, my constipation recovery takes longer! and it’s been ~3 months that I have sex regularly, and I was not able to empty my bowl. I’ve got diagnosed with grade 2 rectocele but my Urogynocologist said rectocele is very common among woman and my symptoms could be due to neuropathy. I was not able to reveal it with my boyfriends cause he might get disappointed of me and it makes everything just worse. I did x-ray and MRI defecogram and anorectal manometry! beside rectocele, everything seemed normal. But what I’m experiencing now is just a torture. I have no response to Milk of Magnesia or Miralax :( only stimulant laxative (Ducolax) works on me, which has a numerous side effects!
    I suppose to see a physical therapist but I have no hope cause I can’t eliminate the reason of the constipation which is having sex! I have no more sex drive, but can’t avoid it because of my relationship! even if I avoid having sex for a period of time, constipations get back once I start again!!!! it’s so hard to imagine a life without family because of the sexual disfunction ;'((

    Please help!!!!!

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Rahaa

      Thanks for your comment/question. I can only make suggestions based on what you’re describing however I wonder if you might be suffering from pelvic floor muscle tension caused by sex and your pelvic floor muscles being unable to relax? Did you do the defecogram when you were constipated or otherwise? Do you have access to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist who might be able to assess your pelvic floor for muscles? Maybe you might start be reading some more about pelvic floor tensionwhich is still poorly diagnosed in some countries. I’m not sure where you reside and how readily available pelvic floor muscle assessment is for you. This is one possible avenue for you to explore and this may or may not be the cause of your issues, it is merely a suggestion to get checked out.


  29. I am 27 and I have had two kids. I have recently have had a problem with my uterus. They called it a prolapsed uterus. Well I was also diagnosed with pcos. I was wondering what I can do about this problem? Because it seems like I don’t have to do much and I can feel it with my finger. Please help because I have a good job and I don’t want to lose it

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Sylvia
      A prolapsed uterus means that some of the tissues supporting or holding up your uterus are not doing their job as well as they could. Many women manage this condition very well by doing regular pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises. Here is a link to the 1st video in a series of how to Kegel videos.Doing Kegel exercises is a good place to start. You may also discuss using a support pessary with your doctor – you would need to see a gynaecologist to have a support pessary inserted.
      All the best

  30. Hi Michelle,

    I am a 34 year old new mom. My baby is twelve weeks old. Before having her, I was a very active and went to the gym 4-5 days a week. I was healthy and lifted weights because I throughly enjoyed it. I have never been overweight. Being active and exercising was a major part of my life. I also have played soccer my entire life and I coach a girls soccer team, which requires me to run and demonstrate drills.

    The second stage of my delivery was very long… Almost five hours. I pushed for two hours. The dr gave me a 1 hour break and then I pushed for another hour and 45 minutes. My baby was delivered compound and I had an inch and half tear around my urethra. At my six week postpartum check up, I was told I have vaginal wall prolapse (which I had already self diagnosed because of the huge bulge). After seeing a specialist I was told I have rectocele, cystocele and perineocele. The rectocele is the worst of the three.

    I feel devastated that I’m only 34 and I will never be able to resume my activities in the gym or continue to coach my soccer team as before. I can’t believe I’ll never be able to run, jump, play soccer, do a squat or burpee again. I’m also somewhat angry at my dr because I feel like I wasn’t cared for properly when delivering my baby. I didn’t even know prolapse existed or that a five hour delivery would cause this. The specialist I saw even felt the prolapse was caused by the second stage. Why aren’t we more educated about prolapse? Why didn’t my dr take more precautions to ensure that this wouldn’t happen to me? Had I known this was a possibility, I would have insisted on a c section instead. I feel so let down by my dr especially because of the severe change to my lifestyle. I am happy and blessed to have a beautiful baby girl, but I am sad as well. I feel like all of my future plans have changed…not to mention the sex part. More needs to be done to educate women so they can advocate for themselves.

    Thanks for being a voice for women.


    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jessica

      Thank you so much for sharing your story which unfortunately is all too familiar.

      Yes I hear you, why aren’t women educated more about prolapse before childbirth?

      Why aren’t more precautions taken to avoid prolapse? I completely understand your anger and frustration.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. You might like to read this post about prolapse by another reader in your situation.

      Best wishes to you

  31. I think I have mod/severe rectal prolapse post 2 children, tough births, conspiratuon, I never sit down – you name it. I’m going back to my lovely gp today having been referred to a specialist prolapse nurse who confirmed I need treatment – I’ve just been too busy to get round to actioning it.
    Although my husband says he can’t feel it and it doesn’t bother him, I struggle to even get a tampon in now :( and I only use minis!!!
    I’m only 41, i’ve stopped running because the specialist said I should wait til it’s improved (potentially with surgery) – and this has caused me to gain weight. I’m so thoroughly depressed about it all and seriously considering an operation. BUT does the operation work? Ya hardly ever mentioned so I’m worried it’s an ‘avoid at all costs’. I’m sure I’ve even read somewhere that it rarely succeeds?
    I think I’m ready to take that step – certainly don’t want any ‘rings’ in there as I’m small and would hate to feel them.
    Do you think that if the recommend the op, I should go for it? What are the chances of it working long term? I just want ‘room inside’ for comfortable sex and tampons again.
    The answer I really want is, is the op safe / successful / is there a particularly successful version of the op to ask for. Thankyou.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Naomi

      Unfortunately there is always the risk of repeat prolapse after prolapse surgery. The risk is increased in younger women, overweight and women who already had prolapse surgery. High impact exercises like running are not advised for women after prolapse surgery is the repeated impact can stretch and strain the pelvic supports contributing to further pelvic floor dysfunction. Body weight management comes down to being really careful with your diet is the number 1 priority and then participating in pelvic floor safe fitness exercises such as brisk walking, cycling or swimming.

      Every surgeon has their own rate of success and this is something that you need to discuss with the surgeon when weighing up whether or not to proceed with surgery. Some types of surgery a more successful for some forms of prolapse and this is something you need to ask about. It’s also important to ask about the type of activity restrictions that you may have long-term after surgery. It’s a really difficult decision and only you can make this in careful consultation with your gynaecologist.

      Wishing all the best, Michelle

  32. I have a problem with being penetrated with the guy’s finger every time he penetrates me with his finger I start feeling sick and nauseated sometimes it even hurts during intercourse I’ve discussed this with my doctor I’ve been examining I’ve had a total hysterectomy she said there’s nothing that he could be hitting or damaging could it be scar tissue or what it could be

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Janice
      This could be caused by range of issues – it may well be that a pelvic floor physiotherapist could help you with some desensitisation training and perhaps the progressive use of dilators if appropriate upon assessment. It’s important to get professional guidance with this type of issue to get it sorted out rather than muddle along on your own.
      All the best

  33. Hi Michelle!
    Thank you for your advice. I am a woman with three month bay and i have prolapse bladder. What exercises can help me with out surgery? Is it good to have sex?
    Thank you.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Juliet
      The big thing to focus on is pelvic floor exercises (kegels). These are very important to help you rehabilitate your pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy and childbirth. Here’s some more information on how to manage prolapse after childbirth
      All the best

  34. hi Michelle,.i have a feeling that I have a prolapse,.but I do not know what kind of prolapse is this.,I gave birth to my son last March through induction which causes me to strain for almost 10 hours of labor,.I strained the whole time and before my baby came out the midwife told me that something had protruded outside my vagina.,after a week of my delivery it suddenly disappeared. I was thankful then but due to constipation that I had it came out again and never disappeared at all,.it’s like a thin lip-like appearance.,I wasn’t able to see a doctor cause I’m a bit scared if what I could find out. I do research about kegel exercises for almost 2 weeks now and doing it 3 x a day,.it helps though but during bowel movement that ”something protruding” outside my vagina appearsappears again. About 1 cm to be exact. My question is,since I’m a breastfeeding mom,will my prolapse disappear after I have my menstruation back where in my estrogen will be back again?I really need your help. Thank you and God bless!

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Anna
      First of all it’s best to get this assessed by your doctor so that you know what you’re dealing with. A prolapse involves stretched tissues and unfortunately once stretched they remain stretched. Having said this, many women find that pelvic floor exercises, avoiding constipation and straining, the passage of time, along with completing breastfeeding can all combine to reduce prolapse symptoms after childbirth. Pelvic floor exercises and recovery from childbirth can take at least 6 months so this takes time and perseverance with regular practice. I hope this helps you out Anna, all the best Michelle

  35. I’ve just discovered a prolapse. I’m 53 and have had a hysterectomy. Lately intercourse has been very painful. I thought because of my age and all the lovely changes menopause brings, I just required lubricants and moisturizer. The pain is like I’m being torn in the exterior area, not internally, followed by light bleeding. It has gotten worse which led me to investigate and discover the prolapse. I have an appointment with my family Dr Monday. I have been researching everything i can find on pelvic organ prolapse and treatment. I’m not finding anything on the feeling of tearing during intercourse. I want to educate myself on treatment options, but I’m not finding my symptoms anywhere.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Wendy
      Symptoms of pain and bleeding associated with intercourse really need to be assessed by your gynaecologist.
      All the best

  36. I’m 36 and have a stage 2 vaginal prolapse. I’m coming out of a 15 year relationship. The prolapse occurred during the birth of our second child. My ex was verbally abusive and sometimes made comments about me being damaged. Since leaving the relationship I find myself scared to let any man touch me. I’m so frightened that they will notice my prolapse and freak out.

    Has ANYONE ever experienced this?? Thanks so much everyone!!

    • Hi Jospe,
      I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. You ex said some horrible things with the intention of destroying your self-esteem – please don’t pay any attention to those comments! They relate to his deficiencies, not yours.
      As Michelle says, 50% of women who’ve given birth have some degree of prolapse, so you’re perfectly normal. All mothers have some “battle scars” and you should be proud of them, not ashamed.
      Also, no partner is likely to notice – and if they somehow do and it puts them off, then they’re clearly shallow and self-centred and not worth your precious time and energy.
      All the best!

  37. I am happy to have found this message board. I am 52 years old and have a grade 2 rectocele. I have had to bridge my perineum for years to have a complete bm. I have also noticed that for some time now (years really) that when I orgasm, my vagina looks like it is actively giving birth. It is very, very open like a big triangle and the insides seem to push out. I don’t think it looked like this before I had my child (C-section). I am self conscious and wonder if this is all related to a deficient pelvic floor?
    Has anyone else ever had this?

    • Hi Jenny,
      Yes! My girlfriend (for the past year) is 48 and has has two children (6 and 8) who were delivered with a vaginal child birth. During her orgasms, (she always has very powerful orgasms with squirting), she also has the same thing you described (her vagina looks like it is actively giving birth…). I’ve been researching to try and understand what it might possibly be.

      I wish Michelle had addressed your question, because I would also like to know what could cause that so I can share the explanation with my girlfriend. (By the way, seeing that doesn’t bother me at all — I actually find it fascinating; even erotic).

      • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

        Hi Wayne (& Jenny)
        First Jenny my apologies having not replied sooner to your question – I must have seen it and not knowing the answer left with a thought to coming back to it later. C/section doesn’t protect the pelvic floor muscles that can stretch during pregnancy however it may be that there is a temporary complete relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles after orgasm?? Orgasm does involve waves of peristaltic-like pelvic floor muscle contraction. I did read one theory that orgasm may even have a strengthening function see here I wish I could offer more information, maybe another reader may be able to offer more insight? Many thanks for your question and observations.

  38. Hi,
    I have had surgery for a rectocele and it’s apparently successful, but I’m worried about intercourse causing a repeat of the prolapse through damage to the vaginal walls. I understand that intercourse won’t make an existing prolapse worse but is it possible for intercourse to cause new damage or recreate the damage, especially if it involves positions that place pressure on the walls of the vagina that were previously damaged?
    I am concerned because over a year after surgery I often still experience pain especially after intercourse.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Lorna
      I understand your concern and I think it’s only natural to have this worry. Intercourse will not damage a prolapse repair. Pain after intercourse is related to something else, perhaps tight pelvic floor muscles or scar tissue or other. This should to be assessed and treated by a health professional such as a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Meanwhile good lubrication, relaxation and side lying position may be of benefit in reducing discomfort.

  39. Would it be harmful to use vibrating toys with a bladder prolapse? I find they cause me to contract my kegel muscle so that sounds like a win win situation to me. I’m happy to have stumbled on your site. Very informative.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Shouldn’t be problem at all Joss. Always be alert to anything that causes you symptoms however this shouldn’t cause any worsening.

  40. Hi, I am 38 yrs and have a stage 3 rectal prolapse and want to have surgery but just haven’t taken the plunge yet. I have had years of suffering with IBS-D and am pretty sure this has been the main reason this has happened as I have never had children. Anyway, I do not have a partner at the moment so I guess this shouldn’t be a concern but a few months ago I felt a further drop in my pelvic area and have noticed that I have lost all my libido, I basically could watch a sexy movie or read a saucy paperback like Fifty Shades of Grey and feel nothing. I am really concerned either there is something stopping blood flow or possibly nerve damage. Just wondering can Prolapse effect sexual function?? I’m really scared that I’ll never get feeling back and it’s stressing me out.

    • Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Jen
      Thanks for your enquiry. It’s possibly your emotional reaction to knowing that your prolapse has dropped. Many women say that having a prolapse affects their libido. It’s not likely to be a blood flow or nerve issue. It is known that pelvic floor strengthening can improve sexual response so this would be a good place to focus – you have nothing to lose and the additional strength & support is beneficial regardless of whether you proceed with surgery too. All the best to you.

  41. Hi, I believe I have a vaginal prolapse, when standing and sitting on the toilet it seems to bulge out of my vagina. I had issues with weakness and bladder leakage during my during pregnancy and had some physio postpartum. But j have since had two children. When I do legal exercises i can’t feel anything move anymore.
    However since the symptoms started orgasms have been much easier for me to accomplish, previous to this I believe I had extremely tight muscles and it would take a very long time (sometimes hours) to orgasm. But since experiencing this everything feels way more relaxed and really easy and enjoyable in the bedroom. My partner has mentions when pressed that he can’t feel my muscles contract as tightly anymore.
    Its something I want to help because of urine leakage and weakness but also don’t really want my sex life to return to how it was prebaby. What do You suggest?

    • Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Rebecca
      This is a situation where a good program of Kegels is most likely the best way to proceed. You may like to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist to help you with your program and to make sure that you’re doing your exercises correctly. This will take time and patience to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Just a little tip – sometimes using a small cushion under the lower back and hips can help improve the sensation of tightness for your partner. All the best

  42. Hi,
    Thank you for this informative article. I seem to have a problem that is not mentioned by others. I have moderate vaginal prolapse and am also quite overweight (I guess that is the result of having 5 children). This is making intercourse extremely difficult. It doesn’t seem like anyone else has this problem, but my husband cant seem to get his penis inside my vagina. It’s almost like he needs to ‘push past’ all my lumps and it ends up not going in.
    My husband does suffer from mild erectile dysfunction, but before I had the prolapse and when I was thinner, it wasn’t an issue, as he would get hard once he was in the right place, but now it seems impossible. I know I should loose weight, but is there anything else we can do? I feel like I need something that can hold my vagina open for him…..

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi & thanks for your question,
      You’re not the only woman to experience this problem, I hope you find this reassuring. Difficulty with penetrative intercourse may be caused by issues such as a large prolapse or pelvic floor muscle spasm. It’s best to have this problem assessed and treated by a gynaecologist or pelvic floor physiotherapist to know how to manage the situation correctly. It may well be that a pessary can help lift prolapsed tissues allowing for intercourse. Alternatively specialized treatment is used for tight pelvic floor muscles. It’s important to get your diagnosis correct and then appropriate management should be clear. All the best

  43. Thank you so much Michelle for sharing your knowledge and care across the web to help women like myself. I am 40 and recently diagnosed with a mild prolapse which was found following months of bladder issues (OAB/SI and frequent Uti’s poss related to dryness/Hormones). I have 3 kids ranging 12 to 19 and I am ashamed to admitt I never knew, or was educated about the pelvic floors needs. Add to that years of chronic constipation, heavy lifting and exercising I am shocked my prolapse isn’t worse given I’ve never been told to do PF exercises until recently. How did I get this far in life uneducated?? It’s a scary and sad thought. It wasn’t till my googling led me to learn about prolapse and asking a Dr, and women’s physio to asses me for one. I do feel like something is “in there” but given it’s a stage one it’s probable my anxiety over this has me just feeling extra sensitive (I hope), and the OAB making me feel everything more. However, can a short vagina make one feel a stage 1 prolapse?
    I was recently reading your posts on the mental sides affects of prolapse and my gosh it’s all true. The anxiety, the depression. Although I am now working on focusing on my positives and being thankful I have found out at stage 1 and not 3. It’s still a work in progress. I think it just seems a bigger deal than needs be as I’ve had so many other things going on and this was the last straw perhaps. Anyhoo… I def need to find some lady friends to share with. To help each other on prevention, or coping…. sorry to ramble on…
    I do have a sex question. Is “Cowgirl” position safe for stage 1? My husband is a gentle giant, but not so down stairs. We’ve been together over 20yrs and the only position we’ve managed to “fit” is me on top. We just can’t seem to manage missionary (he’s a big guy and I’m a wee lass), and his manhood isn’t big enough for other positions.
    Please help lol.
    Thank you once again for all you’re doing to better educate a world full of women like myself. I’m off to look at your books now :)

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Mrs D
      Thanks so much for your honest account, I think you express the thoughts and feelings of many other women very well in relation to a lack of knowledge and awareness about the pelvic floor as well as the impact it can have emotionally.Regarding your question on sex I don’t see the “Cowgirl” position is an issue at all and if anything it helps you control the depth of penetration for your own level of comfort. Having sex with a prolapse is highly unlikely to make a prolapse worse, in fact many women report their symptoms are temporarily much improved after sex. It won’t fix the prolapse but it won’t force it to worsen either so you can relax with this issue. Take care and thank you for posting your comment.

  44. I do not agree with the idea that you have to hide this problem to the couple. If he does not like it then look for another couple. Men have to hear from their women that not everything in this wourld perfect.
    They are not either and nothing happens.