Vaginal prolapse, also called pelvic organ prolapse, occurs when an organ in the pelvis (e.g., uterus, urethra, bladder) or the top portion of the vagina (called the vaginal vault) drops down into or protrudes through (herniates) the vagina. Muscles, ligaments, and other structures around the vagina help support the pelvic organs, keeping them in place. Vaginal prolapse can occur when this support system weakens or is damaged.
Approximately 30–40% of all women experience pelvic organ prolapse. The condition occurs most often in women over the age of 40. It is more common in women who have given birth, women who have experienced menopause, and women who have had a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).