Cystocele - Definition

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Cystocele is a shifting of the bladder out of its natural location (pelvis); it is therefore a hernia of the bladder. In most cases, the bladder migrates toward the vagina: this is called an anterior vaginal prolapse. Cystocele usually follows multiple or difficult pregnancies and deliveries; this may also be caused by a change in the supporting tissues with age or alteration of the perineum muscles. Cystocele may be the cause of difficulty urinating, or, conversely, urinary incontinence. At an advanced stage, it causes a prolapse with significant descent of the bladder to the vaginal slit. Surgery can successfully reposition the bladder.