new here....21 weeks pregnant and cystocele


I am 21 weeks pregnant and at the beginning of this week found a strange bulge at the opening of my vagina.
So I called the OB nurse who had me come in to see the ARNP.
She didn't see the bulge.. but of course I was lying down... but did say that my bladder was in front of my cervix and that is what the bulge was.
She also said that after baby I might need to have surgery to "tack it up."

I took this as no big deal and left the office.

Immediately started doing some reading on cyctocele and was freaked out when I read a that if it is serious enough they recommmend cesarean.

No way no how do I want a surgical birth. The thought has never before crossed my mind. This is my 4th baby and I was hoping that this birth would be my best experience.

So more research and a little nudge from the ladies at mothering and here I am.
I have ordered the book and will immediately start putting the advice to practice. I want to do everything I can to avoid even the suggestion of a cesarean! Any advice at all from those who have btdt?

Now that I know what it is, I can feel the cystocele at all times.. it feels like a tampon inserted incorrectly! Also it is causing me mild lower backache. I have had 1 preterm birth (my first) and the backache was starting to scare me...but I realize now it is from the cystocele.
Also I can see that I had earlier signs that this was happening, but didn't realize what they were until yesterday.
I am pretty sure after reading a lot on this site that my second birth was the start of this prolapse. I was induced at 42 weeks, then he had the cord wrapped so much he couldn't drop and the induction made this a problem. So the doc did an episiotomy and then I tore even further into my spincter muscle. He had his arm in my uterus trying to unwrap the cord (up to his dh almost passed out!) and then vacuum and forceps. Of COURSE that was too much trauma for my poor perineal tissue! Another case of intervention causing more intervention...though this time did stop shy of a fact he never even mentioned it.

I have my regular appt with my OB on tuesday and am crossing my fingers that my book is here by then so I can show him what I am doing.
He is typically the type of doc to tell you your options, tell you what he recommends and why and then allow you to make your own decisions. I am hoping that he will continue to be that open and responsive now that there is a new twist to this pregnancy.
I want to stress to him this time that I need to avoid induction at all costs as that could make the prolapse worsen.

If I do everything I can to prevent this from becoming more serious what are my chances of NEEDING a cesarean? And I mean truly medically needing one, not just being told that it would be best for me. this cystocele going to get worse throughout the pregnancy due to baby's and uterus growth?

WOW! This is getting to be a long post.
I am sooooo glad this site and this information is here!


Check out - I think you can birth with cystocele, you just have to get on all fours for the pushing stage. If you search that site, you will find some references.

Remember, you can always refuse any medical procedure, including a labour induction. It's good that you are doing all the research you can bedorehand to find out your best options.

Canadian wife and mom of 1 boy

HI Nina,
first of all congrats on your pregnancy!
I hope that, prolapse aside, it's all going well and that you are getting to enjoy the lovely being growing with you!

if you do a search on "cesarean" and "pregnancy" on the forum you'll come up with a thread not too long ago debating this, plus other posts. there are women who have given birth post prolapse who can give more details, but the just that i've gotten from reading on here is the the more natural the birth, the better. upright, mobile, relaxed...

i know my physio said that the general view in the UK is NOT to have a c-section. that the prolapses will flatten during labour, and generally are no worse after labour than before. they also believe that the c-section is an unnecessary surgery if women might need a prolapse surgery after--but you are here now so hopefully won't need to worry about that bit!!! luckily for me the UK is very much of the "live with it" mentality, which gives me a different perspective on all this and a lot of support for not having surgery...

Induction... remember, there are LOADS of alternatives to induction...always question the why's. Is your baby in danger? Why do you need to be induced? In the UK you can go to 43 weeks if you agree to regular monitoring after 42 weeks. and there are a lot of natural inductions...accupuncture, sex, spicy food, walking... i think the true need to induce is very very rare. often it's for doctors' convenience, and nothing more.

maybe also think about what you feel your chances of giving birth naturally are where you are planning to, and if they are low, are their other alternatives? I had mine at home, and it meant that the midwives followed my lead rather than I being at their mercy (great article on homebirths in this months' Mothering magazine). I felt much more in control, and able to birth in the way I needed to, rather than what worked for the doctors (and was back in bed right after the birth, drinking my tea, enjoying our baby...)

I had the backache too, but accupuncture cleared that right up if that's something you might try...

enjoy your pregnancy, and i'm sure much more wisdom to follow!


With my last 2 I fought the induction and even didn't show up for one.
However they always came up with a immediate reason that I *needed* the induction at 42 weeks.
I think it is the birth climate in this area! I had agreed to occasional NST after 42 weeks and I am now convinced that the NST clinic in the hopsital had no intention of letting me leave.

As for the homebirth I would LOVE it!
However I have a husband who is VERY scared by the idea.
I am trying to get him to read and hoping that he will meet with the midwife that I want to attend my birth, but if he still is not on board at all I will not push it. This is my choice I know and there are reasons that I want us to decide this together.
I know that I can birth naturally at the hospital.. it is just a LOT harder. No matter where I birth I will have a most fabulous doula who is very experienced and good at helping her clients advocate for themselves and get what they want/need.
It is good to know that the cystocele is NOT going to prevent a vaginal delivery. I have already read conflicting things about whether it will prevent the baby from coming down or not.

I'm sure granolamom will chime in here soon, I hope. She's just birthed her 4th with a cystocele, and can give you some support. There's so much you can learn here. You can birth a baby with a cystocele, no question, and without worsening your condition. There's lots you can do to heal, both now and after the birth. There are many of us living well with prolapse. Yes, really living well. And being moms, too. Keep coming back for support. We're here for you.


Thanks so much marie!
I am glad to know that it has been done!
I hope that I can heal as much as possible before birth.
I am glad I can live well with a prolapse....without surgery.
Good to know it is possible! That is my goal :)

Being a mom is hard enough without part of you feeling like it is going to fall out all the time *grin*


Hi Alsmere,

Nicola from New Zealand also gave birth with prolapse which she developed during pregnancy and was fine, had a LOVELY birth, and was doing great afterwards too! Try to search her posts for some more encouragement.

You will be fine. Don't let yourself be bullied. There is no reason why you can't deliver with a cystocele, it will not cause problems during the delivery from what I have read. The main concern is that it might worsen prolapse but as Marie said, there are women here who have delivered with no further damage, G. mom being the most recent and Jane, being another from a while back!

Good luck and hugs!

Michelle. xxx

I have not been on here for awhile because our computer died, and I am looking after two beautiful boys, but your post is alittle like what happened to me. Although I developed uterine prolapse when I was about 12 weeks pg, it was so bad that it was bulging out of my vagina very uncomfortable, I was so scared and debated over whether to have a c-section worrying that a natural birth would make my prolapse worse. Reading through this site helped so much, so get as much info as you can. I went on to have another beautiful boy NATURALLY who is now 9months old. My prolapse by 18 weeks had gone back up, due to the pregnancy,but I felt very heavy down below all the way through, I made sure I did not birth on my back. I found it very hard to keep in posture as my pregnancy went on, but basically I had a great doctor who encouraged me to go natural. I Felt so good after my little boy was born, for the first 4 months I felt bulky still but not as bad as when I was 12 weeks pregnant, now at 9 months I feel nothing is wrong and mostly forget about it. I know its not quite right but I have not had a doctor look at it yet, because I feel so good, there is nothing he can do about it, and I concerntrating on my posture and healing. I might get someone to look at it around 12 months post partum, just to see what happening.

My only problem is lately my 9 month old has been sick and needing lots of cuddles and pick ups, I feel the strain down below while I have him, maybe because I have it in the back of my mind. He is over 9 kgs and I am very petite at 50 kgs, when I hold him and tend to throw my back backwards to hold him securely, Haven't figured out how to hold him without feeling any pressure yet.

Good luck and read as much as you can, every situation is different, but I was lucky to have a wonderful doctor encouraging me and this site to ask questions and read through, and I am so glad I went naturally and basically I feel great.


I have been reading back through the site and seen you have had your bubs, sounded as though it went really well, hope all is still well, I have been wondering how mummynow is going also?!!!


i too around my 5th month of this last pregnancy (number 4 baby also) discovered something right at the opening of my vagina. i too freaked out but my birth was fine. now i did try to do some posture and i stopped working out except for swimming. things did seem to get worse as the baby got bigger, i couldnt go to the bathroom without pushing against my pereniam area so i used water enemas to empty my bowels because i didnt want to have to push at all, and i did lay with pillows under my bottom to help with any pressure i was feeling. but i have to say now my birth was great. nothing fell oput of me like i thought it was going to , i had no problem pushing him out. its been 11 weeks now and my bladder is still low but i have actually improved in that i can have a bowel movement without an enema and i dont have to push against that area yeah! and i had my baby at home with my husband delivering! i dont think you have to have a c section. and you may notice the bulge seems to get worse but it may , like mine, get a little better once that little person isnt sittin in there anymore. stay around here, youll find encouragment :) Denise


I have a cystocele and I have been discussing my birth options for a second baby with my GP, a midwife and physio. None of them said anything about not being able to deliver naturally with a cystocele. I hope that's helpful to you, maybe look at getting a second opinion.

Also, I am now pg with baby 2. I am opting for a home birth. My dh was very much against it at first because he was scared for me. But once I showed him all the stats and info on how home birth is better, and just as safe, if not safer, than hospital birth, he agreed it was our best option. I think our hubbies just get worried for us, and that reassurance helped a great deal, especially because men often like to see stats, with those logical brains at work.

Hi Mumwithone

You are probably right about the logical male brain.

I think we all get very upset about prolapse as if it is the same as a broken leg. Nothing is actually broken. It is more like a bad hairdo. Bits are just not in the normal place, still growing out of the head but just not quite arranged right!

Now, you ask a hairdresser about this bad hairdo and they will be flashing their scissors faster than you can blink, wanting to rearrange it, *and* colour it *and* cut it.

Ditto with gynaecologists.

OK, prolapses are a little more serious than hairdos, but the enthusiasm of a person who is capable can be very frightening indeed!

But when you look at the process of giving birth, everything is so mobile anyway, and bodies are actually designed to birth the baby, by itself, so why should any other organs follow, as a matter of course? Looking at the statistics will really tell the story, as long as they are good statistics.

That's why I think that it is important to respect the pelvic geometry when giving birth. The pelvic contents are most stable when the woman is upright. We don't lie on our backs or lie back at 45 degrees to have a wee. We don't lie on our backs, or lie back at 45 degrees to have a poo. I have tried them both when I was in traction for a month. They are not easy, very counter-intuitive!

Why would anybody lie on their back or lie back at 45 degrees to have a baby???????

There is an optimum position for birthing, and you have to be able to get into it. Animals normally either birth standing or lying on their side, where at least gravity is not working against them. They certainly do not lie on their backs! I say listen to the animals!




Your previous birth story sounds like mine. My husband and I fought induction, which they really were pushing on us because baby was late (NO other complications), hence my husband's new definition of informed consent: Unless you can prove you're informed, they'll bully you into consenting. I finally went into labour on my own at exactly 42 weeks.
I'm glad you are going to try for a homebirth. I hope to have a homebirth next time too.

I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post sooner, I started too, got distracted, someone clicked off the site and I forgot which post I was in the middle of. then went back and tried to re read the twelve threads I missed and got distracted again. better say something fast now, before someone here needs something.

YES I successfully birthed baby number four, naturally, at home with a cystocele (and rectocele for the record)
now, five mo later, I am no worse for the wear. well, aside from the aforementioned distractibility but that has nothing to do with the prolapse.

as an aside,my dh was deadset against homebirth the first time I brought it up (when I was pg with baby number three) and now he's a HUGE hb advocate, and can't imagine doing it any other way.

I'm having trouble concentrating tonight (severe sleep deprivation will do that to ya), but you can track my posts over the last pg and see how the cystocele affected my pg and delivery

I think your chances of NEEDING a section are the same as those for any woman without a cystocele

talk to your OB about birthing in a position other than lithotomy, as that can aggravate your prolapse.

enjoy the rest of your pg!