What is uterine prolapse? Uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus drops down (prolapses) into the vagina. It is caused by weakened pelvic muscles and ligaments that fail to hold the uterus in place. There may be full collapse of the uterus into the vagina or only a partial descent of the uterus. Uterine prolapse is a common condition that affects approximately 50% of postmenopausal women who have given birth. It occurs more frequently in women who had multiple births by vaginal delivery, but it can also develop in women who did not bear children. The most common cause of uterine prolapse is damage to the pelvic floor during pregnancy and childbirth. Normal aging and a decrease in estrogen levels may also contribute to the prolapse. Other conditions that strain the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor include obesity, chronic constipation, and abdominal gas. The symptoms of uterine prolapse may occur frequently or only occasionally. The condition varies among individuals. Many women with uterine prolapse have no symptoms at all, while others may have back pain, abnormal pelvic pressure, or pain during sexual intercourse. In some cases, uterine prolapse is severe enough to interfere with bladder or bowel function. Treatment options that relieve symptoms or repair the prolapse include exercises and surgical procedures. In some cases, uterine prolapse can significantly interfere with bladder or bowel function, which can cause serious complications. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you experience inability to urinate or have a bowel movement, severe abdominal pain, or uncontrollable vomiting. Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for uterine prolapse but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.