34.9 MB (4.8 MB compressed)
2848 x 4288 pixels
24.1 x 36.3 cm ⏐ 9.5 x 14.3 in (300dpi)
DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Vaginal wall prolapse. Close-up of a bulge in a 72 year old woman's vaginal wall. This is a cystocele, a condition where the vaginal wall weakens, in this case the anterior wall, and allows the bladder to fall into the vagina. A cystocele may be caused by muscle straining during childbirth, heavy lifting or repeated straining during bowel movements. It is more common in post- menopausal women, as their vaginal muscles are weaker. A mild cystocele may not cause any complications, however a more severe cystocele can cause stress incontinence or prevent the complete emptying of the bladder, which increases risk of infection. Treatment is with pelvic floor muscle exercises to tighten the muscles, or in severe cases with surgery.
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