Yes, this is actually something that happens in real life.
While it doesn't sound possible, your vagina actually can fall out of your body. A uterine prolapse is when the uterus drops down into the vagina, and in much more severe cases actually falls outside the vagina.
Obviously, having your vagina fall out of your body is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to a woman.
"In general, pelvic organ prolapse is the herniation of pelvic organs to or beyond the vaginal walls," explains Los Angeles-based obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Jessica Schneider. "With prolapse, support is decreased and these organs can push down into the vagina."
If you're like me, you're probably wondering how this could happen. To put it as simply as possible, all the vital organs in your pelvic region are being held firmly in place (most of the time) by muscles and tissues in your lower belly. During pregnancy and childbirth, these areas are weakened by weight strain in the uterus, and if they don't get stronger, everything can collapse.
As if pregnancy and childbirth weren't hard enough on your body, gravity, age and menopause can make things even worse. In fact, according to a study published in the journal Menopause, at least 50 percent of women will experience some kind of genital prolapse after pregnancy.
Prolapses can strike at any age and in a variety of ways. Women who have uterine prolapse frequently have other organs that are displaced. A cystocele is when a prolapsed bladder expands through the vaginal roof, and a rectocele occurs when the rectum bulges through the vaginal floor. The risk of some kind of pelvic prolapse gets higher with age, weight, and family history.
There are many different degrees of severity with a prolapse, depending on how far the organ has slipped. The most common symptom is the feeling that something is falling down, which makes sense since something is actually falling down.
Some women may feel pain or discomfort during sex, and others are completely unaware that something has shifted until their doctor points it out. However, by the time the uterus has fallen low enough for the vagina to be completely filled and the cervix has reached the opening of the vagina, it would be difficult to not notice that there's a big problem.
"Some women complain that they feel something or a bulge in the vagina. What is falling will determine if there are urinary, sexual, or defecatory dysfunctions," says Dr. Schneider.
The good news is that permanent damage isn't an issue. Doctors can reverse a prolapse with sutures, mesh walls, or pessaries, and surgeries like vaginal or laparoscopic hysterectomies that remove the uterus and correct other problems.
The chances are high that you'll have some kind of prolapse, especially if you have children. But while they do cause physical pain and mental anguish, you'll survive it. Our bodies do bizarre and crazy things, but they're all we've got. So take care of your body and be sensitive to the way it changes.
And don't wait until your vagina is falling out of your body to seek help.