MR Defecography for Pelvic Organ Prolapse

This information is useful for adults and older adults
Portrait of a female patient who could have needed magnetic resonance defecography

Pelvic organ prolapse is more common than many women realize. It is a condition in which a woman’s pelvic diaphragm, which holds up the pelvic organs (including the bladder, rectum, small intestine, uterus and vagina), weakens and sags, allowing the organs to sink or prolapse. 

The problem is often linked to straining during childbirth, although age, heavy lifting, surgery, and obesity can be factors as well. While pelvic organ prolapse isn’t usually a health threat, it can be associated with pelvic pain, chronic constipation and sometimes urinary or fecal incontinence. 

Treatment may be necessary if any of these symptoms become bothersome. At Yale Medicine, our radiologists are skilled at a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test called a magnetic resonance defecography (MR defecography). The procedure helps our urologists see more clearly and better understand what’s going on in the pelvis in order to make the most accurate diagnosis possible and better focus treatment.