In order to be able to deliver babies the pelvis has a floor with no bones, so everything in the lower part of your pelvis (bladder, vagina and bowel or rectum) is held in the equivalent of a hammock. The hammock gets stretched and often damages during childbirth, the effects appearing many years later.
If the hammock that supports the front (anterior) wall of the vagina and the balder fails we call it a cystocele, if the hammock or ligaments between the back (posterior) vaginal wall and bowel fails we call it an enterocele or rectocele, and if the area at the entrance of the vagina fails we call it a deficient perineum.
Surgery is aimed at trying to restore or buttress the hammock where it is deficient. You generally have an overnight stay and return to a normal life in one to two weeks.
When the prolapse of the vaginal walls is accompanied by descent or prolapse of the uterus (womb) a vaginal hysterectomy may be required at the same time. Urinary stress incontinence is also a result of damage from childbirth, involving the muscles around the bladder neck. This can be treated with insertion of a tension free vaginal tape.