Rectocele: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Rectocele

Rectocele is defined as a condition where the wall between the rectum and the vagina in female is weakens. The front wall of the rectum pushes into the back wall of the female vagina thus this condition is also called as posterior vaginal prolapse. It is a very common condition faced by the females above 50 years of age.

What is Rectocele

What is Rectocele

Not always rectocele causes a symptom. If small, it may not be very painful but may cause discomfort and become a cause of frequent urine tract infection.

What Is Rectocele

Rectocele happens when the fibrous tissue that separates the vagina and rectum weakens and bulges into the vagina.

What are the symptoms of rectocele?

Small rectocele may not exhibit any symptom.  In such cases  rectocele are found  incidental while the female is going through routine gynaecological exams. In some people rectocele sign and symptoms effects vagina or rectum.  The symptoms of rectocele in most of the cases are mild.

What are the symptoms of rectocele

Anal symptoms of rectocele includes:

  • Constipation and being unable to empty bowels
  • Having frequent bowel movements
  • Have to strain while passing stool.
  • Feeling that stool is stuck
  • Pain in rectum
  • Need to put pressure in vagina with finger to have bowel movements

Vaginal symptoms of rectocele include:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Painful intercourse
  • Feeling of fullness in the vagina
  • Bulge in the vagina

What causes rectocele in females?

The underlying cause of rectocele is weakening of the recto-vaginal septum and pelvic support structures. Most of the females develops rectocele with pregnancy and childbirth. However, the risk of developing rectocele increases with age.

Childbirth and pregnancy – If the baby is large, labor is prolonged, or in case there is multiple birth, rectocele is likely to develop. In addition, more vaginal deliveries more is the risk of developing rectocele. 

Old age –  Half of the females by the age of 50 suffers from symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse and by the age of 80, 1 in every 10 female have to undergo surgery for prolapse.

Other factors that may lead to rectocele is drop in the level of oestrogen during menopause,  pelvic surgery,  hysterectomy,  chronic cough,lifting heavy weights, obesity, long term cough and sexual abuse during childhood.

How is rectocele diagnosed?

Examination of rectum and vagina helps to diagnose rectocele. To determine the size of rectocele imaging studies may be conducted. The degree of prolapse is assessed by the impact of rectocele in the life quality of the individual. A particular type of X-Ray known as defecogram isdone to determine the size of rectocele and to see how well the patient can evacuate.

How is rectocele treated?

Your doctor may prescribe medications such as stool softener to ease constipation, vaginal pessaries to support the protruding tissues and hormonal replacement therapy for females after menopause. In some cases, surgery is advised. The type of surgery is decided depending on the extent of prolapse, patient condition, age and general health. 

Are there home remedies to treat rectocele?

Certain tips can help you to prevent the development of rectocele and prevent worsening of the symptoms. Drink lots of water, eat fibre rich food, avoid lifting weight, practice kegel exercises, maintain healthy weight and if you are suffering from prolonged coughing get treatment to reduce strain on the pelvic floor muscles.


How is rectocele prevented?

There are certain actions you can take to reduce the chance of developing rectocele. Practicekegel exercises after childbirth. If you are obese try to reduce weight by practicing healthy life style.In case you are suffering from persistent cough or other lung issues seek medical attention. Quit smoking. Drink lots of water. Eat fibre rich food and avoid activities such as heavy weight lifting that can make rectocele worse

Rectocele is one of the pelvic organ prolapse. Other type of prolapse are anterior wall prolapse or cystocele. Cystocele is a condition where the urinary bladder prolapses into the front vaginal wall. Uterine prolapse is also a common type of prolapse in females. We will discuss about other types of prolapses in our coming articles. Keep reading our blogs for more information on female health issues.

Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.