Rectocele

A rectocele is a form of pelvic organ prolapse that occurs when the tissues and muscles that hold the end of the large intestine (rectum) in place are stretched or weakened. This results in the rectum moving from its natural position to press against and sometimes through the back wall of the vagina.

A rectocele usually develops when a woman's pelvic muscles become weak as a result of having children, aging, or having previous surgery. Rarely, a rectocele may be present at birth (congenital).

A rectocele may become large or more obvious with straining or bearing down (for example, during a bowel movement). A rectocele may cause pain during sexual intercourse or difficulty passing stool.

Many cases of rectocele do not cause symptoms and do not require treatment. If treatment becomes necessary, a rectocele usually can be surgically corrected.

Last Updated: October 20, 2008

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & R. Hugh Gorwill, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.