The vagina is separated from the rectum by a fibrous tissue called fascia. When the area of the wall gets weak and rectum bulges into the vagina. This bulge is known as a rectocele.
The vagina is separated from the rectum by a fibrous tissue called fascia. When the area of the wall gets weak and rectum bulges into the vagina. This bulge is known as a rectocele. The condition develops when wall gets damaged during the vaginal delivery. It is common in elderly women who have entered their menopause. The bugle may develop after the vaginal delivery but the symptoms don’t appear until later in life.
Some conditions can increase the risk of getting rectocele including chronic constipation, chronic cough, and repetitive heavy lifting. Some physical activities that put pressure on the pelvic muscles can lead to this condition.
Small bulges may not cause any symptoms but larger rectoceles can trigger a variety of rectal and vaginal complaints which include:
- A bulge of tissue protruding through the vaginal openings.
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
- A feeling that the rectum has not emptied completely after a bowel movement
- A sensation of rectal pressure
- Rectal pain
- Difficulty controlling the passage of stool or gas from the rectum
- Low back pain that is relieved by lying down.
Doctors conduct a procedure called episiotomy to cut the skin between the vagina and the rectum to enlarge the opening. Doctors believe that carrying out episiotomy during the vaginal delivery helps in preventing a woman from getting a rectocele later in her life. However, there have been evidences of rectocles in episiotomies too. Kegel exercises are believed to help in preventing a rectocele or relieve the symptoms.
Surgery is done to repair the weakness in the fascia between the rectum and vagina. The repair can be done by stitching the area or by placing a mesh patch to strengthen or support the wall between the rectum and vagina.
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