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happens when part of your rectum bulges into your vagina. This may happen if you have weak muscles and ligaments that cannot support the vagina and rectum. A wall of tough tissue, called the rectovaginal septum, separates the rectum from the vagina. The rectovaginal septum may be weak and thin. This allows part of the rectum to push into the vagina.
Common signs and symptoms:
- A soft bulge or lump in your vagina that may bulge through your vaginal opening
- Constipation or bowel movement that leaks out from your rectum
- Low back pain that goes away when you lie down
- Pain or pressure in your vagina when you urinate or have sex
- Pressure in your rectum, or you feel that your rectum is not empty after you have a bowel movement
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a mass bulging out of your vagina that you cannot push back into place.
- You vomit several times in a row.
- Your bowel movement is bright red or black.
Call your doctor if:
- Your pain does not go away, even with treatment.
- Your pessary falls out.
- You have heavier vaginal bleeding than usual.
- You are unable to have a bowel movement.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
may include any of the following:
- Biofeedback therapy helps you learn to control and relax your pelvic muscles during a bowel movement. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about biofeedback.
- Estrogen is a hormone that may be taken as a pill, or applied as a vaginal cream. Estrogen helps keep your pelvic muscles strong and may prevent your rectocele from getting worse.
- A pessary is a plastic or rubber ring that is placed inside your vagina. This supports the bulging areas in your vagina and rectum.
- Surgery may be needed to move the rectum back into place. This surgery fixes the weak walls of your vagina.
Manage or prevent a rectocele:
- Do not strain. Do not lift heavy objects, stand for long periods of time, or strain to have a bowel movement. Prevent constipation by drinking plenty of liquids and eating foods high in fiber. Ask how much liquid to drink every day. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Do Kegel exercises regularly. These exercises can help your pelvic floor muscles get stronger. Tighten the muscles of your pelvis (the muscles you use to stop urinating). Hold the muscles tight for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Gradually work up to holding the muscles for 10 seconds. Do at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions a day.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help decrease constipation.
- Eat more fiber. High-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, soften bowel movements. This helps bowel movements pass more quickly through your colon. Slowly add fiber into your diet to avoid bloating, stomach pain, and gas.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Ask your healthcare provider for a healthy weight for you. Ask him or her to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight. He or she can also help you create an exercise program. Exercise helps your bowels work better and decreases pressure inside your colon.
Follow up with your doctor or gynecologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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