Rectocele Treatment

rectocele is a bulging of the wall of rectum (the lower segment of the intestine) into the wall of the vagina. Rectoceles are usually the result of thinning or weakening of the muscle that separates the two and weakening pelvic floor muscles. Rectoceles may also occur in conjunction with the weakening of other pelvic organs including the bladder (cystocele) or small intestines (enterocele).

Rectoceles do not allow the rectum itself to be seen through the vagina, but creates a bulge or "bump" in the vagina that can be seen by your healthcare provider.

To learn more about rectocele diagnosis and treatment, please call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.

Rectocele Causes

Rectoceles may be caused by a variety of factors including:

Rectocele Symptoms

Many women will not have any symptoms at all. In fact, most rectoceles are identified during a routine physical examination by a healthcare provider. If the rectocele is large, it may be easy to see a bulge or bump in the vaginal wall.

For those women who do have symptoms, these may include:

You may also have symptoms that are felt in the vagina including:

Rectocele Diagnosis

Finding a bulge in the vagina is just the beginning of diagnosing the full extent of a rectocele. Your provider will need to know how large it really is and how well your rectum and bowels are working.

To get a better idea, your provider may want you to have a special X-ray that uses dye to visualize the rectum. The dye is placed into the bowel with an enema. Once the dye has been given, you will need to have a special X-ray while you have a bowel movement.

This is a very specific test, but it gives your provider detailed information about the size of the rectocele and how efficiently the bowels are working.

Rectocele Treatment

Most providers will not treat a rectocele just because it's been identified. Unless you are having symptoms that affect your daily life, your provider may encourage changing your diet to reduce straining. This means eating more fiber and drinking lots of water to make stools softer.

In addition, he or she may use medications such as hormone replacement to strengthen tissues or stool softeners. Kegel exercises may help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. And if necessary, it's okay to press on the back of the vagina during a bowel movement.

When these options are not enough, your provider may talk with you about surgery. There is more than one way to treat a rectocele and your provider will talk with you about your best option. The type of surgery you have will depend on how severe the rectocele is and what type of symptoms you are having.

Both colorectal surgeons and gynecologists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of rectoceles.

Request More Information

To learn more about rectocele diagnosis and treatment, please call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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