Posterior Vaginal Wall Prolapse (Rectocele)


This is a bulge in the back wall of the vagina. It happens when the thin wall of tissue between the vagina and the rectum isn't strong enough to hold back the rectum. It lets the rectum push into the vagina.


What causes this to happen? It's linked to increased pressure on your pelvic tissues. Pressure can increase if you have constipation, and if you strain when you empty your bowels. It can be caused by a chronic cough, or heavy lifting. Being overweight or obese increases pressure, too. Your risk for a prolapse is higher if you are older, and if you have given birth to multiple children. And, some women are born with weak pelvic tissues.


What are the symptoms? You may not notice a small prolapse. But if it's larger, you can have a soft bulge in your vagina. It may be big enough to push through your vaginal opening. You may feel fullness or pressure in your rectum. It may not feel empty even after a bowel movement. And, you may notice that your vaginal tissue feels loose.


Treatment options depend on your needs. Things like pelvic exercises and weight loss may help. You may benefit from a soft ring placed in your vagina for support. Or, you may need surgery. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.