A forward protrusion of part of the wall of the rectum into the vagina. It is the result of weakening
(during childbirth) of the fibrous connective tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina. It may be due to a rapid delivery or to a difficult one. Sometimes
the diagnosis is made soon after delivery, but usually symptoms do not appear until a woman
is 35 to 40 years old.
affecting the development of a rectocele include the state of the pelvic
muscles, the degree of damage, and persistent straining
at stool. There is a vicious cycle here, because one of the signs of a rectocele
is constipation due to collection of feces in the pouch; this leads
to straining, which further
aggravates the herniation. Persons
may complain of a sense of rectal or vaginal fullness and the constant urge for a bowel movement.
consists of good dietary
habits to avoid constipation
or straining at stool. Laxatives or suppositories may be necessary. Surgery is required to achieve a cure, the chances for which are good if subsequent vaginal delivery and straining at stool can be avoided.