A rectocele is when the last part of the large intestine, called the rectum, herniates into the vagina. The rectum forms a pouch towards the vagina and during defecation this pouch becomes more prominent as a result of straining. Rectocele, which is mostly seen in women, is a condition that should be taken into consideration.
How does a rectocele develop? What are the Causes?
Pregnancy and childbirth are one of the most important causes of rectocele. Factors such as giving birth more than once, prolonged difficult labor, use of forceps during labor can trigger rectocele. Rectocele can rarely occur in women who have never given birth or as a result of hysterectomy. Another cause of rectocele is pressure on the pelvic floor. Chronic constipation and straining, chronic cough or bronchitis, frequent heavy lifting, overweight and prolonged sitting on the toilet can lead to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and cause rectocele development. Age and genetic factors are also among the causes of rectocele.
Symptoms of Rectocele
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Sensation of a mass inside the vagina
- Feeling like the vagina is going to hang out
- Continuous straining during defecation, fragmented defecation
- Feeling of blockage when defecating
- Incomplete emptying of the intestines
- Pressure in the pelvic area
- Feeling of restlessness
How is Rectocele Diagnosis and Treatment?
Rectocele is diagnosed by gynecological examination. If the rectocele is asymptomatic, it can heal with changes in diet without the need for treatment. Fiber diet and plenty of water consumption are very important in the treatment of rectocele. Consumption of high-fiber foods and plenty of water regulates bowel movements, prevents the stool from being dry and hard and helps it pass easily through the anus. To achieve this, the patient may be given extra fiber and/or stool softening medication.
In cases where medication and nutritional treatment are not sufficient, rectocele surgery may be necessary if complaints persist. Rectocele surgery is performed on the rectum, uterus or abdomen. Kegel exercises are recommended before surgery. At the point where Kegel exercises are not sufficient, surgery or laser treatment can be applied. It is extremely important for the patient not to be constipated after surgery and to pay attention to his/her diet in order to recover from the disease.