A rectocele is a form of pelvic organ prolapse that occurs when the
tissues and muscles that hold the end of the large intestine (rectum) in place
are stretched or weakened. This results in the rectum moving from its natural
position to press against and sometimes through the back wall of the
A rectocele usually develops when a woman's pelvic muscles become
weak as a result of having children, aging, or having previous surgery. In rare cases,
a rectocele may be present at birth (congenital).
A rectocele may become large or more obvious with straining or
bearing down (for example, during a bowel movement). A rectocele may cause pain
during sexual intercourse or difficulty when passing stool.
Many cases of rectocele do not cause symptoms and do not require
treatment. If treatment is needed, a rectocele usually can be
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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