When the rectum pushes on the vaginal wall
“I’ve given birth to three children in four years. My youngest is now three years old and I’ve recently noticed some issues. I have difficulty pooping, sometimes the rectum sort of pushes on the back vaginal wall and makes it cave into the vagina. Is this something that can be fixed by medical care?“Reader’s question
When the rectum bulges into the vagina it’s due to that the wall between vagina and rectum has been weakened or overdistended. This causes faeces to become trapped in a pocket of sorts and you may have difficulty emptying your bowels completely. In medical terms, this kind of vagina bulge is called a rectocele.
Many find that supporting your back vaginal wall or perineum (the area of skin between your vaginal opening and anus) helps with passing stool. Supporting your vaginal wall in this way is called splinting.
The largest risk factor for developing a rectocele is having had a vaginal birth. Constipation, heredity, ageing and a physically demanding vocation are other risk factors which may contribute to developing a rectocele.
SEEKING MEDICAL CARE CAN HELP
Choice of treatment is based on type and severity of your symptoms, how large the bulge is and whether or not you wish to give birth vaginally again. If you haven’t tried any kind of treatment, pelvic floor exercises and bowel retraining may be a good first-line treatment. Pelvic floor exercises can never ‘heal’ a vaginal bulge or prolapse, but a strong pelvic floor can decrease symptoms. Good bowel habits and having stools that are soft and easy to pass can also help reduce symptoms. Keeping your faeces between a 3 and 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart tends to help with being able to poop without having too much trouble. If you suffer from constipation, a visit to your GP is a good place to start. A gynecologist typically can also help with counselling and an assessment. A physiotherapist can offer advice on exercise as well as ergonomics to facilitate bowel movements.
HAVE A LOOK AT SOME OF MY OTHER POSTS ON THE SAME SUBJECT
- Which injuries cause which symptoms? (Swedish post)
- The perineum and the perineal body (Swedish post)
- An injured rectovaginal fascia/septum (Swedish post)
- Finding the words to describe your symptoms (Swedish post)
- Recovering from prolapse (Swedish post)
- Can kegeling heal an injured recovaginal fascia? (Swedish post)
- Tips on emptying your bowel (Swedish post)
- Prolapse and sex (Swedish post)
- Prolapse surgery (Swedish post)
- What is the difference between a bulging, lax vaginal wall and a prolapse? – in english
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I HOPE THIS AS WELL AS MY OTHER POSTS WILL PROVIDE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS. GOOD LUCK!