Rectocele - posterior wall prolapse
A rectocele or otherwise described as a posterior wall prolapse, is a bulge in the front wall of the rectum into the rear wall of the vagina. If the rectal wall becomes thinned, the weakening of the wall causes a ‘U’ shaped bulge to pocket faeces, making it very difficult for the person to have a complete bowel movement.
People who are often constipated may find themselves with symptoms of a rectocele.
A rectocele may be present without any other abnormalities. In some cases, if the pelvic support fascia is generally weakened or with adhesions then a rectocele may co-exist with other prolapses such as a urethrocele, cystocele and enterocele, or with uterine or vaginal prolapse. Faecal or urinary incontinence may be present.
One of the first signs that a rectocele may be present, is either after emptying the bowels, the feeling of not being ‘fully empty’ or when the bottom is wiped there is still trace of faeces on the paper.
You may require further investigations such as a scan or an appointment with a colorectal consultant.
If you think you are experiencing a pelvic organ prolapse, download and print the pelvic organ diary. Fill this in and show your clinician.