Bulging of the front wall of the rectum into the vagina. Rectocele is due to weakening of the pelvic support structures and thinning of the rectovaginal septum (the tissues separating the rectum from the vagina). Also called a proctocele.
Risk factors for a rectocele include a history of multiple, difficult or prolonged deliveries, forceps or other assisted methods of delivery, perineal tears, an episiotomy into the rectum or anal sphincter muscles, hysterectomy, and constipation and straining with bowel movements.
Rectoceles may cause no symptoms. If they do, the symptoms may be vaginal and/or rectal. Vaginal symptoms include vaginal bulging, the sensation of a mass in the vagina, pain with intercourse or even something hanging out of the vagina that may become irritated. Rectal symptoms include constipation difficult defecation, and unusually frequent urge to have a bowel movement.
A rectocele should only be treated if it causes significant symptoms. The treatment may be medical or surgical. Medical options include a high fiber diet and ample fluids (to avoid constipation), stool softeners, and a pessary inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. Surgery is meant to repair the rectocele.
- Rectouterine pouch
Culdoscopy, the introduction of an endoscope through the vagina into the cul-de-sac; Culdoscope, the endoscope that is used to look into the cul-de-sac; and Culdocentesis, the aspiration (withdrawal) of fluid from the cul-de-sac. In French, “cul-de-sac” literally is “bottom of (a)sack.” As early as the 13th century, a cul-de-sac was a dead-end street (or a […]
The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until it leaves the body through the anus.
Usually refers to the rectus abdominis, a large muscle in the front of the abdomen that assists in the regular breathing movement and supports the muscles of the spine while lifting and keeping abdominal organs such as the intestines in place. The rectus abdominis plays a key role in “sit-ups.” Rectus means straight. The rectus […]
- Rectus abdominis
A large muscle in the front of the abdomen that assists in regular breathing movements, supports the muscles of the spine while a person lifts something, and keeps the intestines and other abdominal organs in place.
To recover health and strength. Also known as convalesce.