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Rectocele: symptoms, grades and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

An anal pathology is a rectocele, although it is also called a rectovaginal hernia or vaginal prolapse. Its main characteristic is the herniation of the rectum towards the vagina since hernias are produced with the descent of one organ towards the orifice of the other, so in this pathology, the rectum falls towards the vaginal area, which is generally caused by weakness or any defect in the septum of the vaginal rectum.

It is a female alteration due to the loss of strength and perfect condition of the vaginal tissues due to various factors. Although it is a reasonably frequent alteration, it often does not cause symptoms, making it challenging to discover. If you want to know more about this pathology, in the following FastlyHealarticle, you will find much information about Rectocele: symptoms, grades, and treatment .

Causes of vaginal prolapse

The rectovaginal septum may be weakened and thin, causing part of the rectum to fall into the vagina. Among the most common causes of vaginal hernia are:

  • Age: over the years, the muscles can weaken, and a woman’s body begins to produce more minor amounts of estrogen, causing the weakening of the muscles located in the pelvic area.
  • Childbirth: Pregnant women and those who have had labor trauma can get a rectocele because the muscles around the rectum and vagina are severely weakened.
  • Genetics: certain people are born with muscles in the area weaker than the rest.
  • Obesity: Women who are very overweight are very likely to suffer from a rectovaginal hernia because the added pressure can cause various disorders to the muscle.
  • Constipation and straining: suffering from constipation and making efforts to defecate can cause increased pressure in the rectum and cause inconveniences; however, it can also occur when coughing with great force or lifting weighty objects.
  • Surgeries: those women who undergo various pelvic surgeries may have a weakening of the muscles in the rectum and vagina, causing a prolapse.

Certain risk factors can contribute to the appearance of vaginal prolapse, among which are:

  • Menopause
  • We are doing excessive physical work.
  • Use forceps.
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Climacteric involution.
  • If you have had more than one delivery.
  • Having had a very long labor.
  • Age.
  • The overweight.

Primary symptoms of a rectovaginal hernia

Most patients with Rectocele do not present any signs or symptoms regarding this alteration; however, on some occasions, a small lump of tissue can be seen that comes out through the vagina. Despite this, there may be difficulty and constipation when it is necessary to evacuate the stool many times; it is required to insert the fingers into the vagina to make the evacuation easier.

Also, there are other symptoms of Rectocele that may appear:

  • Feel permanent that the rectum is occupied, even if you have just defecated.
  • The evacuation is not entirely complete.
  • Much effort must be made for evacuation.
  • Discomfort and pressure in the vagina.
  • I am suffering from vaginal bleeding.
  • Sexual dysfunction and having painful intercourse.

Types and degrees of Rectocele

It is essential to distinguish the types of vaginal prolapse since it provides more information for its treatment and prevention. Among them, the following stand out:

  • Anterior Rectocele: subdivided depending on the place where it is located. Therefore, the lower and middle rectoceles are more common due to obstetric trauma, while the upper ones are linked to uterine prolapse.
  • Posterior Rectocele: is one that is associated with excessive efforts made for a long time, causing the separation of the muscles responsible for raising the anus.

Within the classification of Rectocele, it differs in the following degrees:

  • Grade 1 rectovaginal hernia: This implies permanent difficulty in evacuating without pelvic prolapse.
  • Grade 2 rectovaginal hernia: The presence of an organic pelvic prolapse is observed as the main characteristic.

Treatment for vaginal prolapse

To follow the correct treatment, it is necessary to determine the status of the Rectocele and if it presents with any symptoms. In general, the first recommendation is to include a more significant number of foods rich in fiber in the usual diet and maintain adequate hydration, this with the aim of:

  • Stimulate the bowel movement.
  • Produce loose stools.
  • Avoid difficult defecation or constipation.

Likewise, physiotherapy is another natural alternative to treat rectovaginal hernia, in which the specialist may indicate different exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, improving their contraction and rectal sensation. The most widely used techniques are Kegel exercises and supervised biofeedback sessions or biological feedback. Through a system of sensors that are placed on the patient, information on the body’s functioning is obtained and thus be able to have better control and strengthen the pelvic musculature.

Regarding the treatment with drugs for vaginal prolapse, the doctor may prescribe those containing estrogens since they are closely related to the strength of the pelvic muscles, preventing them from further weakening and worsening the Rectocele. These medications can be given through pills, ovules, or vaginal creams.

On the other hand, the surgical treatment of the Rectocele is the recommended option when said alteration and the symptoms do not improve with the previous methods, if the rectovaginal hernia is more significant than 3 cm, if the signs condition the health of the woman or if the Prolapse resolution can only be achieved through surgical repair of the vaginal rectal septum. The surgery seeks to remove the vaginal prolapse tissue and strengthen the pelvic muscles, either with a tissue graft or mesh patches.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Rectocele: symptoms, degrees and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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