Rectocele is a condition in which part of the rectum protrudes or bulges into
the back wall of the vagina.
What is going on in the body?
The rectum lies just behind the vagina in a female. Between the rectum and
vagina is a wall made of tissues and muscles that support the rectum and
vagina. When a woman has a rectocele, the wall supporting the rectum is weaker
than usual. This weakening allows part of the rectum to protrude into the
vagina. As the rectum becomes stretched, it bulges into the vagina. The woman
may experience difficulty passing stool.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Rectocele results from a weakening or stretching of the tissues supporting the
rectum. The causes of this weakening include:
muscles and tissues being stretched during childbirth
heavy lifting that causes stress on the muscles surrounding the vagina and
chronic constipation or repeated
straining during bowel movements
excessive coughing, such as from
menopause. Estrogen helps keep
the muscles around the vagina strong. During menopause, estrogen levels
normal aging, which can cause the muscles become weaker