What is a Rectocele?
Rectocele (intestinal hernia) is a disorder that can negatively affect women’s health. It is the protrusion of the rectum, the last part of the large intestine, into the vagina, which is a part of the female reproductive system. Sometimes it can cause serious problems in the body, although it does not cause any symptoms. It can occur as a result of weakening of the vaginal wall for various reasons. For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, it is necessary to apply to the gynecology and obstetrics and general surgery clinics of reliable hospitals. Depending on the degree of the disease, non-surgical or operative treatment methods can be applied. You can find detailed information about rectocele in the continuation of our article.
What is Rectocele (Intestinal Hernia)?
Rectocele is a condition in which the last part of the large intestine protrudes into the vagina in women. The answer to the question of what is rectocele among the people is known as intestinal hernia. The vagina is the muscle-lined canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body in women. It is an important organ where birth takes place and is part of the menstrual cycle. The fact that a part of the intestine forms a pocket in this organ can lead to some health problems. Complaints such as constipation, pain, obstruction in the stool duct can be seen. Intestinal hernia may occur in case of weakening of the tissue between the vagina and the large intestine due to birth or anatomical reasons. If left untreated, other health problems such as hemorrhoids or cracks in the breech area may occur. For this reason, it is important to determine the problems that cause rectocele and to plan the treatment accordingly.
What are the Symptoms of Rectocele (Intestinal Hernia)?
Intestinal hernia may occur due to pressure and trauma in the pelvic floor region. Rectocele symptoms may not always be felt. When it starts to grow, it can cause complaints. Some of the rectal and vaginal findings that may occur due to intestinal hernia are as follows:
Pain in the rectum area,
Frequent urge to go to the toilet
Feeling of fullness in the vagina area,
pain during sexual intercourse,
Difficulty in defecation and the need to apply force to the back during defecation,
Problems with bowel movements
Soft tissue protrusion that can be felt in the vagina,
Feeling of sitting on the ball
What Causes Rectocele? What are the Risk Factors of Intestinal Hernia?
Rectocele can occur as a result of weakening of the muscles and tissues forming the vaginal wall for different reasons. Intestinal hernia can be seen due to thinning of the tissues between the large intestine and the vagina or weakening of the muscles. The layer that covers the inside of the pelvis (pelvis) and provides support for the rectum to perform its normal functions is called the pelvic floor. Intestinal hernia may also occur due to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. In addition, some people may be more likely to develop a rectocele. Causes and risk factors for rectocele include:
Those who had a traumatic normal birth,
Those with a history of constipation,
Those who do excessive straining during defecation,
Those who have undergone uterine or rectal surgery,
Repetitive heavy lifters
People with severe and prolonged cough,
People who have weakened muscles due to loss of estrogen during menopause,
How Is Intestinal Hernia Diagnosed?
Intestinal hernia can be called posterior vaginal prolapse in medical language. It is the formation of a pocket by the rectum, which is the end of the large intestine, by going beyond the vaginal wall. This disease can be diagnosed by examining the person in gynecology and obstetrics and general surgery clinics. Small size rectocele may not cause complaints. In addition to the physical examination, some tests are helpful in diagnosis. Intestinal hernia diagnostic methods include:
Defecography: The type of x-ray that shows the rectum and stool duct during defecation is called defecography. It can show the size of the intestinal hernia and the amount of defecation in detail.
Ultrasound Scanning: The imaging method used to examine the soft tissues and organs in the body in real time is called ultrasound. With this scanning method, intestinal hernia can be viewed and its dimensions measured.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Pelvic organs can be observed clearly with MRI method.
How Is Rectocele Treated?
Rectocele may not need to be treated when it does not cause complaints. However, in the presence of symptoms that affect daily life, it is necessary to resort to surgical or non-surgical treatment methods. First of all, it is important to determine whether the findings are due to rectocele by a specialist doctor. In addition, after determining the factors leading to the formation of rectocele, a treatment plan can be created for this. Some of the procedures applied for the treatment of rectocele are as follows:
- Non-Surgical Treatments: In the treatment of non-surgical rectocele, it is aimed to regulate bowel movements and to go to the larger toilet more comfortably. Intestinal hernia can be prevented by evacuating the rectum more easily. Non-surgical intestinal hernia methods applied with the advice of a doctor may include the following applications:
consuming a lot of water,
Avoiding excessive straining during the big toilet,
Consuming fibrous foods frequently
Using drugs that soften the stool,
Pelvic floor specific physical therapy (biofeedback),
Practicing pelvic floor exercises (such as Kegel movements),
Avoiding heavy lifting
Avoiding excessive weight gain
- Surgical Treatments: In patients with rectocele who cannot obtain successful results with non-surgical treatment methods, surgical treatments can be applied with the approval of the doctor. In addition, if there is a severe intestinal hernia that negatively affects daily life, the solution can only be surgical methods. Excess tissue protruding from the rectocele can be surgically removed to strengthen the surrounding tissues.
How is Rectocele Surgery Performed?
If there are serious findings that can affect life, such as sudden and severe pain, recurrent constipation, hardening of the hernia, and obstruction in the vagina due to rectocele, medical support may be required as an examination by a specialist doctor. In advanced cases, problems can be resolved with rectocele surgery. Levatorplasty surgery can be applied to treat intestinal hernia. In the levatorplasty method, the muscles in the pelvic floor can be stitched on top of each other to strengthen the structures in the vaginal wall. In addition, the operation can be completed by placing a patch called MESH on the area. Thus, the rectocele is eliminated and its recurrence can be prevented.
Does Intestinal Hernia Cause Pain?
Intestinal hernia can cause various complaints as it is a discomfort that occurs as a result of pushing the last part of the large intestine towards the vaginal wall. The answer to the question of whether intestinal hernia causes pain is wondered by women. In mild cases, the person may not be aware of the intestinal hernia. However, in the presence of advanced rectocele, there may be a feeling of pain in the vaginal area.
If you have symptoms similar to intestinal hernia, do not neglect to apply to a health institution before the disease progresses.