Rectocele is prolapse of the back vaginal wall, where the rectum bulges into the vaginal space. It is a very common form of prolapse and most women who have cystocele, or bladder prolapse, also have rectocele.
Rectocele has the same cause as cystocele. As the lumbar curve flattens from tucking the butt, flatting the belly and pulling the shoulders back, as your mother probably taught you to do, it allows the uterus to pull back, loosening the tension on the back vaginal wall and allowing the uterus to slide back and the rectum to slide forward and bulge into the vaginal space.
Rectocele responds well to my postural approach. However, a pessary does not appear to be effective for rectocele, so I would discourage attempting to fit one unless you have a problematic uterine prolapse.
Post Hysterectomy Rectocele
For those of you who are post-hysterectomy, the situation is more complicated. Loss of the uterus is like the loss of the hub of a bicycle wheel.
Bladder and rectum prolapse are very common post hysterectomy and unfortunately, there may be no easy solution. Women report that some of my postural and exercise programs have been helpful, but not all. Your best bet will be to experiment and see what works. It’s unfortunate, but you need to know the truth.
Post-hysterectomy women often call us and ask, "What exercise is safe for me to do?" Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question, since every woman's surgery and post-surgery anatomy are going to differ. Probably the best rule of thumb is, "If it feels good, do it. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it."
Cause of Prolapse
There are several additional things you should be aware of.
Prolapse is not caused by childbirth, weak connective tissue or old age. My research in the medical and anthropological literature, and the results I have achieved with my own surgically-induced prolapse, and the success thousands of other women, have made it clear.
The loss of lumbar curvature is the primary cause of pelvic organ prolapse. Yes, childbirth and connective tissue issues can exacerbate the condition, but restoring your natural female posture and the application of some of the techniques in my material will give you everything you need to know to manage your prolapse for a lifetime.
Notice I said “manage”. There is no “cure” for prolapse in the sense that you can take your car to the shop and have a new transmission installed. You will have good days and some days not so good, but you will soon learn that your condition is very manageable.
You Are Your Own Best Doctor
Finally, what I have learned in over twenty years since my prolapse began, ultimately, only you can manage your prolapse. There is no magic cure. What it takes is education (which you can acquire on the Whole Woman site), mindfulness in how you sit, stand, walk, run, lift and carry, and also diet plays an important role.
In some respects the most difficult aspect of prolapse is the isolation that comes from feeling like no one else has this problem and you can’t really talk about it. Depending on whose research you read, fifty to eighty percent of all women will have this at some point in their lives. It is the largest single women’s health issue.
Get Your Husband or Partner Involved
If you find it difficult to discuss with your husband or partner, you may find the article, A Husband's Guide to Prolapse to be useful as a way of opening the conversation. Some men are really squeamish about female anatomy, but you may well find that working on it together will actually help make you closer and help you realize that you are not alone.
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