Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Rectal Prolapse in Children - Topic Overview

    Rectal prolapse in children most commonly happens before the age of 4, and usually before age 1. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop the condition.

    A child's risk for rectal prolapse may increase because of a structural problem in the digestive system. Other conditions that increase a child's risk for rectal prolapse include:

    Recommended Related to Children

    U.S. Children's Medical Needs, by the Numbers

    Racing champ Jeff Gordon's focus on children's health comes at a crucial time. The number of U.S. children with chronic health conditions has risen dramatically in the past four decades, according to a study published last June in The  Journal of the American Medical Association. Some of the study's findings: Of 80 million children in America, about 8% (6.5 million) have chronic conditions that interfere with regular daily activity, says study author James M. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics...

    Read the U.S. Children's Medical Needs, by the Numbers article > >

    • Increased abdominal pressure. Rectal prolapse may develop in a child who frequently strains during bowel movements, such as from problems with long-term (chronic) constipation. Pressure from forceful coughing spells, such as those caused by whooping cough (pertussis) or long-term lung disease from cystic fibrosis, may also lead to rectal prolapse.
    • Short-term or long-term diarrhea. Giardiasis or Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection may cause short-term diarrhea. Conditions that prevent proper food absorption, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, may cause long-term diarrhea.
    • Parasitic diseases. Parasites such as whipworms increase the risk of prolapse.
    • Cystic fibrosis. This disease of the mucous glands is associated with conditions throughout the body, including digestive problems. About 20 out of 100 children with rectal prolapse will be children who have cystic fibrosis.1 A child who has rectal prolapse with no obvious cause may need to be tested for cystic fibrosis.
    • Pelvic floor weakness. Weakness of these muscles, which stretch across the floor of the pelvis, may be linked with damage caused by nerve disorders or spinal cord deformities (such as spina bifida). Or pelvic floor weakness may occur after pelvic surgery.
    • Malnutrition. Across the world, lack of proper nutrition may be the most common cause of rectal prolapse in children. This is especially true in underdeveloped countries. Malnutrition prevents children from developing supportive tissues around the rectum.
    • Hirschsprung's disease. The birth defect Hirschsprung's disease affects muscular contractions of the bowel. This can lead to rectal prolapse.
    • Not having an opening in the anus (imperforate anus). The surgery to repair an imperforate anus can make rectal prolapse more likely.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Rectal Prolapse in Children Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool