Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

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

Other Rare Unusual Cancers of Childhood

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndromes Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes are inherited disorders that affect the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of glands and cells that make hormones and release them into the blood. MEN syndromes may cause hyperplasia (the growth of too many normal cells) or tumors that may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). There are several types of MEN syndrome and each type may...

Read the Other Rare Unusual Cancers of Childhood 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.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 15, 2013
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.
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
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

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