Skip to content
Font Size

Rectal Prolapse in Adults - Topic Overview

Rectal prolapse in adults mostly occurs in women age 60 and older. Things that can increase the risk of rectal prolapse include:

  • Structural malformation or damage from childbirth or injury. Some people develop rectal prolapse as a result of a condition they have had since birth, such as an abnormal structure of pelvic muscles. Also, childbirth or a back injury can damage structures, organs, or nerves in the pelvic area. This can make proper function of the intestines more difficult.
  • Surgery. Surgery on the anus or rectum can affect rectal function. Also, surgery on a woman's reproductive organs, such as removal of the uterus (hysterectomy), makes it more likely that the other organs, such as the bladder or large intestine (colon), will move out of position. Surgery on the back or spinal cord can damage the nerves that are involved with the proper function of the intestines.
  • Pressure on the intestines. Common causes of intestinal pressure include frequent straining during bowel movements, usually because of constipation; tumors or other growths, such as cancer, in the rectum or large intestine; or certain conditions, such as rectocele or a prolapsed uterus.
  • Aging. Over time, the muscles in the anal sphincter and elsewhere in the pelvis can weaken and fail to give enough support to the rectum.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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.
    1
    Next Article:

    Rectal Prolapse in Adults Topics

    Today on WebMD

    man holding his stomach
    Get the facts on common problems.
    blueberries in a palm
    Best and worst foods.
     
    woman shopping
    Learn what foods to avoid.
    fresh and dried plums
    Will it help constipation?
     
    top foods for probiotics
    Slideshow
    couple eating at cafe
    Article
     
    sick child
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing bubble gum
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Woman with crohns in pain
    Slideshow
    Woman with stomach pain
    Slideshow
     
    diet for diverticulitis
    Video
    what causes diarrhea
    Video