Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
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.
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 Adults Topics

Today on WebMD

myth and facts about constipation
Slideshow
what is ibs
Article
 
toilet paper
Quiz
Fastfood
Article
 

top foods for probiotics
Slideshow
couple eating at cafe
Article
 
sick child
Slideshow
Woman blowing bubble gum
Slideshow
 

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