A rectocele is a bulge in the front wall of the rectum into the rear wall of the vagina. If the rectal wall becomes thinned, the weakening of the wall causes a ‘U’ shaped bulge to pocket faeces, making it very difficult for the person to have a complete bowel movement. People who are often constipated may find themselves with symptoms of a rectocele.
A rectocele may be present without any other abnormalities. In some cases, if the pelvic support is generally weak then a rectocele may co-exist with other prolapses such as a urethrocele, cystocele, and enterocele, or with uterine or vaginal prolapse. Faecal or urinary incontinence may be present.
One of the first signs that a rectocele may be present, is either after emptying the bowels, the feeling of not being ‘fully empty’ or when the bottom is wiped there are still traces of faeces on the paper.