What is rectal prolapse?
A rectal prolapse occurs when a part of the rectum (the last section of the large intestine which attaches to the anus) protrudes from the anal opening.
What are the symptoms of rectal prolapse?
The main symptom of a rectal prolapse is a lump on the anus which is visible or can be felt. Other symptoms sometimes occur, including.
- Faecal incontinence (difficulty controlling wind and / or bowel movement).
- Rectal bleeding (particularly bright red blood).
- Mucous discharge from the anus.
Most people become aware of a rectal prolapse after a bowel movement, but a prolapse can also be felt more clearly when walking or getting up from a lying or sitting position.
What causes rectal prolapse?
Rectal prolapse tends to affect women more than men and is also more common with people who have problems with constipation. This is likely connected to repeated straining when having bowel movements.
How is rectal prolapse treated?
Most cases of rectal prolapse require immediate corrective surgery. In some cases, it is possible to reposition a rectal prolapse. In every case immediate medical attention is strongly recommended.