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Rectal prolapse

Rectal prolapse

A rectal prolapse happens when part or all of the wall of the rectum slides out of place, sticking out of the anus. It may be a:

  • Complete prolapse. The entire wall of the rectum slides out of place. At first, it may slip out of the anus only during bowel movements. Over time, this may occur when you stand or walk. And in some cases, the tissue may stick out of the anus all the time.
  • Partial prolapse. The lining (mucous membrane) of the rectum slides out of place. It may slip out of the anus when you strain to have a bowel movement.

Rectal prolapse is most common in older female adults. It sometimes occurs in young children. Many things increase the risk of rectal prolapse, but it may be hard to find the exact cause.

Treatment depends on the type of prolapse. It may involve changes in diet, medicines such as stool softeners, or surgery.

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