What are the symptoms of rectocele?
A small rectocele is often asymptomatic, i.e. without symptoms, especially if it swells less than 2.5 cm inside the vagina.
However, a larger rectocele can cause a variety of rectal and vaginal disorders, the main ones being the following:
- Finger bowel obstruction. Approximately 25% of the time, the patient must use a technique called “finger emptying” to help empty the rectum. In this technique, the patient presses the Rectum with his or her fingers into the vagina while defecating to facilitate the passage of stool.
- Low back pain that passes with prostration. In many women the back pain worsens as the day progresses and is much more severe at night.
- A feeling that the bowel is not completely empty after defecation.
- Difficulty in controlling the passage of stool or gas from the anus.
- A swelling of the tissues protruding through the opening of the vagina.
- Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Difficulty in defecating.
- A feeling of pressure in the rectum.
- Pain in the rectum.
How is Rectocele diagnosed?
Your doctor can confirm that you have a rectocele by doing a gynecological examination and a rectal examination. A simple stretching with a controlled change of movements should cause a bulge in the rectocele, allowing the doctor to see the size and shape of the rectocele within the vagina.
However, it can be difficult to assess its size and location and a barium fluid test may be required. A barium hydroxide test is an X-ray test that shows how big the Rectocele is and whether the rectum empties completely with emptying.