Rectal prolapse is a medical condition in which the rectum starts to push through the anus. The rectum is that last part of your large intestine, and the anus is the opening through which stool exits your body.


The symptoms of rectal prolapse tend to come on slowly. The first symptom you’ll notice is the feeling that there is a bulge at your anus. It may seem as though you are sitting on a ball.

With a mirror, you may be able to see a reddish-colored bulge peeking through or actually extending out of your anus. Sometimes during a bowel movement, a small part of the rectum will emerge, but may retreat on its own or be easily pushed back into place.

Normal physical activity, such as walking, sitting, and exercising, may also cause part of the rectum to push through your anus. At first, it can be returned to its proper location by hand.

If rectal prolapse worsens, there could be bleeding from the inner lining of the rectum. In cases of partial or complete prolapse, you may have trouble controlling liquid or solid bowel movement and gas from your rectum.

Up to half of the people with rectal prolapse experience constipation, while others may have episodes of constipation and incontinence.


There are three types of rectal prolapse. The type is identified by the movement of the rectum:

  • Internal prolapse: The rectum starts to drop, but hasn’t yet pushed through the anus.
  • Partial prolapse: Only part of the rectum has moved through the anus.
  • Complete prolapse: The entire rectum extends out through the anus.


Rectal prolapse can be caused by several medical conditions. They include:

Nerve damage

If nerves that control the rectal and anal muscles are damaged, rectal prolapse can develop. These nerves can sometimes be damaged from:

  • pregnancy or during a difficult vaginal birth
  • a spinal injury
  • surgery in the pelvic area

Chronic constipation

The strain of chronic bowel movement problems can make your rectum more likely to move down from its location. Strain while having bowel movements, if done often over a period of years, can also cause rectal prolapse.


At Crest Natural Health Centre we treat this condition