An enterocele occurs when the tissues and muscles that hold the
small bowel in place are stretched or weakened. It may develop if the muscles
in a woman's vaginal canal become damaged by pregnancy, labor, childbirth, or a
previous pelvic surgery or are weakened by aging. In rare cases, it can be
present at birth (congenital).
An enterocele may become large or more obvious when a woman strains
or bears down (for example, during a bowel movement). It may cause a heavy
feeling in the vagina, constipation, or incomplete emptying of the bowel. Some
women experience a pulling or aching feeling in the low back or pelvis that may
be more noticeable after standing for a long time.
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, called Kegel
exercises, may help relieve some symptoms of enterocele. In severe cases,
surgery may be needed.
October 9, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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