Rectal Prolapse Treatment

Constipation or unable to hold your bowels? Anal pain or itching? Feel like you can't complete a bowel movement? While there are many conditions that could casue these symptoms, they could be a sign of rectal prolapse.

The rectum is the end part of your large intestine. A rectal prolapse is when part of your rectum stretches and starts to through your anus. The rectum is held in place by your ligaments and muscles. When these become weak, rectal prolapse can happen if you're straining during a bowel movement.

If you think you have this condition, call your doctor right away.

Rectal Prolapse Treatment at UVA Health

The sooner your rectal prolapse is treated, the better the outcome. Gentle pressure on your rectum can sometimes push it back into place. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you.


Some medicines can help with pain and straining during bowel movements. Your doctor may recommend medicine to improve your stool, such as:

  • Sodium docusate (Colace)
  • Psyllium (Metamucil, Fiberall)
  • Methylcellulose (Citrucel)


In some cases, surgery may be needed:

  • Laparoscopic rectopexy uses a tiny camera, called a laparoscope, to help secure your rectum in place with stitches.
  • Perineal proctectomy removed part of your rectum.

You can take steps to prevent having a rectal prolapse by:

  • Eating a healthy diet with enough fiber.
  • Drinking water regularly.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Creating a routine for your bowel movements (for example, try to go to the bathroom after lunch each day).
  • Don't rush when moving your bowels.
  • If you feel the urge to defecate, go to the bathroom.