What is small bowel prolapse (enterocele)?

Jump To

Enterocele

An enterocele occurs when the small bowel moves from its normal position and presses against the wall of the vagina. It can happen when the muscles and tissues that hold the small bowel in place get weak or damaged. This can be caused by pregnancy or childbirth, being overweight, or frequent constipation. Or the muscles and tissues may get weaker as you age. In rare cases, it can be present at birth (congenital).

An enterocele may become large or more obvious when you strain or bear down (for example, during a bowel movement). It may cause a heavy feeling in the vagina, constipation, or incomplete emptying of the bowel. Or you may feel 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. Or your doctor may suggest a pessary. Surgery may also be an option.

Small bowel prolapse (enterocele)

Small bowel prolapse.

A small bowel prolapse (enterocele) occurs when the tissues and muscles that hold the small bowel in place get weak or damaged. This can cause the small bowel to move from its normal position and press against the wall of the vagina.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.