Stool leaking from the anus during bowel movements is usually one of the first signs of a rectal prolapse. Mucus or blood sometimes leaks as well. Some patients may notice anal pain, changes in stool passage patterns from larger stools to smaller ones, or a feeling of fullness in the rectum, even after going to the bathroom.
How Is Rectal Prolapse Diagnosed and Treated?
A urologist performs a physical exam of the rectum to look for loose tissue. Further evaluation may involve a colonoscopy and similar tests to rule out other possible conditions or identify unrelated urinary system issues. A sweat test is usually performed when children have a prolapse without a clear reason.
With children, treatment may include medication in the form of injections directly into the affected area or potty training that teaches them how to make bowel movements without straining. Adults with a mild rectal prolapse may experience relief from stool softeners and other non-surgical treatments. If the prolapse is more severe, surgery to attach the rectum to either the lower part of the spine or pelvic floor is often the recommended treatment
Opting for more high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of water are some of the steps you can take to avoid the constipation that oftentimes contributes to rectal prolapse. If you do need surgery for this condition, you may be advised to perform pelvic exercises after you heal to minimize the risk of similar problems with other organs in the same area.