Yes, you can poop with rectal prolapse. The bowel movements, however, may be difficult because the prolapse perturbs the normal continuity of the bowel structure. You may need to strain during bowel movements. There may be bleeding or pain during bowel movements. You may feel that you have not emptied the bowels. The prolapsed rectum stretches the anal wall. This can lead to fecal incontinence or the leakage of stools, mucus, or blood through the anus. As the prolapse progresses, you may have more difficulty during bowel movements. The prolapsed mass may have to be manually retracted into the anus. Advanced rectal prolapse is often associated with constipation.
What is rectal prolapse?
Rectal prolapse is the sliding down of the rectum (the last part of the large bowel) from its normal position and protruding out of the body. The prolapse may involve either the superficial lining or full thickness of the rectal wall sliding down through the anus. The degree of prolapse varies depending on the extent of the protrusion. Rectal prolapse occurs when the supporting tissues that keep the rectum in its place become week. The prolapsed rectum may stay out of the anus or slide down only when the abdominal pressure is increased, such as during bowel movements. Rectal prolapse can affect anyone. However, it is more common in women older than 50 years of age.
What are the symptoms of rectal prolapse?
The symptoms of rectal prolapse include:
- Feeling a mass or bulge coming out of the anus, especially during coughing, straining, or sneezing
- Leakage of mucus from the anus
- Fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements)
- Anal pain, itching, or irritation
- A feeling of incomplete bowel emptying
- Bleeding through the anus
- Abdominal (belly) pain
What causes rectal prolapse?
Rectal prolapse more often affects older women (women in their 60s). It may happen whenever the supporting tissues of the rectum are damaged or weakened. Although rectal prolapse is more common in older individuals, younger people with this condition may have other chronic health problems. The risk of rectal prolapse may be increased by any of the following factors:
- Long-term constipation
- A habit of straining during bowel movements
- Laxative abuse
- Long-term diarrhea
- Spinal cord problems or a history of stroke
- Cystic fibrosis (a genetic condition affecting various glands in the body causing severe damage to the gut, pancreas, and lungs)
- Dementia (a chronic mental health condition causing memory disorders, impaired reasoning, and personality changes)
- Surgeries involving the pelvic area, such as a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
- Certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
What happens if rectal prolapse is left untreated?
Rectal prolapse should not be ignored. You must seek medical help as untreated prolapse can progress to cause complications, such as:
- Strangulation (the prolapse may keep progressing cutting off the blood supply to the rectum. It is a painful condition that needs urgent medical attention)
- Gangrene (death and decay of the strangulated portion of the rectum)
- Attachment Theory: What It Is, Stages & the Different Attachment Styles
- Gentle Parenting: What It Is, Techniques & Discipline
- U.S. Nursing Homes Fail to Report Many Serious Falls, Bedsores: Study
- The Younger You Get Diabetes, the Higher Your Risk for Dementia Later
- FDA Grants Full Approval to Paxlovid to Treat COVID-19
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic. Rectal Prolapse. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14615-rectal-prolapse
Top Can You Poop With a Rectal Prolapse? Related Articles
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding, Hematochezia)Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding (hematochezia) refers to the passage of bright red blood from the anus. Common causes include anal fissures, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn's disease, colon and rectum polyps, and cancer. The color of the blood in the stool may provide information about the origin of the bleeding. The color of stool with blood in it may range from black, red, maroon, green yellow, gray, or white, and may be tarry, or sticky. Treatment of blood in the stool depends on the cause.
Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding) in AdultsIn most cases, bright red blood indicates bleeding in the lower intestine or rectum, whereas darker blood is a sign of bleeding in the small bowel or upper area of the gut. Very dark or black-red blood is often associated with bleeding in the stomach or other parts in the digestive system.
Blood When I Wipe: 11 Causes of Rectal BleedingOozing of blood from the anus or rectum during passing stools is called rectal bleeding. The blood may be from any part of the gut or even from stomach. The color of blood may vary depending on the site. Fresh red color is a sign of bleeding in the rectum or anus.
Can You Still Poop With Impacted Feces?Digestion is the process of breaking down food in the gut so that it is in easily absorbable forms. The food travels from the mouth to the food pipe, stomach, small bowel, and large bowel to be finally eliminated through the anus. The small bowel (small intestine) absorbs nutrients from the food.
Colon Cancer: How Your Food and Diet Can Affect Colorectal Cancer HealthDiet, including nutrient, antioxidant, and vitamin intake, affects colon cancer risk. Certain dietary factors either decrease or increase the risk of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and other diseases. Dietary factors may either inhibit or stimulate the development of cancer cells. Have a nutrition plan that decreases the risk.
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer QuizWhat is colorectal (colon) cancer and who gets it? Take this quiz to find out how this disease may be prevented.
Colon Cancer SlideshowColorectal cancer (colon cancer) is the cause of many cancer deaths. Learn about the warning signs, symptoms, screening process, stages, and treatment related to colorectal cancer.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Do I Have Hemorrhoids or Rectal Prolapse?Learn more about the major differences between hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse and the kinds of treatment available.
How Do You Know If You Have Rectal Prolapse?Rectal prolapse is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of rectal prolapse, what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
How Do You Treat Rectal Prolapse in Kids?Learn what medical treatments can help ease symptoms of rectal prolapse in kids and speed up recovery.
lactulose laxative (Enulose, Generlac)Lactulose is a laxative prescribed to treat constipation, and prescribed to treat hepatic encephalopathy when the liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood. Diarrhea (loose stool) may occur if the dose of lactulose is too high. Problems associated with diarrhea are fluid and potassium loss in the diarrheal stool leading to dehydration and low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia). An additional side effect is the elevation of blood levels of sodium (hypernatremia) as a result of the loss of fluid.
lidocaine rectalLidocaine rectal is a local anesthetic applied on the anal area to relieve pain, itching, and burning from hemorrhoids. Common side effects of lidocaine rectal include rash, itching, swelling (edema), abnormal sensation, central nervous system excitation and/or depression, dizziness, drowsiness, light-headedness, nervousness, anxiety, tremors, convulsions, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), blurred or double vision, vomiting, and others. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
malt soup extractMalt soup extract is used as a short-term treatment to relieve occasional constipation, maintain regularity of bowel movements and relieve anal itching (pruritus ani). Malt soup extract is available over the counter (OTC) as a tablet, powder, or liquid that is taken with plenty of fluids. Malt is used in the preparation of many foods and beverages. Common side effects of malt soup extract include gas (flatulence), excessive bowel activity, diarrhea, and rectal obstruction.
polyethylene glycol 3350Polyethylene glycol 3350 is a drug used to treat occasional constipation and for bowel preparation prior to procedures. Side effects of polyethylene glycol are diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and flatulence. People with kidney disease should consult with their doctor before using this product. Consult your doctor before taking if pregnant or breastfeeding.
psylliumPsyllium is a dietary fiber used to relieve occasional constipation and to maintain regularity of bowel movements. Psyllium is used to treat constipation, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, and hyperlipidemia. Use psyllium with caution in elderly patients. Common side effects of psyllium include constipation, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, esophageal obstruction, intestinal obstruction, and allergic reaction in people sensitive to inhaled or ingested psyllium. Psyllium is generally safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
sorbitolSorbitol is a sugar alcohol used orally or rectally to relieve occasional constipation and irregularity in bowel movements. Common side effects of sorbitol include excessive bowel activity, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, dehydration, fluid and electrolyte losses, dry mouth (xerostomia), high glucose levels in blood (hyperglycemia), swelling (edema), and lactic acid buildup in blood (lactic acidosis). Sorbitol overdose can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Why Do Babies Struggle Pooping?When it comes to pooping and babies, you should be concerned with frequency and consistency. Babies may struggle with pooping due to dehydration, they anticipate discomfort or pain, or they experience infant dyschezia.