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.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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