Rectal Prolapse

What Is Rectal Prolapse?

Going to the bathroom or using the toilet — whatever phrase you may use — is, of course, a natural part of life. But, everything associated with the process, from what comes out, to the smells, to the parts of the body that are used, is often the subject of either jokes or embarrassment. However, if you feel like something just isn’t right when you poop, or try to poop, you shouldn’t ignore it or make light of it.

What Is It?

If you feel like you’re sitting on a ball after pooping, or if you notice that you have something sticking out of the opening (your anus) where you poop, you could have what is called rectal prolapse.

Prolapse means that a body part has slipped or fallen down from its normal position. Rectal prolapse is when the rectum — the bottom part of your large intestine — drops down towards or outside your anus. While that may sound frightening, it is typically not considered a medical emergency. However, the longer you have the condition, the worse it can get. And living with rectal prolapse can cause embarrassment and impact your quality of life, as well.

Types of Rectal Prolapse

There are three types of prolapse:



  • The entire rectum sticks out of your anus
  • Part of the rectal lining pokes out of your anus
  • The rectum has started to drop but is not yet sticking out of your anus

What Does It Look and Feel Like?

Typically, you’ll first experience rectal prolapse after you have a bowel movement. The first time, or first few times, the rectum may return inside on its own. Later, you may feel like something has fallen out of your body, or you just feel something down there that isn’t normal. In those cases, you may be able to push the rectum back in yourself.


Additional symptoms of rectal prolapse can include:

  • Feeling a bulge outside your anus
  • Seeing a red mass outside your anal opening
  • Pain in the anus or rectum
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Leaking blood, poop, or mucus from the anus




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