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.
Current as of: August 2, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology & JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine