We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Prolapsed Colon?

By Misty Wiser
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A prolapsed colon occurs when the muscles and ligaments that hold the rectum inside the body become weak, allowing the colon to protrude through the anus. It is caused by excessive straining from constipation, prolonged diarrhea, a difficult pregnancy or delivery, and aging. The condition develops in stages, and early internal manifestations can be treated by increasing dietary fiber and using stool softeners. All cases of a rectum continuously protruding through the anus will need a physician’s treatment to return the colon to its original location.

Symptoms of a prolapsed colon begin with pain when trying to have a bowel movement. When the condition is first noticed, it may be possible to push the rectum back inside the body manually. There may be blood or a blood-tinged mucus noticed after a bowel movement. The colon may protrude and then retract itself back within the rectum in the earliest stage of the condition. Most people will eventually need to have surgery to repair the damaged colon.

Proper care of the digestive system can prevent the condition. Adding more fiber to the diet will bulk up the stools, resulting in an easier elimination of solid waste products from the body. Adequate hydration can contribute to the softness of a stool, making it easier to pass the stool through the anus. Movement from regular exercise will help the digestive system work more efficiently, lessening the amount of time waste products have to harden before a bowel movement. Less strain when trying to pass a bowel movement can help the muscles and ligaments involved in keeping the colon in place to maintain their strength.

Pressure from a prolapsed colon can put a strain on the surrounding organs in the body. An untreated rectal prolapse can lead to prostate troubles and bladder issues. The fallen colon can cause the uterus to tilt or prolapse through the vagina. Women can experience increased pain during menstrual cycles as well as difficulty conceiving because the colon has moved to block the fallopian tubes. Transferred pain from a prolapsed colon can cause severe back pain to develop.

Traditional surgery to treat the prolapsed colon is done through the abdomen. It requires a long incision, and consequently a longer hospital stay as the tissue heals. The surgeon will remove the prolapsed rectal tissue and attach a part of the remaining colon to the sacrum in a procedure called rectopexy. A less invasive surgery is done through the perineum, although the abdominal surgery may still be needed if the colon begins to prolapse again.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon149824 — On Feb 05, 2011

I have had surgery to repair the pelvic floor 18 months ago. The bowel is still giving me trouble and is leaning heavy on the rectum. Will I need surgery to correct this?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.