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What is Enterocele -Causes, Symptoms and Preventive Measures

An enterocele is essentially a vaginal hernia in which the peritoneal sac containing a portion of the small bowel extends into the rectovaginal space between the posterior surface of the vagina and the anterior surface of the rectum .

Enterocele occurs when the intestines (or small bowel) protrude through a fascial defect or weak tissues, typically at the top of the vagina (apex)

An enterocele can develop in the posterior wall (back side by rectum) or anterior wall (front side by bladder), basically wherever the small bowel (intestines) fall through defects in the vaginal wall. The size and “degree of drop” of enteroceles may vary considerably, from halfway down the vaginal length, down to the perineum (tissues surrounding the urogenital and anal openings), or even protrude out of the anal canal to form rectal prolapse.  An enterocele may be distinguished during pelvic examination as a bulge that occurs during the Valsalva maneuver (deep held breath while bearing down).

There are 4 types of enterocele:

  • Pulsion: Caused by continual pressure in abdomen from chronic cough or extreme physical exertion like repetitive heavy lifting.
  • Traction: Caused by pregnancy, childbirth and estrogen loss which contribute to weakening and stretching of pelvic tissues.  Additionally other prolapsed organs may put pressure on tissues contributing to enterocele.
  • Latorgenic: Cause is not fully known but assumed to be related to hysterectomy or some cystocele repair procedures.
  • Congenital: Birth defect.

What are the Causes?

The main cause for Enterocele is the increase in the pressure on the pelvic floor. This pressure can be increased due to various reasons and include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Chronic constipation
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic cough
  • Repeated heavy lifting
  • Obesity.

What Are The Symptoms Of Enterocele?

Some of the symptoms of Enterocele are:

  • A pulling sensation in the pelvis which calms down with lying
  • A sensation of fullness in the pelvis with associated pain
  • Low back pain
  • A small bulge in the top part of vagina

What Are The Ways To Prevent Enterocele?

Some of the preventive measures that can be taken to prevent Enterocele are:

  • Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle and Monitoring Weight: In case if an individual is obese, then losing weight in a healthy way is extremely helpful since it decreases the pressure put on the abdominal muscles and thus decreases the risk for developing Enterocele.
  • It is important to eat foods which is high in fiber as it prevents constipation and consuming plenty of fluids as constipation leads to straining during bowel movements and thus increases the pressure on the abdominal muscles
  • Quitting smoking is imperative to cut down the risk for developing Enterocele.
  • It is advisable to avoid lifting heavy items as they tend to increase pressure on the abdominal muscles increasing the risk for developing Enterocele.

Are you suffering from Severe Enterocele? Then immediately contact Mrs.Sarah Hussian so that she will perform a detailed pelvic examination and diagnose the problem with her best solution.