Small bowel prolapse, also called enterocele (EN-tur-o-seel), occurs when the small intestine (small bowel) descends into the lower pelvic cavity and pushes at the top part of the vagina, creating a bulge. The word "prolapse" means to slip or fall out of place.
In women who have had surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy), small bowel prolapse is also called apical prolapse or vaginal vault prolapse and may involve the bladder or rectum as well as the small bowel.
Childbirth, aging and other processes that put pressure on your pelvic floor may weaken the muscles and ligaments that support pelvic organs, making small bowel prolapse more likely to occur.
To manage small bowel prolapse, self-care measures and other nonsurgical options are often effective. In severe cases, you may need surgical repair.
Nov. 27, 2012
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- Park AJ, et al. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and nonsurgical management of posterior vaginal defects. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 30, 2012.
- Rogers RG, et al. An overview of the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and management of pelvic organ prolapse in women. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 30, 2012.
- Hoffman BL, et al. Williams Gynecology. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=768. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Culligan PJ. Nonsurgical management of pelvic organ prolapse. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2012;119:852.
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- Lightner DJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 15, 2012.
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