Overview

A posterior vaginal wall prolapse occurs when the thin wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina weakens, allowing the vaginal wall to bulge. Posterior vaginal prolapse is also called a rectocele (REK-toe-seel).

Childbirth and other processes that put pressure on pelvic tissues can lead to posterior vaginal prolapse. A small prolapse may cause no signs or symptoms.

If a posterior vaginal prolapse is large, it may create a noticeable bulge of tissue through the vaginal opening. This bulge may be uncomfortable, but it's rarely painful.

If needed, self-care measures and other nonsurgical options are often effective. Severe posterior vaginal prolapse might require surgical repair.

Posterior vaginal prolapse (rectocele) care at Mayo Clinic