Rectal Prolapse Exercises – How to Exercise and Improve Rectal Support

Rectal Prolapse Exercises

This information teaches you how to improve rectal support with rectal prolapse exercises along with exercise  techniques to reduce rectal prolapse symptoms and strain.

Read on now to learn:

  • What is a rectal prolapse
  • What causes a rectal prolapse
  • Signs and symptoms of rectal prolapse
  • How to do rectal prolapse exercises
  • How to exercise safely with a rectal prolapse.

Rectal Prolapse Definition

A rectal prolapse is a condition where the inside of the rectum protrudes out through the anus (shown right). This condition is not the same as a rectocoele or prolapse of the back wall of the vagina.

There are 3 types of rectal prolapse:

  1. Mucosal prolapse which involves only the rectal mucosa (membrane) protruding through the anus;
  2. Full thickness rectal prolapse where the rectal wall protrudes through the anus; and
  3. Internal intussusception where the rectum collapses but stays inside and does not protrude.

If you suspect you have a rectal prolapse seek prompt medical advice.

What Causes Rectal Prolapse?

A rectal prolapse results when the supportive tissues that hold the rectum in position become weakened.

Some causes of rectal prolapse include:

  • Ageing
  • Chronic constipation and straining to empty the bowel
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Anal intercourse
  • Cystic fibrosis

Some Signs and Symptoms of Rectal Prolapse?

Signs and symptoms of a rectal prolapse may include:

  • A red protrusion may be visible from the anus especially after a bowel movement
  • This anal protrusion may be evident with squatting & heavy lifting
  • Mucous discharge from the anus
  • Staining of underwear
  • General discomfort around the anus often worse after activity and towards the end of the day.

Initially the rectal prolapse may retract (move back inside the anus) after a bowel movement. As it becomes worse it usually will become more apparent with everyday activities such as walking and prolonged standing and may cease to retract.

How to do Rectal Prolapse Exercises rectal prolapse exercises

Your pelvic floor provides support for your your rectum (shown right blue arrow). Your pelvic floor muscles work with other strong tissues to withstand the forces of everyday activity on your pelvic floor to support and hold your rectum in the correct position.

Rectal prolapse exercises involve the following 3 stages to achieve your best possible pelvic floor strength and support:

Stage 1 – Find your pelvic floor muscles for rectal prolapse exercises

  • Position yourself sitting or lying down
  • Imagine you are trying to stop wind from passing from your bowel, and urine passing from the urethra (urine tube)
  • Slowly lift and squeeze the muscles in and around the anus, vagina and urethra
  • You should be able to see your anus pucker with your contraction if you use a mirror
  • Keep breathing as your buttocks and thighs stay relaxed
  • Relax the muscles in and around your anus.

To progress your rectal prolapse exercises:

  • Gradually try to increase the length of time you can maintain your muscle contraction as you lift up inside; and
  • Gradually try to increase the strength with which you contract your muscles;
  • Attempt to perform your exercises in upright positions (i.e. sitting and standing).

Stage 2 – Exercise your pelvic floor muscles

  • Position yourself where you can best feel your pelvic floor muscles working (lying, sitting or standing)
  • Slowly activate your pelvic floor muscles by lifting and squeezing them for up to 10 seconds at a time
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscles back to their normal resting tone and rest to recover
  • Repeat your extended pelvic floor muscle holds up to 10 times in a row
  • Next practice lifting and squeezing your pelvic floor muscles with a brisk strong technique for up to 10 times
  • Try to repeat these exercises (long and short muscle holds) 3 times every day

Stage 3 – Train your pelvic floor muscles for everyday activities

Training for everyday activities involves using your pelvic floor muscles:

  • In upright positions;
  • Before and during every cough, sneeze and lift; and
  • When you sense an urgent desire and need to defer the urge to empty your bladder or bowel.

Tips for Successful Rectal Prolapse Exercises

  • Choose positions such as lying down where your prolapse is more supported for your pelvic floor exercises when starting out
  • Perform your pelvic floor exercises (kegels) when your muscles are less likely to be fatigued (e.g. early in the day)
  • Always draw up your pelvic floor muscles after using your bowels
  • Progress your pelvic floor exercises into upright positions when you are able.

How to Exercise With a Rectal Prolapse

1. Practice good bowel habits using the correct technique for bowel emptying and never strain with bowel movements

2. Choose supported positions wherever possible (for example sitting will be more supportive than standing)

3. Spread out your activities during the day and take time to rest and elevate your legs in the afternoon to reduce pressure on your pelvic floor if you have time

4. Avoid heavy lifting which increases pressure on your pelvic floor

5. Manage your weight well and avoid unnecessary weight gain which increases the load on your pelvic floor.

Safe Exercises and Rectal Prolapse

1. Choose appropriate pelvic floor safe  fitness exercise (low impact) for prolapse protection where at least one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times (e.g. cycling is usually ideal to minimise pelvic floor strain).

2. Adhere to the prolapse protection principles for strength training to exercise for strength and reduce pelvic floor strain. These include choosing supported positions, exercising with light weights, gradual progression and avoiding specific strength exercises that increase pressure on the pelvic floor.

3. Avoid unsafe abdominal exercises that increase pressure on the pelvic floor. Some specific abdominal exercises such as sit-ups and plank as well as many Pilates-style exercises increase the downward pressure on your pelvic floor and your prolapse. Choose seated fit ball based core exercises to support your pelvic floor and exercise your core muscles.

Rectal prolapse exercises are one important aspect of rectal prolapse management, and these exercises should be undertaken with a commitment to long-term practice for ongoing prolapse strength and support.

How to Exercise Safely With Rectal Prolapse?

Prolapse Exercises book teaches you how to exercise safely long-term and minimise your risk of prolapse worsening with inappropriate exercises.

prolapse exercisesABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michelle Kenway

Michelle Kenway is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and author of Prolapse Exercises Inside Out.

Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.

We Welcome Your Comments



  1. Dear Michelle
    I am 62 years, no history of constipation or bleeding while passing stools. Last two weeks, feel a small bulge coming out while passing stools. Am able to push it back in with my fingers. Can Kegel exercises prevent the condition getting worse? Yet to see a Dr

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Vijir
      I’m not quite sure whether you’re referring to a bulge from the anus or vagina. Mild to moderate prolapse from the vagina may respond to Kegels however with a rectal prolapse (from the anus) this will likely require surgery. It’s best to get any lump/bulge assessed by your doctor.

  2. Hello, I am a 17 year old male and I have mucosal prolapse. I don’t have the money to get an appointment and I don’t think it is that bad. It isn’t that severe as only a bit of tissue has been sticking out which can be pushed back in. Although, it has been hurting when I walk and do exercise. Will diet and exercise solve this? I’m not very convinced. Thank you very much.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Timothee
      Yes I suspect you’re correct – Kegels and avoiding constipation may help however these conditions are likely to progress over time. Try not to let yours progress as when this stays out of the rectum it is a medical emergency. Meanwhile attend to all the things that will potentially help you avoid constipation plus doing Kegels for men too. All the best!

  3. Hi mam! I am a 23 year old female.Around 3 months ago i noticed a bulge at my anus which grew into a lump over time and also a tissue sticking out of my anus.I am currently on medication and feel improvement about the lump but the mass is still sticking out of my anus though it’s very tiny. can doing kegels revert it properly?? If so, how much time can it take to heal completely or the kegels can only help the condition from getting worse?? I m really worried about the severity of the condition.
    Thank you!!

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Surbhi
      I’m sorry i can’t answer this question – it depends on what your diagnosis is. If it is an external hemorrhoid then it may resolve and leave a small tag. Kegels can help bowel emptying issues, it’s important to contract and then completely relax the pelvic floor muscles too. Kegels are definitely important lifelong for maintaining the health of the pelvic floor so I can only see the potential for positive outcomes from doing Kegels for most women. I hope this helps

  4. Hi! Yesterday i found a little lump on my anus. I’m 17 years old and i don’t have that much of regular stool. I think my prolapse is in early stage bc the lump is very small. I’m in a little panic mode since i don’t know how i got it and it suddenly just popped out. Will it go back on its own or i should go see doctor? What do you suggest me to do? Thankyou in advance.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Sarah
      No need to panic at all, most likely this is an external hemorrhoid – yes go to your doctor to get this confirmed. It would be a good idea to train yourself to avoid straining and use the correct bowel movement pattern forever as well as watch this video on foods that keep the stool soft. All the best Sarah. Anything unusual like this that happens to your body always just get it confirmed with your doctor.

  5. is it possible to do an activity such as basketball or running if i am fully recovered from rectal prolapse surgery?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi D this is really up to your surgeon to advise you in your situation however having had rectal prolapse surgery I would suggest avoiding high impact exercises, they won’t help

  6. Hi I was wondering if the exercises could possibly help to where surgery might not be needed

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      It depends on the severity of the prolapse Heather. In the case of a true rectal prolapse where the rectum protrudes from the anus surgery is required however this is often confused with prolapse of the rectum through the back wall of the vagina in which case strengthening may assist to avoid surgery in some cases.

  7. Hi. Michelle I have been doing pelvic strengthening exercises is there anything different exercises for bowel prolapse? Thanks. Roselle

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Roselle good question – pelvic floor exercises are generally the same regardless of the type of prolapse. Do focus on the squeeze and inwards lift in and around the anus if the issue is a small rectal prolapse, all the best!

  8. Hello, I had rectal hemmorroids for the first time in January. It was very painful and I had a lump sticking out of my anus. The doctor said that the hemmorroid(s) was internal and pushing down causing a partial prolapse. The pain has all gone, I have blood now and then but not a lot. I can’t really go to the doctor’s at the moment due to the current covid 19 lock down and it’s not an emergency. I want to try these exercises, how long does it normally take to work? And what else should I do to push it back in? I really hate it and want it to be normal again. I’m a 33 year old female. Thanks

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Sara bleeding needs to be assessed by the doctor so an accurate assessment is important. External hemorrhoids can often leave a tag of skin protruding when the acute episode resolves. Pelvic floor exercises usually don’t make a great deal of difference months after the hemorrhoid but they’re important for pelvic health regardless, all the best

  9. Hi I am 43, almost 4 months post hysterectomy, everything removed except ovaries. I have had constipation for decades due to taking strong iron supplements for anemia due to heavy cycles and I am currently still on iron due to heavy loss during my surgery. 3 months prior to my Hysterectomy I noticed feeling heaviness/ pressure. I thought that it was my enlarged uterus pushing down, but was informed after surgery I have a mild prolapse of the wall of my bowel. Prior to noticing the pressure, I was running a couple of times per week and doing Zumba 4-5 times a week. I have decided not to run anymore since I have had a hysterectomy and want to protect my pelvic floor, though my gynecologist says it’s strong, I have been told to never lift heavier than 15kg. I have just started back at Zumba as I was told I could 3 months after surgery. I’m not jumping, keeping it low impact and wondered if this is still a safe exercise for me to be doing?

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Linda
      I would think that low impact Zumba should be a nice exercise for you if you’ve had your pelvic floor assessed as strong and working well. Remember that there are many different forms of Zumba and some can impact more upon the pelvic floor than others. This information on Zumba and prolapse From your history, the big thing for you to manage for your pelvic floor protection would also be your constipation as this poses a real risk to your pelvic floor, especially with your iron supplementation. I hope this helps

    • Ronnie Link says

      Hi Linda. I have a rectal prolapse and wondering if you had surgery on it.

  10. Would love to see your video!

  11. I am 90 , Care for 6 Horses and ride daily; but have had 4 children and several miscarriages; non the less felt in great health until the shock of rectal prolapse. At my age am determined to avoid surgery and have been doing Kegel and other exercises ; I think I see some improvement – am I being unrealistic ? I am a vegetarian and weigh 110 pound at 5 ft 2””

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Alice
      Yes muscles can strengthen at any age and that is what you’re experiencing. Keep up your exercises, if you’ve only just started you can expect to notice more improvement. Keep up your great work!

      • Hi… im having ibs C for 2 years. This makes my rectus prolapse partially.. i found coffe enema is helping me more.. can i use enema in case of prolapse?

        • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

          Coffee enema should not be an issue for prolapse unless it irritates the bowel and causes you to have forceful diarrhea, otherwise enema has no physical impact on prolapse

  12. very well explained

  13. I was wondering if a tens machine would help.I am 73 and finding it difficult to find the right muscles to excercise.An operation is out of the question unless it is really needed due to my Chrohns.

    • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

      Hi Maureen
      Electronic stimulation can help some women learn to activate their pelvic floor muscles. This should be done under the supervision of a Pelvic Floor Physio.

  14. DO the exercises always work even if the prolapse is seen outside of the rectum?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Barbara this depends on whether the prolapse is just the rectal mucosal tissue or more extensive. Either way the pelvic floor exercises are a vital part of the long-term management even if surgery is required.

  15. Hi Michelle
    You helped me before so back for your excellent advice
    Had ant/post repair and hysterectomy couple of years ago plus oophrectomy for ca breast 12yrs ago
    Son born severe shoulder dystocia needed extensive episiotomy to get him out,

    Back and pelvic discomfort worsened since xmas then last week severe back and rectal pain sudden constipation and inability to evacuate bowel (never a problem before) possible intususseption
    Should I look at surgery route pelvic floor strong as it can but problem seems all rectal.Laid in bed for 3 days symptoms improved but once back up started again. Only 52 with young family so cant sit around all day.

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi Vanessa

      Thanks for your question about rectal intussusception or infolding of the rectal walls for the benefit of other readers. First I would suggest you have a complete assessment with a colorectal surgeon and undergo the recommended investigations so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with, especially the extent of the intussusception. This is usually a surgical fix Vanessa – diet, correct defaecation position and technique and pelvic floor exercises are important too for long term management however unlikely to resolve the situation for you. Let me know how you go – always interested to hear the outcomes.

      All the best

  16. Gday. Ive had ulcerative colitis for 5 years and have pretty much beaten it. The problem now is after 5 years of straining i have a pretty bad prolapse. Im a 25 year old male but found this info really helpfull, there isnt a lot out there for us. Im laying in bed in agony after emptying my bowels and am doing your exercises and its actually helping the pain. The doctors dont want to operate incase the colitis comes back so ive got to do it the natural way. The problem is they didnt really tell me how to, only to go and see a physio. I have a realy hard time emptying my bowels and am always straining, even if i try not to. After watching your video i will try those techniques next time and hopefully start getting some ware. I realised that i have a terrible posture when on the toilet now haha. Thanks so much for the info!!


    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says

      Hi John
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience for the benefit of other readers who will no doubt identify with your experience. I hope you can see a pelvic floor physio to help you. If you’re able to access treatment with an accredited practicing dietician if you haven’t already done so this will be of benefit to you too. This may help you get the right stool consistency to help you reduce your need to strain along with the bowel emptying technique that I have on site.
      All the best to you John

  17. Hi Michelle, I’m in the UK and was looking around the Internet for some info on rectal prolapse to help my 32 year old daughter. She has disabilities, including dyspraxia, joint hyper laxity, weak muscles and a moderate learning disability.

    For the past year she has been spending more and more time in the bathroom. I hear the loo flush then she runs the bath, alternating between the two. She has complained of stomach pain and her tummy looks bloated. She now spends several hours a day in the bathroom. This week I took her to the doctor after she called me into the bathroom for help to clean up and I saw the rectal prolapse which thankfully retracted. The doctor is seeking the advice of a PT about pelvic floor excercises to try and avoid surgery.

    I am really worried as my daughter is about to begin living independently with domiciliary support and I fear this will become a big problem for her as it seems to be happening frequently. Sometimes she says she needs a pee but can’t do it. I am wondering if all this is due to some kind of sensory problem.

    For the last two years she has been prescribed Sertriline for anxiety and more recently Olanzapine for psychosis. The latter has caused her to gain some weight.

    Any advice you can give will be greatly received. I am unable to play the online video on how to empty the bowel properly.


    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Lynne

      Thanks for your question – it sounds as though a multifaceted approach is needed here. First and foremost has your daughter’s doctor considered a colonoscopy to investigate the stomach bloating? There are many potential causes of abdo bloating. Bloating will increase pressure on her pelvic floor and prolapse. The cause needs to be established and then appropriate intervention used whether it be dietary management (which is a possibility).

      Education in good bowel habits is vital, especially if your daughter is going to be living independently. She needs to know and practice:
      * how to empty her bowel using the correct position and technique (here’s the you tube video
      bowel emptying video link
      * the importance of avoiding prolonged sitting on the toilet to empty – this is vital!
      * the importance of never straining to empty – again vital
      * recognising an appropriate urge to empty
      * choosing bowel friendly foods that keep the stool soft, well formed and readily passed
      * personal hygiene/ how to clean well with a rectal prolapse (an be challenging)
      * barrier protection if there is any bowel leakage or incomplete cleaning to prevent tissue breakdown around the anus

      Pelvic floor physiotherapy can train pelvic floor muscle support, sensory awareness regarding rectal filling as well as bowel emptying position and technique. Dietary management may be warranted via an accredited practicing dietician who works with bowel issues.

      So I hope this gives you some direction in managing this challenging issue Lynne

      All the best and stay in touch

  18. Hi Michelle. I am 55. 37 years of constipation after traumatic childbirth trauma and recently finding out I have intussusception ( telescoping of the bowel) due to that delivery. Constipation managed well as into health foods up until last February had vaginal prolapse surgery that theoretically the gynaecologist said the surgery would set the bowel free. Well since that surgery my bowel does not work at all without an array of herbs and bowel tonics and at least two enemas a day. I consume mostly juices and smoothies now. Am now further diagnosed with rectocele, defection obstruction and tests last week confirmed very little nerve function in the bowel. Bowel surgeon said surgery would further damage me and fixing the intussusception would only be temporary as would intussusception again. I am due next month for a urology test and then a professor in gynaecology who knows the bowel surgeon will not operate. Hopefully answers after appointment but at least now surviving after being in intensive care for two weeks last year. Would love to eat and put on weight. I have found kegel exercises very straining and just started an hour ago doing your exercises and feeling hopeful. Thanks so much. If there is anything else you would suggest would love to hear from you.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Tracey

      Thanks so much for sharing your history and for your question. Tracey which exercises have you started, i have so many online I just want to see where you have started and point you to safe options to help you out.

      What are your main exercise goals Tracey? I can see your desire to put on weight – are you seeking to do this with some resistance training? I think there are options within your capacity.

      Have you seen a dietician? It strikes me that you would benefit greatly from some professional guidance in this regard too, I am immediately thinking along the lines of high energy readily digestible protein powders and other digestible protein such as eggs however your presentation is complex and your dietary requirements are beyond my realm of expertise and I would definitely be inclined to source a dietician to assist you too.

      As for exercise I can assist you further, let me know where you’ve started and I can go from there.

      Best wishes to you Tracey

  19. Hello :)
    Glad to see your site :) I’ve had rectal prolapse for about 16 years starting in my early 20’s. I have IBS so straining to go was/is common. Sometimes I’m completely normal and there is no sign of it but most times it’s present and still other times(usually brought on by anything triggering my immune system ie food allergies & sesitivities, illness, arthritis flare ups)… It comes on like contractions and until every last bit of anything inside is out the contractions/straining won’t stop and the prolapse will just keep popping out.

    I’ve had plenty of embarrassing episodes throughout the years. Have learned to take extra underwear with me everywhere. Usually place tp or a makeup pad as a sort of minor plug. When out and about I take wet wipes with ( the ones in individual packets scented for vaginal wipes are really handy to take everywhere & smell nice). Staying fit is important – it is hard to control muscles that you can’t identify or feel but they are very possible to control if you are fit and def identify and foods that may trigger lack of control & eliminate them – you don’t need them trust me. This may sound odd but when home it is common for me to use the bathtub faucet to completely clean off the prolapse (after going to the bathroom in the toilet of course) before “sucking it back it” (which absolutely takes plenty of muscle control) just warm/hot water on the prolapse, no soap or irritants. I would love to put in a bidet.

    I fear that I can not have the surgery bc the IBS and involuntary straining would just pop the stitches and make it even worse. I also need to avoid most medications bc of auto immune disorders as dancing with the side effects I know are better than those I don’t (uncomfortable/embarrassing vs illness or death).

    I have cobbled together a way to live with this embarrassing, inconvenient, and uncomfortable situation but I so wish I didn’t have to. I very much fear getting older and it getting worse or being too old or weak to control it anymore. My husband of 10 years only kind of knows about this but I’ve only delivered a glossed over version of the problem without spelling out what really happens or all that I have to deal with and the insane about of time I have to spend in the bathroom. I would far rather leave it a mystery to him rather than have that in his mind = not sexy. Gone are the days of wearing thongs to avoid panty lines!

    In the end I keep myself meticulously clean and smelling like daisies, my rectum is probably way cleaner that other humans and my bathroom is gloriously spotless since I clean it so often! I’m prompted to share my story in hopes that it connects with others dealing with this and It’s really nice to know that I’m not alone :)

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Reb
      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story! Yes Reb you are not alone!

      Your story will no doubt help many other women, too often stories like yours are hidden away so that many women feel that they are going solo on these issues when in reality they are not.

      Reb can I ask you have you heard of FODMAPS? I am not sure where you are worldwide and I am sure you have tried everything to manage your IBS. There is a considerable body of research supporting FODMAPS for IBS let me know if you would like me to post a link. I think it is worthy of a post for women like yourself – I will pop on my to do list.

      Thanks so much

    • I’m 47 and just rectal prolapse surgery this past December! I was so tired of dealing with it and told that it would get worse! It was so embarrassing working out at the gym and my anus would pop out! So far I’m healing fine and looking forward to working out again in a few months!

      • Author: Michelle Kenway Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist says

        So great to read this Alisa! Take care and all the best for your long-term recovery. Thanks so much for commenting to help others

  20. Hi, I have had prolapse for many years and have never got proper treatment for it. It was initially misdiagnosed as haemorrhoids. I live in a very poor country and doubt there is any doctor who can handle a surgery so I’ve put it off for fear of messing me up. Any advice? 7 years to be precise

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Eve

      Thank you for contacting me for information – I am happy to assist you if I can.

      So that I can reply appropriately do you know what type of prolapse it is? Is it a vaginal or rectal prolapse (ie protruding from the rectum)?


  21. Hello,
    I have been diagnosed with a mucosal rectal prolapse. I have been referred to a pelvic floor physio and will be starting biofeedback. I also bought your book and DVD on pelvic floor exercises. With the exercises and biofeedback is it possible to improve my condition or am I merely preventing it from getting worse? I’m only 33 and my symptoms distress me greatly :-(. Can your exercises also help if the issue is weak anal sphincter? I don’t know if I have this but it is possible. Also I read your link in how to have a BM but i wonder what do you do when you need to have a BM away from home. Thank you

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Lisa

      My apologies for the delay, your question somehow skipped past me until now.

      Yes this is so distressing for you, this must be difficult to deal with indeed.

      I think the degree of improvement you can expect will depend upon how well your pelvic floor muscles are currently functioning and whether there are other factors that can be modified to assist with your overall management. If your pelvic floor muscles are weak then strengthening may help to improve your condition. Similarly if your stool consistency is problematic then improving your stool consistency will help, if overweight then weight loss may benefit your condition so you can see there are many potential factors influencing your current condition. Your physio will be likely to address these factors as part of your overall management.

      Bowel movements away from home are ideally managed the same as at home, was there something specific that you wanted to ask about with regards to a particular issue you are having? I am most happy to assist you if I can.

      Thank you for your questions Lisa

  22. Patricia Bryant says

    I have had a vaginal prolapse I surgery and they used the mesh. Then a mesh erosion and that had to be repaired. Long story short I was left with a bladder that will not empty and I cath twice a day. I do have a bowel prolapse now. I have been to several urologist I feel like I have just been pushed aside. Now the one urologist said if I do the pelvic floor exercise for the bowel that it could make the muscles for the bladder worse and I could have to wear a cath full time. So this said do I take the chance?

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Patricia
      I wonder why the Urologist said this – did you manage to ask why the pelvic floor exercises could worsen your condition? I know it’s difficult in a consultation to think of these things, I am just interested in the rationale behind this view. Patricia I am not sure where you are writing from but do you have access to a pelvic floor physiotherapist or continence nurse advisor to help you with your bladder emptying technique?

      You may find this online video on how to empty the bladder helpful too Patricia

      I will be interested to hear back from you if you are able to reply.


  23. Hi, Thanks for the video.
    I am a 21 years old male. I have mucosal rectal prolapse for around two years. I had regular constipation due to bad food habit and used to strain a lot. Can you please tell me if prolapse reversible or I have to live my whole life with this?

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Biwas

      Once you have a rectal prolapse it is there for good – this is becuase the tissues have stretched beyond their limits. If you imagine stretching elastic beyond its limits it’s the same principle – it won’t return to its former length or form.

      Depending on the severity of the mucosal prolapse you can potentially improve the condition with a good program of pelvic floor exercises along with very good bowel management (avoiding straining, using the correct bowel emptying technique, appropriate diet for correct stool consistency). Lifestyle factors including avoiding heavy lifting and appropriate exercise are also factors to be aware of to prevent rectal prolapse worsening.

      This Pelvic Floor Exercises DVD for Men is an excellent and inexepensive resource for men who are unable to access formal physiotherapy treatment to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.

      I hope this information helps you out Biwas


  24. Hi Michelle, Thank you for you info….have been in contact with the centre and they cannot take me before april….so will have to wait..have view a few of your videos and will try and do the suggested exercises…will let you know how i get on…i was so relieved to find your page as it has given me so much information and answered so many of my questions.
    Again thanks,

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Angela
      All the best to you – please let me know if there is any other information I can help you with while you wait, and yes keen to hear how things go for you.

  25. Iam a 51yrs women who had a total bowel obstruction 12 months ago had surgery which discovered i had malrotation of the bowel and had bands and adhesions which were causing the bowel obstruction, recovered well and bowel movements went back to normal for about 3 months then bowel stopped again the surgeon thought i had another obstruction had more surgery and not obstruction had been found. since then the only way i empty is by taking picalax medication every second day have had ..ct..mri..and barium orally and rectum which has discovered that i ave intussusception of the lower bowel just before the rectum so when i feel the need to go i sit an nothing happens….only with the picalax do i get movement this is since last may…. am only being referred to a pelvic floor center but have to wait till May for my appointment….my symptoms are not being able to empty or pass wind and everytime i have a meal no matter how small i get severe abdominal distention and colic like pain which will build all day and by evening i am completely debilitated , if i go walking i get abdominal pain … the position of sitting in the car causes abdominal distention and pain…can no longer ly on by sides in bed as it causes awful pain..will wake everynight …also take trmadol for pain…diet and fluid has all been tried with no results. my question is how is pelvic exercises going to cure me…have been doing my own pelvic exercises myself since being told about intussusception in december but am not getting any improvement am at wits end here….

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Angela

      Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your experience here, yes I can see why you must feel at your wits end. Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help bowel management in a number of ways – teach correct bowel emptying position and technique (after assessment of your current emptying problems), assess and modify stool consistency with appropriate diet, and of course teach how to strengthen and relax your pelvic floor muscles according individual assessment. Your physiotherapist will assess you and then based upon this assessment implement appropriate treatment.

      Angela I would also recommend that you read some of this information which may also assist you – trying to reduce gas with diet and management, achieve a good stool consistency and overcome constipation and empty your bowels using the technique to avoid straining.

      Angela have you considered asking your doctor to phone the centre on your behalf to assist you towards an earlier appointment or perhaps contact the centre yourself and ask to list your name on a cancellation list if they have one?

      Please don’t hesitate to contact me further if I can assist you
      Kindest regards

  26. hello
    just on this site for the first time. Iam not sure of the problem i have but since 4 years i have been dealing with the problem of constipation with a lot of straining when having a bowel moving. and since then i have used a lot of stool softeners including enemas. so at the stage aim now even the soft stool takes long to come out. i have seen doctors i did a T-scan they still find nothing wrong with but within myself i know that i have a big problem. Please i need your help to have my normal life back. thanks

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Lizy
      Unfortunately I am unable to diagnose your problem however I can suggest that you watch this bowel movement video which may help you with your emptying technique. The critical thing is to bulge the abdomen forwards as this relaxes the external anal sphincter during the bowel movement. When women strain to empty their bowels they usually draw the abdomen in strongly which contracts the anal sphincter and actually makes the problem worse. You may also like to read this article on pelvic floor muscle tension, it may/may not apply to you.
      Hope this gives you some direction

  27. Thanks for your response, Michelle. Can a pessary be used in the rectum? I thought that was more appropriate for a vaginal prolapse?

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Bella

      Yes pessaries are for vaginal prolapse, you are correct. Support pessaries are not used in the rectum. The conservative management of rectal prolapse is usually primarily focused on bowel management (good bowel emptying technique, stool consistency) and pelvic floor strengthening. When this fails, or if the rectal prolapse is severe then surgery is used for management.

      Best of luck

  28. I have a full rectal prolapse. It is not due to constipation (I’m vegan). But is due to straining to fully empty my bladder. What exercises can I do to reduce this. Going to the bathroom now requires that I push my rectum back most of the time. Sometimes if I half stand up it will recoil back inside me.

    I’m new to this site and am interested in videos as well as books and advice.

    Thank you so much! I hate this!

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Lori
      Yes agreed rectal prolapse is a challenging condition to manage. I think it is worth mentioning that with a vegetarian diet there still can be challenges for the bowel since the high insoluble fibre content can make the stool bulky and a little difficult to pass at times, stool consistency is a key area to manage with this condition ensuring that it is well formed and soft to pass. If the prolapse does not return into the rectum upon standing this is a medical emergency and I think this is important to mention if this occurs.
      Best of luck with your management

  29. Hi Michelle!
    I’m a 26 year old female struggling with issues relating to a rectal prolapse. Before these issues, I was very active. I’m an avid gym goer, but I feel there is not much I can do anymore.
    I miss Step classes and boxing the most- is there any way I can get back into either of those forms of exercise without damaging myself more? :(
    I’ve been seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist for a while now and I know which exercises are recommended, but the low impact and light weights are driving me crazy and I’m no longer getting any joy out of keeping active.
    If you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Bella

      Yes I understand your frustration. Have you considered using a pessary to help you with your activity? This article on support pessary will give you a little more info – you would need to be assessed and fitted by your gynaecologist, some Australian Pelvic Floor Physios are also now fitting pessaries.

      Hope this gives you some help with this issue

  30. Hi Michelle,
    I look forward to your monthly newsletter. It is good to reaffirm the pelvic floor exercises; especially how to modify those exercises in aerobic and pilates classes to make them safe for me I found that to be of enormous benefit, and I won’t feel self conscious now when I am doing something different to the others. Could you give me an alternative to doing squats when in a circle at the beginning of our aerobic class.
    Thank you,

    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Kathy
      Why not do minisquats? Feet about hip width apart, butt goes back as trunk inclines slightly forward, a nice alternative to traditional wide deep squats. Let me know if you need further description on how to do this exercise. This can be combined with arm reach forward too. It’s a lovely exercise and you will feel like you are doing something similar to the others, and therefore less conspicuous.

  31. Will these exercises help reverse the prolapse, or just keep it from getting worse?

  32. Marilyn Burns says

    Hi Michelle:
    I’m so glad to be on your mailing list. The information you are giving us is critical to our well being. I have your book on my night stand for those awake minutes during the night.

    I’m glad to see the expanded subjects — I surely hope all the women in this world find your website


    • Michelle Kenway says

      Hi Marilyn
      How lovely to hear from you! I hope you are well. It’s been a while, my sincere apologies I have been flat out with my family and working (just like so many other women). I hope the changes help you find information more readily. I plan to be in touch with you on a monthly basis now that I am close to catching up so let me know if there’s anything you need.
      Best wishes to you Marilyn

  33. I just found your site and have been trying to use your video on how to
    > have
    > a BM without straining the pelvic floor.
    > I had a hysterectomy 7 weeks ago and have been recovering well except that
    > last week I had a pretty bad rectum prolapse. I have delt with chronic
    > Constipation for the last few years and off and on before that. I was
    > having
    > a bad bout with it and strained too much and enough came out that I had to
    > go to E. R. at the hospital. They got it back in. Now I am taking lots of
    > stool softeners and trying to be very careful how I go. So far am doing
    > not
    > too bad thanks to finding your video. No doctors or nurses that I talked
    > to
    > were any help at all.
    > Have an appt. next Friday with a P.T. who specializes in pelvic floor. So
    > am
    > hoping she can tell me if I can work this out with P.T. or will I need
    > more
    > surgery. I am a strong healthy 56 year old with a tricky digestive system.
    > I know you can`t give advice but if you could steer me to any of your
    > articles about rectum prolapse I would appreciate it. I think it was
    > brought
    > on by years of straining and the hysterectomy. I have never had children.
    > I
    > am wondering if my obgyn should not have made more sure that I did not
    > have
    > any of these problems already that might have needed repair before going
    > into surgery. (I had a abdominal with a 4 pound fibroid.) Now she seems to
    > not want to be bothered with me anymore. I just didn`t know much about all
    > this before the surgery. Didn`t know what to ask even. Now am wondering if
    > they couldn`t have done some repair work at the same time.
    > Glad I found your video anyway. It saved me when I had no idea how I was
    > going to have a BM without the rectum prolapse again. (It was very
    > painful)And stool softeners have helped a lot too. Mirilax and ducosate.
    > Thanks,
    > Rachel

    • Hi Rachel
      Thanks for your great comments. Yes we completely agree with you – it is possible that in many cases rectal prolapse can be prevented particularly by educating women like yourself who deal with chronic constipation and who therefore at increased risk of prolapse. Rectal prolapse is often the unforseen painful outcome of years of straining with constipation. If women understand; the risks associated with chronic straining to empty their bowels, how to empty their bowels correctly and relax their pelvic floor muscles, in addition to understanding how to keep their stool a good consistency through diet, exercise and appropriate medications if required then the incidence of rectal prolapse would be vastly decreased without a doubt. Following gynae surgery for prolapse repair and perhaps hysterectomy the risk of prolapse may be further increased, particularly in the early days when constipation may recur. The big thing to manage this long term aside from those factors already mentioned is getting the pelvic floor muscles functioning really well to support the rectum and anus, and prevent repeat rectal prolapse.

      Rachel you will find numerous article and videos on how to strengthen with pelvic floor exercises and for prolapse exercises. A great starting point is the free complimentary pelvic floor or kegel exercise video which you can access on our home page by entering your email address. Also watch this video on how to avoiding repeat prolapse.

      Hope this information helps you Rachel, best of luck with your recovery and health. Please let us know how you go, Michelle