Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Non-surgical treatment for rectal prolapse?

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 76 Replies
  • Posted By: AmateurHistorian
  • April 17, 2007
  • 08:35 AM

I'm a 50 year old male. I recently discovered that I have a slight rectal prolapse, meaning that part of what's supposed to be inside me is starting to emerge outside. Obviously I can't see it, but I can feel it, and it feels like a pair of puckered lips emerging from my rectum. The prolapse isn't causing any problems so far, but I want to do anything I can to keep it from worsening, and reverse it if possible.

I've done lots of internet research on this. The prolapse is caused by weakening of the muscles and ligaments that hold the colon and rectum in place. Virtually every source I found says that the only treatment for prolapse is surgery. I found two doctors who claim that they can correct prolapse with physical therapy, but neither of them is anywhere near where I live, and I presume they wouldn't just tell me their techniques over the phone, for free.

The surgery-only answer -- even though it's the majority opinion -- doesn't wash with me. Surgeons have a vested interest in that answer, and physical therapists may not have ever tried to work with prolapse. I think there have to be some physical-therapy options. So I'm trying something on my own: Kegel exercises. These are best known as the exercises that pregnant women do to strengthen their vaginal muscles both before and after delivery. The same muscles also control defecation and urination by contracting the rectum and urethra.

Men have the same muscles, and they serve the same purposes -- except, of course, contracting the vagina. So my thinking is, if I do these Kegel exercises, which are simply sets of contracting and releasing the rectal-urethral muscles, that that will strengthen my rectum and prevent the prolapse from worsening, and possibly even reverse it.

(By the way, these same muscles control sexual orgasm, for both men and women, so Kegel exercises are also recommended for strengthening orgasm, and for women to tighten their vaginas. I believe this is also the basis of the methods described in the Kama Sutra and modern books for enabling extended intercourse and multiple male orgasm. Something fun to know and tell. :D)

So my question is, has anyone else tried this, or other physical-therapy techniques, for stopping and reversing rectal prolapse? I only started the Kegels two weeks ago -- I do them on alternate days, and I'm slowly building up the number of reps and sets -- and so far I can't tell any difference. I'm willing to consult doctors, physical therapists, sports trainers, anatomy books, medical journals, etc. -- but I thought I'd ask here first.


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