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It is important to seek medical advice if you think you may have a rectal prolapse. If a rectal prolapse goes untreated in an adult, it is likely to get bigger and come out more and more easily. Your symptoms will probably just keep getting worse. The longer you leave treatment, the more chance that your rectal prolapse will come back afterwards. So, if you have a rectal prolapse, contact your GP.
Your GP may be able to tell that you have a rectal prolapse just from your description of your symptoms. They will probably want to examine your bottom and probably do a rectal examination too. Try not to feel embarrassed – your doctor really wants to help you. If they think you have a rectal prolapse, they may refer you to a specialist doctor, who may suggest further tests. For more information, see our section on diagnosis.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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- Rectal prolapse. Medscape. emedicine.medscape.com, updated July 2022
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- Gastrointestinal medicine. Oxford Handbook of General Practice. Oxford Academic. academic.oup.com, published online June 2020
- Segal J, McKeown D, Tavarez M. Rectal prolapse. StatPearls Publishing. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, last updated June 2022
- Bordeianou L, Paquette I, Johnson E, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of rectal prolapse. Dis Colon Rectum 2017; 60:1121–131
- Rectal prolapse – expanded version. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. fascrs.org, accessed August 2022