Cystocele vs Rectocele Prolapse – Their Difference & Proper Treatment

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Prolapse is extremely common, yet many women don’t know what a prolapse is until they experience it for themselves.

If there’s anything to normalize about prolapse, it should be educating women about it and talking more about natural solutions and better alternatives to surgery, pessaries, kegels, and “watchful waiting” (which is not good to do). 

So, what is prolapse? 

In simple terms, a prolapse is the protrusion of any pelvic organs into your vagina. While it’s easy to use the word “prolapse” as a catch-all, we believe it’s vital to know the difference between each type of prolapse.

In this article, we’ll discuss and compare two of the most common prolapses: Cystocele (prolapsed bladder) and Rectocele (prolapsed rectum) as well as natural healing methods to reverse them without needing surgery!

General Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP)

There are several signs of prolapse that you should be aware of.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is usually asymptomatic during the early stages but may gradually manifest symptoms such as: 

  • Heaviness around your lower tummy and genitals
  • A dragging discomfort inside your vagina
  • Feeling like there’s something coming down into your vagina 
  • Seeing a bulge or lump coming out of your vagina
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Bladder problems (i.e., urine leaking and frequent urination)

Cystocele in a Nutshell

Cystocele is also known as prolapsed, herniated, or dropped bladder.

Cystocele (a.k.a. prolapsed, herniated, or dropped bladder) is the descent of the bladder into the vagina due to weak pelvic floor support. 

According to one study, around 34.3% of women with a uterus and 32.9% of women who had a hysterectomy (a surgery that removes the uterus) will experience a prolapse in their lifetime.

How can you tell that you have Cystocele?

The most obvious indication of cystocele are problems related to urination. 

To understand that, let’s recall how your bladder functions first. 

Your bladder is an organ in the lower abdomen. It is held by ligaments attached to other organs and your pelvic bones with two main functions: storing and emptying urine properly. They work hand-in-hand with the urethra, that is why cystocele is sometimes mistaken for urethrocele (prolapsed urethra) or can even occur at the same time called cystourethrocele. 


For now, here are the most common symptoms of cystocele: 
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder 
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Difficulty starting the flow of urine (hesitancy)
  • Discomfort or pain while urinating
  • Slow urine stream
  • Urine leakage
  • Recurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Problems putting in tampons or vaginal applicators
  • Bulge in the vagina that you can feel
  • Feeling of fullness, heaviness, aching, or pain in the lower belly, groin, pelvic area or lower back that gets worse when pressure is applied
  • Needing to push organs back up into the vagina to empty the bladder or have a bowel movement

What causes Cystocele?

Carrying heavy things more than you can handle often is the cause of cystocele.

There are many possible reasons why someone has a cystocele. But no matter what it is, it all boils down to a weak pelvic floor.

Some factors that could develop or worsen it are: 

  • Advancing age
  • Overweight / obesity
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy and vaginal childbirth
  • Chronic cough or bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Repeated straining during bowel movements
  • Previous pelvic surgery (especially hysterectomy)
  • Weak muscles around the vagina due to lack of estrogen

How do you heal from Cystocele naturally?

One of the most effective cystocele treatments is hypopressives.

Cystocele can be reversed through a holistic approach, which includes a healthy lifestyle, targeted exercises, methods to improve mental well-being and emotional health, along with a like-minded community dedicated to your healing. 

For reference, prolapse surgeries, pessaries, and kegels are not methods we support due to their high risks and band-aiding approach (i.e. only addressing the symptoms not the root cause). 

Let’s look at Amanda’s story (one of our students) for a moment.

She was suffering from cystocele for years and was advised to do Kegels, which made her condition worse. Since Kegels were ineffective, her doctors suggested surgery. But then the pandemic happened and she couldn’t have it done (thankfully!). About a year later, Amanda discovered the No Kegels System (NKS) which worked wonders! 

For Amanda, it was hypopressives and myofascial release that delivered the greatest improvement: 

  • Hypopressives – a series of breathing, alignment, and postural exercises that’ll help you have a more balanced pelvic floor for optimum function. 

  • Myofascial release / massage – applies pressure on targeted areas of the fascia in your vagina to reduce scar tissue.

For you, it might be different methods that feel the best and give you the most improvement. But no worries! We have over 40 healing methods you can try based on your condition, preference, and unique needs. Because after all, we’re all different and you deserve to have choice and customisation. 

That’s what we provide in our No Kegels System (NKS)

Rectocele in a Nutshell

Rectocele is also known as herniated rectum, or prolapsed rectum.

Rectocele (a.k.a. herniated rectum, or prolapsed rectum) is the descent of the rectum into the vagina due to a weak vaginal posterior wall and pelvic floor support.

According to the American Society for Colon and Rectal Surgeries, an estimated 40% of women have a rectocele but most of them haven’t even heard about the condition until they’re diagnosed with it. In some studies, the prevalence rate of true rectocele is 23%

What causes Rectocele?

The exact cause of rectocele is unknown, but, activities that add excessive amounts of pressure on the pelvic floor may contribute to its development, such as:

  • Vaginal or complicated childbirth
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Repetitive heavy lifting
  • Chronic cough and constipation
  • Previous pelvic surgery (including hysterectomy) 

Bottomline, the thinning of the rectovaginal septum (layer of tissue, muscle, and collagen fibers between the rectum  & vagina), weak pelvic floor support, and frequent straining on the pelvic area are the closest culprit for rectocele.

How can you tell that you have Rectocele and not Cystocele?

Unlike cystocele, the tell-tale signs of rectocele are leaning towards problems with bowel movement like fecal incontinence, obstructive & incomplete defecation.

Apart from this, symptoms may also include:

  • Constipation
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)
  • Pain, pressure, or discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Feeling or seeing something bulging out of your vaginal opening

How do you heal from Rectocele naturally?

Mild cases of rectocele can be improved by a healthy lifestyle that involves a balanced diet, higher intake of water and losing excess weight.

Mild cases of rectocele can be improved by a healthy lifestyle that involves: 

  • Maintaining a high fiber diet (25+ grams everyday)
  • Drinking plenty of water (6-8 ten-ounce glasses daily)
  • Not lifting heavy objects as much as possible
  • Controlling your cough
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight 

What about Kegels?

No. Kegels can actually worsen your condition if you have an overactive pelvic floor, which means you have a tense pelvic floor. Kegel exercises only increase this tension and can make the pain in your pelvic floor worse. 

Other alternatives for Kegels are hypopressives, scar tissue massage, yoni steaming, belly dancing, block therapy, and acupressure. All of these are part of the No Kegels System (NKS)

If one method doesn’t work for you, we’ve got a lot more to choose from! 

Watch this video for my Top 3 natural Rectocele healing tips!

Is it possible to have both Cystocele and Rectocele?

Unfortunately, it is. This is common among women who are pregnant or who have just given birth (also called Postpartum Prolapse). In fact, Rectocele can also be mistaken for closely-related prolapses: rectal prolapse and enterocele.

It is possible to have both cystocele and rectocele.
Here’s a brief comparison: 
  • Rectocele is the bulging of the rectum through the vagina. Whereas Rectal Prolapse is the bulging of the rectum through the anus.

     

  • Compared to Enterocele (small bowel prolapse) which is the bulging of the small intestine through the vagina, Rectocele is the bulging of the end of the large intestine (rectum) through the vagina.

     

Reality is, women can have 2 or more prolapses. But this isn’t a life sentence! As we just shared, there are natural solutions that can help reverse these conditions. And you’ll learn about more of them in just a minute. 

Why we discourage surgery for Prolapse

Prolapse surgeries are invasive and risky with a high failure rate that often leads to additional procedures.

To be blunt—surgeries are invasive and risky with high failure rates and often lead to repeat surgeries. But here’s the greatest downfall of surgeries: they don’t heal the root cause of prolapse! Even more concerning is the fact that surgery for one type of prolapse could cause another prolapse. 

Read more about the Pros and Cons of Prolapse Surgery here. 

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not trying to scare you. In fact, our mission at WomenCycles is to help you become an advocate for your own health. Why? Because we’ve been where you’ve been — following mainstream medical protocols and doctors’ advice when it didn’t help at all. 

Luckily, we found alternative healing methods that helped, so now we know what’s possible. So, you might be wondering… 

Is it possible to heal from Prolapse without Surgery?

Easy and safe pelvic floor relaxation techniques such as yoga, strength exercise, belly dancing and hypopressives can help heal you from prolapse.

The answer is YES! 

No Kegels or pessaries. And definitely no surgeries.

We’ve personally found that a holistic approach works the best! And all the methods we’ve used are 100% natural, scientifically-backed, and have been successful for the women we work with. 

Some of these methods include: 

 

Relax Your Pelvic Floor
  • Hypopressivespelvic floor exercises that repair and strengthen your fascia
  • Yin yogapositions that create circulation and space in the areas around the pelvis
  • Belly Dancinga graceful dance that targets hard areas in the body including the pelvic floor
  • Essential Oilshelp process your emotions and clear out old, stale energy
  • Vaginal Steamingsitting over a steaming pot of water with medicinal herbs

     

Fill your body with proper nutrients
  • Healthy Dieteating more unprocessed food rich in vitamins and healing properties
  • Certain Supplementsclean content from a good brand to help your body heal

     

Everything starts in the mind
  • Visualization and Affirmationtraining your subconscious to visualize optimal health
  • Meditationactivates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to lessen mental and emotional symptoms, and speed up healing
  •  

"The lockdown saved me from surgery"

For 6 years, Amanda suffered from a stage 3 cystocele and rectocele prolapse.

She was going to have surgery because she believed it was the only way she could heal. The lockdown, however, spared her from surgery, and she began exploring for other natural treatments, eventually discovering the No Kegels System (NKS).

You can heal from Cystocele and Rectocele naturally!

No matter what kind of prolapse you’re dealing with, we have a natural solution for you. 

The No Kegels System (NKS) is a step-by-step, guided, and packaged solution to help women around the world reverse pelvic floor dysfunctions without needing a risky surgical procedure or wasting time on Kegels!

Best of all, you can take this system from the comfort of home using a computer, mobile device, or tablet. And all you need is 10 to 15 minutes each day.

If you have questions about this system, send us a message!

Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

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