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What causes a prolapsed colon?

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Quick Answer

A prolapsed colon, known as rectal prolapse, is caused by a weakening of the muscles that hold the rectum in place, explains eMedicineHealth. There are three types of rectal prolapse identified as partial, complete and internal prolapse, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

A partial prolapse can happen after straining for a bowel movement and is common in young children, states WebMD. In this type the membrane of the rectum slides out of place and can stick out of the anus.

Complete prolapse may at first only occur during bowel movements, but as the muscles are weakened, it can happen after standing or walking, according to WebMD. The entire wall of the rectum comes out of the anus and can lead to a permanent prolapse.

Internal prolapse, also called intussusception, is most common in children and is very rare in adults. The rectum does not pass through the anus but can slide over or into another part. This is usually related to an intestinal problem.

Causes of the weakening of the muscles include malnutrition, infections, deformities, straining, tissue damage, cystic fibrosis, and weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, which is usually seen with age, explains WebMD. Rectal prolapse is reportedly most common in children and the elderly, particularly women.

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