Newly preg with first, have rectocele (2)


I'm sure this might sound repetitious to other posts and I'm not sure if I am any different. I'm new to the Whole Women concept and just assumed that surgery would be the answer after I complete my family.

I have a history of recurrent preg loss, am 40, grew up constantly constipated, and have two rectoceles. One straight back in, and one more near my anal opening. Obviously makes it difficult to void, and I have inconsistent stool, so splinting is somewhat of a regular occurance for me. Ironically, I also have hip problems and lichen schlerosis (but very mild, thankfully). I am now 10 weeks pregnant and we think this one will stick.

My main rectocele fills up with stool and the last few days, it is just an inch or two from the opening of my vagina. It is long and thin, and maybe is getting longer? It's uncomfortable and I can feel aching from the inside of the vag, although the doc thinks that is my uterus growing. With this stretched tissue, I don't think it will ever go back--it's just a pocket waiting to be filled up. With preg or IBS, or both, it's hard to manage getting a good stool.

So is there something I can do? Will these books and tools help me? I do not have a lot of faith that I can somehow change my entire lifestyle. I am an office worker and have tried doing a stand up desk, done yoga that has helped my core/hips (but that's intense for preg) and it did nothing for the rectocele. Thoughts? THANK YOU!

Hi J,

Congratulations on your pregnancy and I’m sending my best wishes for a positive outcome.

Whole Woman is foremost about changing our mindset. There is a very particular anatomy that is only described here, which places the organs over a true bony pelvic floor and against the lower belly, and your center of mass evenly over your hip joints. Skeletal alignment, or how we hold our body, *is* the pelvic organ support system and the hip joint support system. They are one and the same. Early people ended up with this alignment naturally as they lived and worked under the forces of gravity, but we must now bring it to conscious awareness. That is what is described in the Whole Woman materials. For postpartum, I would suggest the WWYoga series, which in my humble opinion is far more enjoyable and beneficial movement than you will find in traditional male yoga. It sounds like you could also learn how to deal with LS naturally, which is described in The Whole Woman Way to VulvaVaginal Health, and also benefit from the information in Save Your Hips. There is a wealth of good information here on the forums about anti-inflammatory diets and IBS.

A major aspect of shifting our mindset is to understand that there is no surgical correction for rectocele. The surgery will fuse your back vaginal and front rectal walls together, creating far greater symptoms than what you are dealing with now.

Secondly is developing deep trust in your body’s ability to change. Of course the rectocele will improve if you learn to do things differently. It is intraabdominal pressure that either shapes and positions these organs naturally, or blows them backward toward the vaginal outlet. Your case is a powerful example of the untoward effects of years of misdirected internal pressures.

We suggest “babying” your rectocele with excellent diet, splinting (gently holding the bulge back as you move your bowels), and never straining against the toilet seat again. The WW position for elimination (even to press out the last drops of pee) is to plant your feet firmly on the floor, lean forward, and lift your bottom slightly off the seat. You don’t have to hover like you do in a public restroom, but just make sure your weight is lifted off the seat with every increase in pressure.

Women find that eventually (it may take a year or more) the need to splint diminishes or goes away completely, and the rectocele pockets will subside. The “core” work that you mention pulls the guts toward the back, causing the front rectal wall to lose its support. The WW work holds the abdominal contents forward, thereby pulling up and straightening the rectum.

Wishing you well,



Would you recommend the Yoga For Prolapse Starter bundle out of the other products? Not sure what exactly to get.

Also, I think to splint my rectocele that is bothering me, I'd need some sort of tool. It could be an interocele --it's really high up -- and does not like being pushed back at this point. I have a wedge to lay back on and it won't even push back then. It used to fall back in when reclined at that angle.

I would start very slowly, focusing on the posture, breathing, and correct toilet habits. First Aid for Prolapse is quite good, and also the Blossom video on breathing. I love the yoga videos, but they are quite challenging for a pregnant woman just beginning the WW work. Right now I’m working on our first product specifically for pregnancy, postpartum and prolapse, but it won’t be completed for another few weeks.

It’s rare in a wombed woman, but we’ve had a few over the years with enterocele, a difficult problem that causes severe symptoms like those you describe. I certainly wouldn’t try splinting the upper bulge in that case, but make sure to lean forward and lift your bottom off the seat with all increases in pressure.

One woman with enterocele who comes to mind had been an avid yoga practitioner for 30 years, sucking in her abs to the max. She also had some strange thing she did during bowel movements (can’t remember exactly what), which from our perspective was only making her condition worse.

It’s not difficult to visualize that when the guts are strongly, chronically pulled in, that the small bowel can get shoved into what is called the cul de sac of Douglass, between the top of the back vaginal wall and the front rectal wall. Enterocele is usually considered to be a birth defect in a woman who has her uterus.

I take the long view on these matters and prefer to trust in the body’s ability to re-position the organs, given the right conditions. There is no good surgery for this. I believe they would opt for removing your uterus in order to perform a “culdoplasty”, or closing the enterocele pocket.

Healing thoughts to you!


I apologize for the above contradiction, which I have corrected to the best of my ability.

The WWYoga series may be fine for the healthy pregnant woman. In a woman with typical western civilization challenges, WWY may be best worked toward postpartum.

So...I would still like to be able to do strengthening exercises while pregnant. My midwives have told me that I need to do kegels, which I understand your position on. I am now 25w and have been practicing my yoga regularly. I feel my posture has been modified somewhat, but that didn't stop them from telling me I can't "squeeze" hard enough.

Is there a better video to start with (1st wheel?) that does a lot of the internal strengthening. Thank you.

[oh, and my rectocele/enterocele issue was mostly solved through diet--had a lot of constipation issues in the first trimester]

I'm not sure what you mean by "internal strengthening" as that seems along the same lines as the traditional "core" approach that has been so detrimental to women's pelvic health over the last few generations. Whole Woman posture pulls everything into line and creates a strong and beautiful line down the front - you are supporting your organs (and your growing baby) over the strong pubic bones which are your true "pelvic floor". Tightening the muscles as in Kegeling just pulls this out of whack.

Any gentle exercise that supports this alignment should be fine during a healthy pregnancy. Lots of mindful posture walking is probably the best thing you can do. As Christine suggests, you may want to turn your thought to post-partum - for which WWY2 is considered the best choice. Everyone should have First Aid for Prolapse just for the broad knowledge base it provides. - Surviving