Rectal prolapse is a condition where the rectum becomes stretched out and protrudes out of the anal canal like an inverted sock. This usually begins to occur after bowel movements but can begin to happen when a person is standing or lying in certain positions. Sometimes the rectum must be pushed back inside the anal canal manually. Rectal prolapse is generally caused by prolonged straining or weakened anal sphincter muscles or both. It is common to also have leakage of stool or mucus (fecal incontinence) with this condition. Rectal prolapse is diagnosed by a careful history taken by your doctor. Your doctor may also have you sit on a toilet and strain like you are having a bowel movement to diagnose the problem. Your doctor may also perform tests to evaluate your sphincter muscle function as well. Since this problem is generally caused by constipation, treating your constipation and reducing your straining my control your symptoms. There are also surgical procedures that can be performed to eliminate the prolapse. Success of these surgeries depends on the strength of your sphincter muscles and on avoiding constipation and straining after your repair.