Introduction and hypothesis Our objective was to evaluate bowel symptoms after colpocleisis. Methods This was a planned ancillary analysis of a prospective, colpocleisis cohort study of 152 women. Those with baseline and 1-year questionnaires (Colorectal-Anal Distress Inventory (CRADI) and the Colorectal-Anal Impact Questionnaire (CRAIQ)) were included. "Bothersome" CRADI symptoms (score>2("moderately", "quite a Bit")) were identified. CRADI and CRAIQ scores were compared, and postoperative symptom resolution and new symptom development were measured. Results Of 121 (80%) subjects with complete data, mean age was 79.2±5.4 years and all had stage 3-4 prolapse. Procedures performed: partial colpocleisis (61%), total colpocleisis (39%), levator myorrhaphy (71%), and perineorrhaphy (97%). Bothersome bowel symptom(s) were present in 77% at baseline (obstructive (17-26%), incontinence (12-35%) and pain/irritation (3-34%)). All bothersome obstructive and most bothersome incontinence symptoms were less prevalent 1 year after surgery. CRADI and CRAIQ scores significantly improved. The majority of bothersome symptoms resolved (50-100%) with low rates of de novo symptoms (0-14%). Conclusions Most bothersome bowel symptoms resolve after colpocleisis, especially obstructive and incontinence symptoms, with low rates of de novo symptoms. Copyright © 2009 The International Urogynecological Association.