More Than Just A Beer Belly: Men And Divarication Of The Recti

People are more familiar with the divarication of recti in women. Divarication of recti usually develops during pregnancy and could last months after giving birth; hence postpartum belly. It can also be accompanied by several complications, such as hernia and urinary incontinence in Singapore.

The treatment for diastasis recti in women can be invasive, minimally invasive and non-invasive. Surgery is an example of invasive treatment, while diastasis recti exercises are examples of non-invasive treatments. Postnatal care providers in Singaporeprovide various treatments for women with diastasis recti.

But did you know that men can also develop the divarication of recti? How do they get it? Do they have the same treatment as women? Find out here.

An Overview Of Diastasis Recti In Men

Diastasis recti is not a gender-specific condition. Believe it or not, the divarication of recti is common in men, but most cases are misdiagnosed, mistaken as beer belly, or undetected.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti, or thedivarication of recti, is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles (six-pack ab muscles). A gap about a finger width forms between the left and right abdominis muscles.

Each body type can have diastasis recti. However, the gap is more apparent in fit males than males with large bellies.

What causes diastasis recti in men?

The cause of thedivarication of recti in postpartum women is quite different in men and women who have not been pregnant.

Postpartum women develop the gap when the foetus in their womb starts to grow, stretching and pushing the uterus and eventually the muscles for more room in the belly.

On the other hand, men and women who have not been pregnant develop the division of the rectiwhen there is too much pressure on the rectus abdominis muscles.

Excess weight, weight lifting, and other rigorous abdominal exercises put pressure on the six-pack muscles.

Symptoms of diastasis recti in men

The most noticeable symptoms of the divarication of the recti are the vertical bulge that protrudes in their belly or between the abdominal wall when they attempt to get up from lying down or whenever you contract their ab muscles by doing sit-ups and crunches.

Other discreet symptoms include lower back pain, poor posture, constipation, difficulty in breathing, bloating, and a weakened core.

Men and women with the divarication of the recti may also find it difficult to lift objects. Men and women with diastasis recti can also suffer from pelvic pain, pelvic prolapse, and urinary incontinence in Singapore.

How is diastasis recti in men diagnosed?

●      Physical exam

Doctors usually conduct physical exams. Doctors would normally ask the patient to do crunches and sit-ups. The doctor will check for any protrusion. They can determine the severity of the condition by measuring the gap between your abdomen.

●      Imaging tests

Some doctors also use imaging procedures to determine the severity of the divarication of the recti. It includes a CT scan and ultrasound.

●      Self-assessment

You can also check if you have a divarication of the recti by feeling depression or separation between the abdominal muscles using your fingers.

Risk Factors Of Diastasis Recti In Men

Here are some of the risk factors for the divarication of the recti in male and female who haven’t been pregnant.

●      Obesity

Excess weight puts pressure on the abdominal muscles. Frequent changes in body weight may also exacerbate the condition.

●      Diabetes

Diabetes can cause sarcopenia or the loss of muscle mass due to ageing. Diabetes can contribute to the changes and thinning of the rectus abdominis muscles.

●      Smoking

Cigarette smoking can weaken the connective tissue, especially the linea alba found in the abdomen between the abdominal muscles. It also increases the risk of hernia.

●      Rigorous exercise

People who engage in rigorous exercises, such as weight lifting, crunches, push-ups, sit-ups, and planks, are likely to develop diastasis recti. Bodybuilders are prone to the divarication of the recti.

●      Family history

Thedivarication of the recti is said to be a hereditary condition. People, especially men with a family history of diastasis recti in males, are likely to develop one, too.

●      Existing medical conditions

People with liver cirrhosis and abdominal wall cancer can also trigger the onset of diastasis recti.

Complications of diastasis recti in men


Thedivarication of the recti has several complications:

●      Poor posture

The abdominal muscles play a crucial role in supporting the upper body. The person tends to hunch when the abs cannot keep the body upright.

●      Lower back pain

The back muscles shoulders all the pressure all alone when the abdominal muscles are too weak to support; hence, lower back pain.

●      Hernia

Men withdivarication of the recti may develop a concurrent umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia happens when the abdominal content protrudes in the gap formed beneath the skin due to the divarication of the recti, creating a hernia sac.

Liver cirrhosis is also a huge contributor to the onset of diastasis recti in men.

Treatment for diastasis recti in men

Hospitals, clinics, and postnatal care providers in Singapore offer minimally invasive and non-invasive treatments for the divarication of recti.

Minimally Invasive Treatments

●      Endoscopic surgery

Endoscopic surgery rectifies the placement of the abdominal muscles by suturing the gap.

●      Laparoscopic surgery

Apart from treating diastasis recti, laparoscopic surgery also helps in the reduction of hernia content.

Non-invasive Treatments

●      Weight reduction

Obesity is one of the risk factors for diastasis recti in men. Weight reduction can help mitigate the symptoms of divarication of the recti.

●      Diastasis recti exercises

Diastasis recti exercises help strengthen abdominal muscles and reduce the gap.

●       HIFEM

High-intensity focused electromagnetic technology uses electromagnetic stimulation to repair and strengthen the abdominal muscles.


Postpartum belly in mums and beer belly in dads; these are the several names diastasis recti have. But the point is it does affect men and women.

Most importantly, it does affect different body types, from fit to overweight. Assess yourself. Is it a beer belly? Or is something more severe like divarication of the recti?

Orchard Clinic

Orchard Clinic is apostnatal care service in Singapore that provides treatment for diastasis recti and other postpartum complications. Visit Orchard Clinic today.

Show More