Vaginal prolapse, can I have sex and children??

(18 Posts)
Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 10:55:01

Hi all,

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this topic, but here it goes...

I gave birth to DS 6 weeks ago and his absolutely gorgeous and I'm really enjoying motherhood. However, last week I saw what looks like a vaginal prolapse. I saw an episode of Embarrassing Bodies on the telly with a lady who had quite a bad case of it and I went straight to check my bits and saw that I had something similar but on a smaller scale. I'm due to have my 6-weeks-check next week and will discuss this with the GP, but in the interim I'm panicking about this and quite tearful and depressedsad.. I've been googleing around (probably the last thing to do, I know!) and I saw that this condition might mean that sex is really painful and you might have to have a hysterectomy!!

I'm not that keen on sex, but I'd really want to have another baby.. I just wanted to know if anyone else has this condition and how it has affected their lives and what treatment was offered.

Many thanks!

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 13:06:43

Anyone?

tabulahrasa Sun 19-Jun-11 13:13:28

Not me, but a friend, she had a pessary ring put in and went on to have three more children, with the ring being removed during pregnancy each time - I know to ultimately repair it she needs an operation but was told to wait until she'd finished having children. Her sex life as far as I know is fine, I know she has one and she seems happy enough with it as much as she's mentioned, lol

Gilberte Sun 19-Jun-11 13:15:21

Didn't want to leave this unanswered. Are you seeing some sort of bulge from your vagina? I had a slight bulge(worse when straining) and panicked thinking my womb was falling out. The mw who checked me 2 days or so after giving birth said I was a bit "swollen". Another mw(who didn't look) said it could well be a bit of vaginal wall but assured me it would sort itself out. She advised me to keep doing pelvic floors. It seemed to get better within a few weeks after giving birth though. Definately mention it GP and let them know if you have sex and it hurts. I had a few mild urge incontinence issues 6 weeks from giving birth and was worried i might have a bladder prolapse and GP didn't even look saying it was such early days.

Things improved given time and I expect any minor prolapse will too but do ask them to check if you are really worried.

I have a prolapse and I still haven't gotten it sorted as I'm still not sure if I want to have more DC.

Sex isn't painful at all and I'll probably just have a repair as opposed to a hysterectomy. There are a lot of different stages of prolapse and so a lot of different solutions.

I was told that having more kids was no problem but to wait til I was done before having a repair.

HTH

BeeBread Sun 19-Jun-11 13:28:03

6 weeks is very early days; things could just be a bit swollen/unusual at the moment and go back to normal in time (over a few months). Don't panic yet.

If it is a prolapse, the consequences depend on what type it is. It could be that the vaginal wall is weakened, allowing the bladder or the rectum to bulge through, like a hernia. These are known as cystoceles and rectoceles respectively. Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the wall and can do wonders to correct these issues.

Sometimes the ligaments supporting the uterus have over-stretched, and the bulge you feel in your vagina is your cervix, hanging lower than it used to. It's not so easy to correct this with pelvic floor exercises, but in moderate cases your cervix can be supported with a pessary (a ring which is wedged in place to hold things up) or in severe cases there are surgical options. But you are a long way away from that.

It won't necessarily affect sex or your ability to have more children. I have a minor uterine prolapse (ie my cervix is low) and it tends to move out of the way during sex and, as long as we take our time, isn't a problem (and DH says that he can't feel any difference either). I'm also 8 weeks' pregnant and have been told that it shouldn't cause any risk to the pregnancy but they are going to keep an eye on me.

I think the main risk is that these things can get worse with subsequent pregnancies (ie with the weight of the baby and bump on the pelvic floor) and with vaginal deliveries. So I'm considering a c-section - but other than that, the prolapse is no biggie for me on a day to day basis.

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 14:00:28

Hello all and thank you for your replies, I must say I feel much more calm now.. I didn't realise I was still considered to be in the "early days"; for some reason it already feels like DS has always been around and it's been ages since the labour, although it was a pretty traumatic experience with 3 days in the hospital in labour and having an epidural, a spinal block and forceps delivery... So all in all in hindsight, I probably should still be recovering really...

Yes I can definitely see a bulge in there and the funny thing is, it wasn't there until last week, so seems to be a bit different to what you had Gilberte. I am not sure if it's related to this, but two weeks ago on Friday evening at around 7pm I started having this sharp and sudden abdominal pain that lasted over the weekend. At first I thought it might have been muscle pain, as I had been walking a lot during the week and was a bit sore all over, but when I finally managed to see the GP on Sunday and he checked my tummy he said the pain didn't seem to be muscular but rather in the stomach. As I didn't have a UTI, he said it could either be early appendicitis (as the pain was mainly on the right side) or the ligaments around the uterus hurting. I'm now wondering whether something happened at the time that caused the bulge..

Anyhow, good to hear that there are several treatment options and thanks for all the information BeeBread. I think I was already considering a c-section due to the horrible first experience I had...

BeeBread Sun 19-Jun-11 14:09:11

Yes, you are very early days Fazerina. Apparently in Chinese medicine they allow for a period of 2 years for recovery from childbirth - we are just in much more of a rush over here to be back to business as usual.

Breastfeeding too releases hormones which relax muscles and ligaments and things can improve again when your baby is weaned - so much longer term.

It's possible that you might have pulled something and that things have dropped at the same time - but you'll probably never know. Best thing you can do is be gentle with yourself and to avoid heavy lifting and exercises such as sit-ups/stomach crunches, as those all put strain on the pelvic floor.

Can't blame you for considering a c-section if you had to have forceps...

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 14:19:26

Hmph, so clearly the MW was wrong in saying that at the 6-weeks check-up things down there as well as everywhere else should be as before pregnancy shock! Come to think of it, it actually makes me a bit angry that she would say such a discouraging thing in the first place..

I am breastfeeding exclusively, so will probably be looking at a long haul recovery then. Although I must say otherwise I feel breastfeeding has helped with the recovery.

I haven't been doing much sit-ups yet, just some walking, pilates and the abdominal exercises the physio advised me to do after labour. I read somewhere that you shouldn't do any crunches until the abdominal muscles had returned back together so I was hoping the GP could tell me whether mine had done that..

LeonardNimoy Sun 19-Jun-11 14:31:03

I know nothing about whether what you have is a prolapse or not, but just wanted to say my friend had a prolapse after the birth of her 3rd child (an emergency c-section). She says with her prolapse it was obvious that something major had gone wrong! She had a repair and paid for it privately. She has since had another child, completely normal pregnancy but had to have a section again. She was told before they did the prolapse repair that she would never be able to have a vaginal delivery again.

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 15:47:08

I think I would only consider the repair surgery if it was absolutely necessary once I was finished having children to be honest, because I thought pregnancy alone and not just childbirth weaken the pelvic floor, so I would hate to have "damaged" the results during pregancy.. I wonder if the surgery would be provided on the NHS by the way? I was thinking that you would probably have to have it done privately unless the prolapse was very severe.

gourd Sun 19-Jun-11 16:06:25

My sister had a vaginal prolapse repaired (on NHS) after her fist child and went on to have a second baby. She had an elective cesarean the second time around, but was offered the choice - she decided that an elective would be better and safer for her and baby than a possible emergency cesarean though. She did need another repair afterward as well (again on NHS), as pregnancy itself can do the damage, not just vaginal delivery, but another baby after repair was possible for her. You don't have to live with it, you can have a repair if you feel it necessary or important for your quality of life - you need to discuss it with your GP.

tabulahrasa Sun 19-Jun-11 16:07:04

As far as I know it's routine nhs surgery, with no question of it not being done

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 16:15:40

That's good to know that it can be done on the NHS, because I had a look on the prices if I would have it done privately and wasn't sure if I could afford it.. Hm, I hope doing the pelvic floor exercises will help for now and that the GP will be able to tell me what and how serious it is in the first place smile.

cardamomginger Sun 19-Jun-11 19:51:13

Hi - just to echo everyone's comments that things are very very early for you and that as things tighten up (do those pelvic floor exercises!!) things may go back into place and revert to normal. I have anterior and posterior prolapse and a slight uterine prolapse (and a ripped pelvic floor under the perinuem) and am heading for surgery. But my case is quite bad and there's lots that can be done with specialist physio for less severe cases. So, if things don't tighten with "normal" pelvic floor exercises, don't think that you are automatically headed for surgery. You may not be. Yes, it is an option to wait until after completing your family before having surgery. I don't think this is something I can contemplate - physically, emotionally and psychologically I am finding it too difficult. One of the consultants I saw (who I won't be going to for surgery) said that a second pregnancy carried a small risk of damaging the repair due to the pressure on the pelvic floor and the hormones. The other consultant (who I will be using - he has a better reputation) said that there should be no risk - whether this is just in my particular case or in general, I don't know. Whilst repeat repairs can be undertaken, they are never as successful as the initial repair - so it is best not to risk damaging a repair if possible. If I do have another child I would definitely be having an ELCS. But, as I say, things may well get better for you with time and usual exercises. And if not, specialist physio may do the trick. And yes - all this is available on the NHS. Congratulations and good luck. XX

Fazerina Sun 19-Jun-11 20:30:15

Thanks for your reply cardamomginger. I'm sorry to hear that your condition is so severe, but glad that you're getting help with it.

With everyone's responses and experiences I'm beginning to realise my initial reaction was a bit out of proportion. And google rarely helps to put your mind at easesmile...

buttonmoon78 Mon 20-Jun-11 09:32:51

6 weeks back to normal? <hollow laugh>

I've had 3 dcs, currently pg with #4. I'm a pretty quick healer but I'd say back to normal in 6 wks is utterly unrealistic for most people.

What a dipstick of a MW to give you such a warped picture!

Re the prolapse - I've never had one myself. I thought I had earlier this pg but turned out to be varicose veins blush but I'd definitely mention it sooner rather than later!

Oh, and step away from google. It'll be terminal before you know it wink

Zimbah Wed 22-Jun-11 11:14:46

I think I might have a vaginal prolapse too, and like Fazerina it wasn't apparent immediately after childbirth but now 4 weeks post-baby I feel like there's a bulge in my vagina that might drop out, yuck. Really fed up as I've been religiously doing pelvic floor exercises every time I feed the baby (i.e. a lot!). So I guess I'll have to be prepared to whip off my pants at the 6 week GP appointment. I also had a third degree tear but the bulge feeling seems to be at the front so I don't think the two are related, aside from the fact it all relates to pushing out a nine pounder with her hand up by her neck.

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