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Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc part 7

(1001 Posts)
gottagetthroughthis Fri 19-Oct-12 00:38:09

This is thread 7 of a long-running series of posts from ladies suffering from pelvic prolapses to support each other through the process of diagnosis, repair and recovery.

Here are the previous threads:
Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
Thread 5
Thread 6

Info from BBC Health

What is a pelvic prolapse?

As the muscles, ligaments and supporting tissues in the pelvis become weaker, they are less able to hold in the organs of the pelvis such as the womb (uterus) or bladder.

Gravity pulls these organs down and, in the more severe cases, may appear through the entrance to the vagina.

A variety of problems can occur, depending on where the weakness lies and which organs are able to descend, but in every case there is some degree of prolapse of the vaginal wall, which begins to invert (rather like a sock turning inside out).
Prolapse of the womb or uterus is the most common prolapse, affecting as many as one in eight older women to some degree
Prolapse of the bladder, known as a cystocele, is less common.
Prolapse of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder) is known as a urethrocele.
Prolapse of the intestines is quite rare, and known as an enterocele or rectocele.

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on which tissues descend, and how severe the prolapse is.

They may include:
A sense of heaviness or pressure in the pelvis.
The appearance of a bulge of tissue in the genital area, which can be quite alarming, and is often red and sore.
Urinary problems, such as having to urinate more frequently, feeling the need urgently, being incontinent (losing control of the bladder) or, conversely, being unable to pass urine when you need to.
Pain in the pelvis or lower back.
Sexual problems, including pain and decreased libido.
Constipation.
Vaginal discharge or bleeding.

Treatment and recovery

Once a prolapse has developed, surgery to fix the affected organs is usually the only way to cure it effectively.

However, another option is to use a device known as a vaginal ring pessary. This is rather like a contraceptive diaphragm or cervical cap. It's made of silicone or latex, and placed in the vagina to push back the prolapsed organs and hold them in place. Many women happily manage their prolapse this way.

wouldratherbeskiing Thu 25-Oct-12 18:43:34

Fen grin grin

Perhaps this isn't the right thread....? Should I open another one?

Sorry MissPolly, I must have cross posted with you last night. What symptoms has the cystocele been giving you? I have had problems with a different prolapse, so I'm not expert in cystocele symptoms. However I have got one and at the moment it is not causing any problems so I am leaving it. If you tell us what problems yours is causing we will be able to give you an idea of your options.

fengirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:19:01

Misspolly - I'm sorry too! The symptoms of cystocele can vary from incontinence to difficulty emptying the bladder, so it's difficult to recommend a course of action other than asking for referral to a urogynaecologist. You will probably need a bladder function test which is not as bad as it sounds! Your gp is not the person to deal with this, but be aware that often women are sent to do pelvic floor exercises under the guidance of a physio first, so do start these if you haven't already - that way you can perhaps shorten the delay before further treatment is considered. You are far from alone and there is a huge range of experiences on here, so ask away! smile

tinkxx65 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:38:15

Misspolly I am also sorry, I have a cystocele and have not really had any symptoms other than feeling that I need a wee straight after I have just gone, though that has gone slightly now I am drinking decaf coffee, and sometimes if I stand up a bit more comes out, but I now know to wait and jiggle about a bit. I could feel something when I had a shower and also my sex life had gone down hill, it just wasn't the same feeling if you know what I mean, so anyway I got the mirror out and to my horror saw a pink bulge, but it took me ages to go to the doctors, but I had other problems relating to the rectocele which were bothering me alot more and when she examined me she only mentioned the rectocele (which again I had never heard of). If you google cystocele, many sites come up, but it is this site that has helped me the most and gave me the confidence to challenge the consultant. I have been told that my cystocele is mild to moderate, but to me it is huge and I had to really push to get them to agree to fix it. Like I said in an earlier post I am now getting cold feet about getting anything fixed. Some ladies have mentioned some sort of ring thing (sorry I am tired and cant remember what it is called) that can relieve some of the falling down feeling, but my consultants have never even mentioned it to me.

wouldratherbeskiing Thu 25-Oct-12 22:42:37

Miss Polly - I felt, and still feel shocked to be in this position. I too am somebody who likes to find solutions to things but in the case of prolapse I have found there is are no clear answers which is difficult to deal with. We can only make decisions on surgery etc. based on our own research and advice we receive. This forum is full of real life experience which I have found invaluable in getting through this.

It seems quite common for consultants to dismiss prolapse if they consider it minor even though it may be having a devasting effect on your life. I've learned that women who have been diagnosed with a small bulge can in fact experience quite strong symptoms (not quite the right wording but can't think of the right terms) whereas women with major prolapse can live quite happily with them. Everybody is different and symptoms and recommended treatments vary so much. The emotionally impact of these conditions is difficult to deal with when things are not black and white - no set treatment - no quick fix. I'd suggest you read as much as the earlier threads as possible as there's a wealth of information here that may help you.

Welcome - keep posting.

lyttleangel Thu 25-Oct-12 22:48:07

Fengirl.. Am in agony (after laporoscopy) laughing at your post! Worth it though hehehe!
Cannot remember who asked this... Sorry... But I have had Physio and bladder tests (jumping up and down on a pampers bed mat with a catheter in, and coughing like I smoke 50 a day = dignity, zero)
Now had the lap op to look into the pain I'm getting, as the urogyne said it could be endometriosis (although none was found) but I only get pain during sex... and isn't this a symtom of a cystocele??
He now wants to re-do the bladder tests???!! I AM GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES!
From what I gather he is putting off performing a repair because of my age... Either that or he just doesn't believe me... Even after me literally having a break down in his office because I couldn't take anymore. Can any one tell me, after having op for cystocele/rectocele, do you feel things are better or worse?

fengirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 22:55:11

What Tink is talking about is a ring pessary... Wouldrather is right - its how you are affected psychologically as much as physically that should be considered by specialists when discussing your treatment options. So how your self-esteem and sex life should also be considered when making a decision about what to do, as well as how it effects your day-to-day life ( for example having to think about loo trips). The best advice I can give is to press for a referral and write a list of all the things that bother you - and take it with you! Don't be afraid to get it out at the end of the consultation and check you have covered everything. smile

surewoman Thu 25-Oct-12 23:21:31

Tink - hope you are feeling a bit better, you sounded so miserable in your post this morning. You will get fixed, you will have sex again (though I'm a fine one to talk grin) and life can only get better, so hang on in there! (((((hugs)))))) to you xxx

surewoman Thu 25-Oct-12 23:25:12

The absolute best thing for me about being fixed is how easy it is to use tampons again - hooray for that! (not to mention being able to sleep through the night, no bursting to go to the loo all the time, no dragging feeling, etc. etc. ) so do not give up hope ladies xxxx

wouldratherbeskiing Fri 26-Oct-12 08:21:28

Tinkx - I'm pleased they did agree to repair the cystocele at the same time as it will be over in one go rather than face more surgery later. I, and others on here have had the experience of having one repaired and then another needing to be done quite soon after because it is no longer supported by the opposite bulge. It is a very difficult decision but I am positive about a further repair as would rather give it a go than stay like this - have got over the anger of them not doing it all when they were 'in' the first time.

Sure - I seem to be past tampons - I would just like rid of the continued 'half in, half out, tampon feeling' - still dreaming of a fully repaired and operational V!

Have a good day everyone x

Sure - I got round the tampons thing by having a Mirena coil fitted several years ago, no more periods. Was a nightmare before that, my periods were really heavy after the birth of DD2, tampons were very hit and miss, I remember some really dreadful experiences in public toilets trying to sort myself out with baby and toddler in tow and me just not being able to get them in <shudders> with hindsight I should have used towels but I have always hated them. As for the mooncup, that was a waste of money, leaked everywhere.

nanaof2 Fri 26-Oct-12 10:13:11

morning ladies hope you are all recovering well and getting plenty of rest and those of you that are waiting for operations hope all goes. well this thread keeps me going knowing i am not the only one out there who is having problems and gives me hope that things will get better.
it has been just over 6 weeks since my operation the wees in the day are all back to normal now i just have to catheterise first thing in the morning now i dont cry now when doing it just get on with it my biggest fear is the water infections i have had 2 now(it is as a result of self catheterising)
i have just one question how long before all the stitches dissolve i am still finding a few coming away.
thankyou all for writing honestly on here it really does help people who have no one else to talk to x

Tr0ubled Fri 26-Oct-12 15:08:06

Nana, afraid I can't offer any advise re stitches as I'm still pre-op. I think you're incredibly brave self catheterising, they are one of my biggest fears and I cross my legs very tight just at the thought of them.

I had an appt with my consultant today and she confirmed my urodynamics results are normal which is great however I still feel (literally) that I have a cystocle. In fact often now when I splint I can't even get to the rectocele as there is such a bulge on my anterior wall. Anyway I discussed my concerns with the doc and also that many ladies on this thread have gone on to have cystocele problems after rectocele repair. She reassured me that they would thoroughly check for a cystocele once my muscles are completely relaxed under GA. She also said they will get me to sign a consent form for a cystocle repair and cervical suspension before I go into surgery, just incase they need doing. So I guess i'm happy that I have a pro-active consultant as opposed to one who wants to 'wait and see'. I just wish I knew exactly what I was having done prior to going in.

Glad your consultant is so open to making a decision based on what they find rather than just sticking to their protocol Troubled. Must be a bit nerve wracking, though, I remember having to sign consent for hysterectomy alongside consent for a EMCS with DC1 which was quite upsetting but I just had to hope for the best.

I'm wondering the same thing about stitches Nana, I'm only 4 weeks post op and no sign of any coming out yet.

ps, glad you are seeing improvements with the weeing Nana, hopefully the catheterisation will be over soon.

nanaof2 Fri 26-Oct-12 16:46:05

Troubled thankyou but i dont think i myself being brave i literally cried for a whole day when then told me i had to learn to self catheterise but after 4weeks of doing it i am just about accepting i have to do it but hopefully not for much longer now things are improving. I also signed a consent form with several things on it as they did not really know what they were going to do till they actual started .I ended up with an anterior and proterior repairs and a mirena coil
WhoKnows i just didnt realise how many stitches were up there be glad when then have all gone now feels like barbed wire

surewoman Fri 26-Oct-12 16:52:46

With regard to stitches - my first lot never fell out and I ended up having to have them surgically removed 3 months after the op, because the consultant I was under had used polypropelene thread which doesn't really dissolve angry

My second lot, the consultant used normal dissolvable stitches, the last of which went at about 5/6 weeks (of those that I could see). I think they started to dissolve at about 2/3 weeks, some quicker than others. They do suddenly go (and tend to pull a bit just before), and you will find them in your knickers or on loo paper!!! They should all have gone when you go for your 6+ week post op check.

Hope this helps
x

Footle Fri 26-Oct-12 17:25:46

TrOubled , really don't panic about having a routine catheter after the op. It was one of my main fears, but it was actually a bit of a non-event except in a good way. You wake up with it in place , but you're all woozy, and then you need to pee , and then you realize you haven't got to get up , it's all taken care of ! If it goes according to plan, the catheter will be hoiked out ( a nasty moment, but it is just a moment ) before the "packing" is taken out of your vagina, and that's that.
But what nanaof2 is going through is , thankfully, very unusual as far as I know. Nana, I hope this is over soon for you, it must be awful.

nanaof2 Fri 26-Oct-12 17:44:55

Troubled what Footle is saying is true it is unusal not being able to wee one in so many they told me and everytime i had to go back in to hospital over the first 3 weeks it did not happen to anyone else (my husband tells me i must be special lol)they just had the catheter taken out and went to the toilet so please dont worry about it x

gottagetthroughthis Sat 27-Oct-12 09:00:39

just wondering does anyone know how long you can use a ring pessary - i mean for years - would it be an alternative to the operation - its just I have a rectocile (which I was coping with) but now I think I have a cystocele and want to avoid having an operation but here in Northern Ireland they are very reluctant to offer an operation having one consultant more or less tell me (a man) it was in my head!! confused also my womb is fine it is not prolapsing?? dont understand all of this yet trying to get my head around this.hmm

wouldratherbeskiing Sat 27-Oct-12 09:40:05

I think you can use it for years - there are quite a number of different designs - mind boggling in fact. I was given the standard ring and I really did find it a life saver for a rectocele. I could really feel the difference if I took it out, especially walking etc. I haven't felt the need for it with the cystocele but I think I'm also reluctant because I would be worried about it upsetting the rectocele repair which I had done in March. I read all I could about pessaries and found stories of women who just popped them in for support for activities - one lady said she used it just for ballroom dancing. There is a chance of infection. I was lucky. I can't imagine keeping one in for 6 months which is apparently common shock. It's a shame more information isn't forthcoming from our GP's and consultants on pessaries.

Good luck x

Troubled the plus side of the catheter is that you can stay in bed for 24 hours post op. I was very wobbly on my pins when I first got out of bed 24+ hours after mine, would not have liked to get up sooner. I was able to wee no problem afterwards (although I only had rectocele repaired, which might make a difference).

Sure when you had the stitches surgically removed, what did it involve, did you have to go back to hospital for that? I'm 4.5 weeks now and no sign of mine coming out. My follw up appt is at 8 weeks.

Melady Sat 27-Oct-12 10:48:37

Found you! Hi Ladies,
I'm new to mums net. I'm 44 and not a new mother but have been suffering from the same problems as you girls for years. I have 3 kids -all 9.5lbs+ and born with their backs to mine so probably not surprising I have problems Youngest is 17 now so it's been going on for a long time, gradually getting worse.

I finally found the courage and spoke to my urologist (see him for a separate unrelated problem with kidney) and he sent me to urodynamics and then referred for TOT procedure.

Saw the registrar and she says I need TVT as they don't offer TOT at my local hospital. I heard that TOT is less likely to have complications??

She also mentioned that I have a 'bulge at the back' and that they'd look under general anaesthetic.

She told me about the TVT op but didn't cover the bulge and now I'm wondering what she meant and what it will mean for my recovery.

I'm self employed and can't take much time off. I work mainly sat at my PC and was told i should be ok aft 1 week, now I'm wondering after reading the threads if a 2nd repair would mean more time off.

I'd appreciate any advice you can offer.

Thanks girls
Mel x

Footle Sat 27-Oct-12 11:44:57

Lyttleangel , I was wondering if anyone has mentioned intussusception ( you might want to check the spelling ) as a possibility ? I know someone in real life who had this undiagnosed for years , and then Nanasylv who sometimes posts here , recently got the diagnosis after 16 years of increasing disability and misery.

I'm not a medical person so don't get your hopes up, but I've been thinking about you and decided it was worth mentioning.

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