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Calling all Raggedies - the THIRD Ragged Bits thread. Childbirth injuries, sphincter problems, fistulae... all welcome.

(828 Posts)
Jacksmania Fri 26-Oct-12 19:08:26

First thread here, May 2008 to June 2009.

Second thread here, June 2009 to Oct 2012.

Welcome everyone with ragged bits due to childbirth. We're sorry you had to find us, but we promise to hold your hand and listen.

There is no TMI here and nothing is too gross, too embarrassing or too horrible.

<lays out tea tray, buffet and alcoholic bar>

All welcome.

Neptuna Sun 17-Nov-13 10:27:06

cardamomginger thankyou for your thoughtful and detailed comments, you've given me a lot of information that I hadn't considered before.

I will definately ask Prof Dietz to refer me to another colorectal surgeon, preferably one with an expertise in birth injuries and not just your usual piles and fissures bum doctor. I agree I probably need the anal mamometry, I don't know why it wasn't suggested during my colorectal appointment. The entire appointment was about 20 mins and went something like this: discuss symptoms, be taken off to have endoanal scan, discuss results (both sphincters intact but thinned) told pelvic floor exercises will exercise external sphincter to help delay a bowel movement but won't help internal sphincter which stops passive release of gas, told internal sphincter must be damaged but can't be repaired (he thought there might be nerve damage too?) offered collagen injections to bulk up internal sphincter but told that won't be trialled until I'd completed my family...sent off on my way!

It does sound like I need someone to tell me if all my pelvic floor muscles are intact, and Prof Dietz has the technology to do this. Neither the gynae or the colorectal suggested pursuing that option, so many of them don't know what the hell is going on in terms of serious tears and pelvic floor damage!! I'm assuming your puborectalis tear wasn't identified after birth and therefore not stitched? I'm pleased to hear your incontinence has eased and wind control is improving!! Can you hold wind when standing/walking? I'm lucky in that I only had incontinence during the first 4 weeks after birth, but I still get bowel urgency and can't delay it very long. I'm ok at holding small amounts of wind if seated or lying down, no hope of holding it when standing or walking though and that's what has been distressing me.

As to physio, I'm very impressed you're scoring a 3.5, woot woot!!! My physio came recommended by a pelvic floor academic at my local university (Dr Pauline Chiarelli, she's written a few books etc on continence and 'women's waterworks'). Her speciality is pelvic floor and continence physiotherapy. I started in late June (birth was in late Feb this year) and scored 1/5 for both vaginal and anal strength...was quite upsetting! As of now I'm scoring a 4 for vaginal strength but just a 3 for anal strength. The balloon I've been using got me from a 2 to a 3 in the back passage but my progress is now starting to plateau, I might ask about the electronic stimulator and see what she thinks. I will definately take Dietz's advice though on whether I need to see someone else as I really need to be as strong as I possibly can be. How long have you been doing physio for? Do you have to do exercises on a daily basis?

Thanks again for your input, better advice than most of the doctors I've seen!! If you have any further information about tearing, the pelvic floor, incontinence etc I'm all ears. I always feel better about a situation I can't 'control' if I'm armed with as much information as possible. Also, I can't remember if I read it or not on this thread but I can't recall what happened at your birth? Was it a 3rd/4th degree tear too?

xx

cardamomginger Sun 17-Nov-13 11:26:35

Hi Neptuna - glad to help grin!

Hmmm. If you are scoring 4 for vaginal and 3 for bum, then an electronic stimulator might not be that appropriate. I think it is more helpful when you just can't get past 0, which was true in my case. Did you get any response from tr0ubled on the prolapse thread about the biofeedback she was getting? It was suggested for me, but I didn't pursue it as I've just had far too much other stuff going on and, right now, I just can't face it. It is interesting that you were referred to colorectal right away. When my bum problems came to light I was referred to another uro-gynae who takes a special interest in the bum side of birth injuries. My surgery has included rectocele repair and this has been done by my uro-gynae surgeon. (As far as I remember, tr0ubled saw a colorectal surgeon as well as the uro-gynae because she had an anal fissure that needed repairing.) I'm wondering whether you would be better juts being dealt with by a uro-gynae, or whether the referrals that you had reflect the way specialities are divided up in Australia. Another question for Prof D, maybe?

One thing you haven't mentioned (I don't think!) is whether you are still BF. Or how long ago you stopped. I think BF can delay recovery in these respects. And even if you didn't BF, it is still VERY VERY early days fro you in terms of the recovery you can expect to achieve. The fact that you are already scoring 4 and 3 is great news for you, and I think you can expect to get stronger and have better endurance as time goes on. This can only help you with your symptoms.

As for me, it's all been a bit of a car crash. I 'only' had a second degree tear - that was the one that severed my puborectalis. I also ripped through my urethra and my clitoris. I was stitched, but with the wrong suture and the muscle opened up, although (most) of the skin healed. To cut a very long and tedious story short I ended up with grade 3 uterine prolapse, grade 3 front wall/bladder prolapse, grade 3/4 back wall/rectal prolapse and an enterocele (very high vaginal/intestinal) prolapse. These were repaired in a various stages in a total of 3 operations. I also had my puborectalis repaired and the vagina refashioned. There is a chance I may need a very small fourth operation to remove a tag on the back wall of my vagina - I can feel it and it is really irritating me. I also damaged my coccyx and left sacro-iliac joint have had treatment from an orthopaedic surgeon for those injuries. In terms of symptoms, I had faecal incontinence, urinary incontinence, pain (who wrote the lie that prolapse doesn't hurt??), dragging, infection, couldn't walk that far or that well. I gave birth to DD in September 2010 and I had my third surgery in February this year. I'm still having physio. It's taken this long, partly because it took time for the extent of my injuries to show up - prolapse can take time to reveal itself, especially if the muscles are traumatised and in spasm, and sometimes as one prolapse is repaired, others then appear - they are not new, they were always there, it's just that the tissue was being held back and up by another bit of prolapse, if you see what I mean. I've been having physio since summer 2011, with gaps for the surgery. I do my exercises every day. As well as the neurotrac probe and pfes, I'm now having to use a dilator to stretch out the scar tissue.

All a bit shit really sad.

cravingcake Tue 19-Nov-13 10:28:46

Neptuna yes my elcs will be booked for 39 weeks, I've got consultant in a couple of weeks to confirm dates and its written in my notes that should I go into labour naturally then I should be given C-section straight away. I'm still very anxious about it but am now starting to carry my notes all the time, which I also have copies of the letters from my consultants I saw during my recovery and follow up that should I have any more children a C-section should be the delivery mode.

I didn't have the smearing issue before this pregnancy so I'm hopeful that it will go away once baby is here and some of the weight has come off. But I am seeing my GP later this week about it in case there's something that can be done for the short term.

I totally understand the anger towards others who haven't been through what we all have. I still have times when I wonder what if I'd done something different or why did this happen to me and not someone else, but through counselling it has helped me accept that I cant change it and to try to move on. Doesn't make it better when having a bad day but helps generally. And please do feel free to rant about it as much as you need to on here, its a very emotional recovery as well as physical which anyone who hasn't been through similar just cant understand. I was talking with a friend at the weekend about how I went to physio and she never realised that its a very 'internal' and intrusive and uncomfortable thing to have to do. I remember trying to explain to one friend not long after the birth of my DS who was telling me her planned C-section was no walk in the park (I'm sure its not easy) just what I'd been through, even the simple check ups are a get naked and let the doctors have a good old poke about affair which I just hate but have to be done. She didn't get it and still doesn't.

Whoops, gone on a bit longer than I meant to there. Hope everyone is doing ok.

Neptuna Tue 19-Nov-13 10:33:27

cardamomginger I'm very shockshockshock at what's happened to you after only a 2nd degree tear!! And it's not a bit shit, it's really shit!!!! Were the tears into the urethra and clitoris repaired properly? I've heard of ladies tearing their urethra and developing scar tissue there which can cause all kinds of trouble with weeing. Is your urinary incontinence improved/improving? I still have some urge incontinence, can't hold a number 1 as long as I used to and occasionally a little may dribble out, it's slowly getting better though.

I'm very angry for you that the wrong sutures were used and the muscle opened up. Were you able to make a complaint about that at all? I'm glad to hear the prolapses have all been fixed but blimey, what a shit hand you've been dealt. Was this all caused by the severed puborectalis not providing enough support to the pelvic floor? And you said your sphincters had thinned, I don't understand. I thought sphincter damage only occurred as a result of a 3rd or 4th degree tear? I hope your pain has disappeared as a result of all your surgeries. Will you be having any more children once you feel properly healed? It seems a further pregnancy can weaken the area again, and that some women keep their current symptoms whole others deteriorate further and this can be hard to predict.

It's good to hear you've had such progress in physio and that they hope to be able to get you up to a 4. Was there any reason given why you can't get back to a 5? In answer to your question yes I'm still breastfeeding (my DD turns 9 months this week and still loves the boobie!) but I've been using estrogen cream vaginally for a few months now to help the tissues recover, not sure if this is as good as stopping breastfeeding though. I know you say it's still early days in terms of my recovery, but all the doctors I've seen seem to think that if I was to get back to normal it would've happened by now and that I should prepare myself for the fact that my symptoms may not improve, which is discouraging. I really hope they're wrong!

I was referred to the colorectal cause the gynae was clueless about the bum troubles I was having, and the policy is that any women who remain symptomatic at 6 months PP should be referred to a colorectal surgeon for further testing. I haven't seen an urologist or urogynae but Prof Dietz has experience in that area and may know where else to send me, along with another colorectal referral....it's all swings and roundabouts getting answers isn't it?? I bet you've had similar frustrations over the years in getting attention from different doctors.

I haven't gotten around to asking tr0ubled yet but will do so, thanks for the reminder. It's been lovely to talk to someone about it all, as it's not the kind of thing one can discuss in real life. How have you coped with the mental side of things? I've been struggling with that mire as of lately sad

Neptuna Tue 19-Nov-13 10:35:19

cardamomginger I'm very shockshockshock at what's happened to you after only a 2nd degree tear!! And it's not a bit shit, it's really shit!!!! Were the tears into the urethra and clitoris repaired properly? I've heard of ladies tearing their urethra and developing scar tissue there which can cause all kinds of trouble with weeing. Is your urinary incontinence improved/improving? I still have some urge incontinence, can't hold a number 1 as long as I used to and occasionally a little may dribble out, it's slowly getting better though.

I'm very angry for you that the wrong sutures were used and the muscle opened up. Were you able to make a complaint about that at all? I'm glad to hear the prolapses have all been fixed but blimey, what a shit hand you've been dealt. Was this all caused by the severed puborectalis not providing enough support to the pelvic floor? And you said your sphincters had thinned, I don't understand. I thought sphincter damage only occurred as a result of a 3rd or 4th degree tear? I hope your pain has disappeared as a result of all your surgeries. Will you be having any more children once you feel properly healed? It seems a further pregnancy can weaken the area again, and that some women keep their current symptoms whole others deteriorate further and this can be hard to predict.

It's good to hear you've had such progress in physio and that they hope to be able to get you up to a 4. Was there any reason given why you can't get back to a 5? In answer to your question yes I'm still breastfeeding (my DD turns 9 months this week and still loves the boobie!) but I've been using estrogen cream vaginally for a few months now to help the tissues recover, not sure if this is as good as stopping breastfeeding though. I know you say it's still early days in terms of my recovery, but all the doctors I've seen seem to think that if I was to get back to normal it would've happened by now and that I should prepare myself for the fact that my symptoms may not improve, which is discouraging. I really hope they're wrong!

I was referred to the colorectal cause the gynae was clueless about the bum troubles I was having, and the policy is that any women who remain symptomatic at 6 months PP should be referred to a colorectal surgeon for further testing. I haven't seen an urologist or urogynae but Prof Dietz has experience in that area and may know where else to send me, along with another colorectal referral....it's all swings and roundabouts getting answers isn't it?? I bet you've had similar frustrations over the years in getting attention from different doctors.

I haven't gotten around to asking tr0ubled yet but will do so, thanks for the reminder. It's been lovely to talk to someone about it all, as it's not the kind of thing one can discuss in real life. How have you coped with the mental side of things? I've been struggling with that more as of lately sad

Neptuna Tue 19-Nov-13 10:39:45

Whoops posted twice blush

I will reply to you tomorrow cravingcake, bedtime now!

cardamomginger Tue 19-Nov-13 21:58:49

Hi Neptuna!

Thanks for the shock - I'm still a bit shock about it all grin. "Only" a second degree tear! Yeah - I think part of the problem is that the classification only considers how far a tear extends longitudinally and which muscle groups are torn, not how deep a tear may be. Classification of second degree tears is particularly unhelpful in this respect as they may include tears that just nick into the pelvic floor muscle by a millimetre or tow, and those, like mine, that completely sever the deep muscles. They get coded the same, yet the impact is very different. (And tears are only considered as they go backwards through the perineum - no classification at all for tears that go forwards through the urethra.)

Yes, my urethra was stitched, and yes it has healed (they don't stitch the clitoris). The urethral sphincter is weak and thin and has contributed to my urinary incontinence. There was talk of bulking injections at one point, but my surgeon isn't keen. They are tricky to get right, and don't last so need repeating after a few years. So far I've managed without them. I had a colposuspension to hoik up the bladder and urethral prolapse, which helped with the urinary incontinence. I've also had a bladder infection for the past 3 years (now seeing an immunologist about this and hopefully we are finally making some progress) so some of the feelings of impending incontinence have been due to this. And after one lot of surgery (I forget which!) I had urge incontinence which was successfully treated with medication. Disentangling the different causes of incontinence and what to do about them has been quite difficult. But, to answer your question much more quickly that I have so far, yes, I am much much better. I haven't done anything to put any real stress on the system yet (e.g. running) and, to be honest, I am not sure I will ever run again, as I am just too scared of damaging things. Running is the real test - so who knows? But, for now, and for what I am doing in my life, it's holding and I am dry. As for pain - I'm no longer in pain every day, but I am once or twice a week. Usually it is manageable, and it continues to lessen as the months go by, so I am optimistic that it will lessen further over time. Periods aren't great and if I overdo it (as I did on holiday last week), then I pay for it. I can now exercise though, and this is helping me build up my strength. The reason why my physio thinks a 5 is unrealistic is just the level of damage and the amount of surgery I have had - I've been messed about with so much, it's just not going to happen.

I did complain about the stitches. They used a stitch appropriate for skin and mucosa to stitch the muscle layers (I got hold of a copy of my notes and went through them with my surgeon). I complained. They're not interested. I investigated legal action. Nothing doing. I occasionally fantasise about going back to the hospital with a machine gun and a bag of grenades, but mostly I don;t think about them any more. But then again I haven't been in the situation where I've had to go into, or even past, that hospital and possibly I'd be feeling very differently if the building was still part of my life. (All my subsequent treatment has been elsewhere.)

You asked about anal sphincter thinning. As I understand it from a few gynaes I've spoken to about this, the anal sphincters can still be damaged even where there is no 3rd or 4th degree tear, if there has been a prolonged pushing stage (as I had). This puts so much pressure and stress on the muscles that they stretch out and become less effective in that way. That is also at least part of the explanation for the multiple prolapses - I had a prolonged pushing stage. A key factor in my case is that I am hypermobile, and due to the abnormal degree of elasticity in my tissues, this put me at greater risk of prolapse. It also put me at greater risk of bad tearing and coccyx damage, because along with greater elasticity, other muscles, particularly the pelvic floor, often go into severe spasm and simply will not relax enough to let a baby out. So she pretty much had to rip and batter her way through me to get out. Nice. Not. Of course, no one sodding well told me any of this until after the event. I am pretty bitter about that and still blame myself on a regular basis for not doing my homework thoroughly enough to ensure a safe outcome for both me and my baby.

I really think you will still see improvement - in your strength and in your symptoms. When you finish BF and after your hormones have normalised (12 weeks is it?) you should see a difference. Even discounting BF it is very early days for you yet. I think what you've been told that this is as good as it will get is just wrong.

XX

Jacksmania Wed 20-Nov-13 21:07:36

Sorry Neptuna, I'd missed your post to me a few posts back.
No, no chance of having the op somewhere else, unless I want to go through the entire process of being referred to another urogynaecologist, and waiting a further year. There are not many of them around (I'm on the West Coast of Canada, not in the UK) and I like this one, so I'll have to suck it up.
And of course he's not taking out my ovaries. They're perfectly healthy and as far as I know, not falling down, unlike everything else [thank fuck emoticon]. If I were menopausal or close to it, I suppose it might be a different story, but as far as I know, the protocol is to preserve the ovaries whenever possible.

Neptuna Sat 23-Nov-13 10:05:37

Hi everyone, we're in teething hell here. The DD is cutting in both top and bottom pairs at once, aaarrrgh!!

cardamomginger I agree about the classification of some years, they break a 3rd degree tear into 3a, 3b and 3c (and there is a huge difference between 3a and 3c) and yet there's no similar system for 2nd degree tears. Like you said, it could be so minor it's just a bad 1st degree or so extensive it's almost a 3a tear. I'm surprised they don't classify tears that tear upwards, I've heard of this happening to a few women and don't understand why it doesn't have a classification.

I'm glad your surgeries have helped with the urinary incontinence! The bulking agent you mentioned was the same thing that was suggested to me to use on the internal anal sphincter to help control wind. It sounds like the success rate wasn't overly high, not sure if it's the same when used with the urethra though. Three years is a long time to have a urinary infection! I really hope you can get some more answers about that from the immunologist. I've heard of women having repeat infections after delivery before, and I hope it's able to be treated quickly and successfully for you soon.smile

I'm with you there on the running sad my physio has forbidden me from any running, heavy weights, aerobics or pushing the pram (buggy? Stroller?) up a steel hill until at least 18 months PP, but she's actually told me she doesn't think they're activities I should really be doing at all anymore as it'll just increase my chance of prolapse and worsening incontinence. Makes me sad but I'm happy to avoid those activities to help my recovery. Are you able to do other activities you like, such as swimming or cycling? I love swimming but not much time for it with a 9 month old!

I'm sorry to hear you won't get back to a strength level of 5, but hey never say never!! My physio said most women after birth rarely get back to a 5 (unless they work hard at it) but I guess without significant tearing/prolapse it probably wouldnt affect them symptom-wise. The colorectal dr said if I could get to a 4 or 5 in the anal sphincters it should help with the wind problem, any weaker than that wouldn't have much of a chance of holding it. Really hope we both get to a 4 at least there!!!!!! Lots of wine and cake if we do!!

I'm also very angry angry angry that your complaint about the stitches was fibbed off, rarrrrgh!! I mean people sue for minor whiplash these days and get compensation. Your case was more than justified and you deserve to have that acknowledged by the hospital. I don't blame you for going back with a machine gun and grenades!! How was it that you didn't have a case? If your files stated the wrong sutures were used isn't it an obvious mistake? Or did they try to pin it on the "childbirth is damaging in the majority of cases regardless of repair technique blah blah" theory?

I've heard the sphincter-damage-without-external-tearing idea too. The colorectal dr said up to 30% of women show sphincter defects on endoanal ultrasound after vaginal delivery, but he said most remain asymptomatic until much later in life and it's usually the 3rd or 4th degree-ers who notice problems straight away. If so many women have this form of damage though, surely there's other women out there who have bum troubles too but don't talk about it? It would make me feel better in any case if I knew I wasn't the only one! ( along with you lovely ladies of course grin). Also, if this sort of damage is possible and mostly irreparable, why aren't we all just having cesareans? No one certainly told me it was possible to be left incontinent after childbirth, I thought it was only a thing that happened to old ladies! There's no discussion of it in antenatal classes or the pregnancy books, which I think is outrageous. Women have a right to be told, even if it only happens in a small pecentage, and that's why you shouldn't blame yourself for what happened, even though it's natural to do so (I blame myself too). I thought hypermobility may have been a cause for my tear (which had no reason! Tiny 2.7kg bub, 25 minutes pushing, no interventions) but I don't fit any of the symptoms so the mystery continues I suppose.

Yes I do hope you're right and my symptoms continue to improve, I really do. I've always been hard on myself and I've been getting very down lately as I feel broken, disgusting and like my body is a failure. I know it's not but I can't help but feel that way! sad

Neptuna Sat 23-Nov-13 10:25:22

Whoops lots of typos and mistakes there, can't edit though as I'm on my phone angry. And I know you didn't actually go to the hospital with a gun and grenades cardamomginger!

Jacksmania glad to hear you're keeping the ovaries, sorry if I sounded a bit ignorant about that as I don't know much about hysterectomies! I'll be thinking about you over the coming months as you prepare for your surgery (((hug)))

cravingcake I don't blame you for being anxious about going into labour, I'd be a nervous wreck! Was your first bub early or late? Mine was 13 days early and labour came on very quickly, only lasted around 6 hrs, so I'd be very worried about going early too. Let me know when you get your c section date as I'll have lots of Qs to ask!! I hope the GP can suggest something helpful for the smearing apart from 'wear a liner'. So many of them just don't get it and brush it off, it makes you feel worse. sad One told me to 'just eat less fruit' re the wind problem or even muffle it with cotton wool up the bum crack shock!! I'm sure they'd feel differently if they lived even 1 day with these problems.

Thanks for giving me permission to rant, lol! I am angry. I'm sick of people saying "everybody tears" or "well I had 15 stitches, bet you didn't have that many" and especially "at least you have a healthy baby"! It's not fair, I didn't do anything wrong. I read all the books, exercised, ate well. Didn't use ANY pain relief (stupid move as I was screaming down the walls in agony) and even stayed at home until transition. Listened to the midwives, cooperated and put up with appalling post-natal care when I was told to "get up and change your baby, you haven't had a Cesar you know." Other mothers don't care, don't understand, can't relate. I feel like I'm in someone else's body, don't feel like me anymore and don't want to accept that this is the body I've now got. I keep wishing I could go back and relive the days before the birth when I felt 'normal'. And yet I want to move on, don't want to feel like this forever but find it hard to accept the new reality. I suppose I'll get there one day...

Rant over blush

cardamomginger Mon 25-Nov-13 17:14:04

Hi Neptuna. Sorry it's been a couple of days - I think this slipped down the page and I just missed it.

I really feel for you. So much of what you were saying in the reply to cravingcake struck a cord. The self blame. The I didn't do anything wrong. Other people's attitudes really pressing a button. Feeling like you are living in someone else's body. Have you thought about getting some therapy? I've been having EMDR for PTSD and, although I still have a long way to go, it has helped. I am less 'stuck' if you know what I mean.

I certainly share your rage at the fact that the real risks of childbirth are downplayed and it's only when the shit hits the fan that the true stats seem to come out. When I was pregnant, my doula also minimised the risks and, when I mentioned the threads here describing the injuries and the trauma, she said that she thought that lots of the stories were either made up or exaggerated. To my eternal shame, I accepted this sad. In my (not very good) defence, I was a MN newbie and so very much wanted to believe that these sorts of catastrophic experiences were almost unheard of.

I am back at the gym. I can do the exercise bike and other low impact cardio. Hate swimming, so that's out! I am doing some weights and a lot of core work - pilates, yoga, barre. I have also got back to dancing, which is really good for me! I miss the running, but I'm kind of OK with it - I feel my boxes are being ticked in terms of exercise and what I want to get out of it.

Today was your appointment with the Prof, wasn't it? How did it go? Any answers?

cardamomginger Mon 25-Nov-13 17:17:16

Oh and yes, the lawyer I spoke to said that unfortunately the hospital would just say that even if it had been stitched correctly, there is no guarantee that the stitching wouldn't have failed. To me that's bonkers, like saying well, I'm sorry we didn't do CPR when your husband had a heart attack, cardamom, but heart attack patients often die anyway...

TBH a lawsuit, even one I was likely to win, would probably just tip me over the edge.

cravingcake Mon 25-Nov-13 22:25:42

Hi everyone, we're away from home for the week so only on my phone so please excuse typos etc.

I saw my gp last week, had a good chat about my anxiety and she really reassured me so feeling alot better. Regarding my current poo issues and scar pain theres nothing safe i can take or use so its back to physio urgently for me, and she said also to discuss everything with my consultant next week when i see them in case they can suggest anything.

So generally feeling a lot better and slightly more in control for now, and i have 2 weekly appointments with midwife or consultant now until baby arrives.

My DS arrived at 38+4 after my waters going at 38+1 and was 8lb 2oz so a good weight, and complete with rugby player shoulders (had shoulder dystocia too) and i do think our bodies generally tend to follow a trend so yup a little worried about early labour but theres nothin i can do so i'm just making sure i have my notes handy at all times now, just in case.

Jacksmania Wed 27-Nov-13 07:17:07

Neptuna, it's my turn to say I'm sorry, I re-read my post and didn't mean to sound so cranky. flowers
Unless the ovaries are diseased, they're usually left in when the patient isn't menopausal. So they don't catapult you straight into menopause. Interestingly, where I live (West Coast of Canada) they started taking out the Fallopian tubes with hysterectomies and even when women were in for voluntary sterilisarion, because they've found that the majority (80% plus) of ovarian cancers arise in the tubes. And that was a protocol initiated right here in Vancouver, at BC Women's Hospital. [proud Canadian emoticon]

Jacksmania Wed 27-Nov-13 07:21:54

Aargh, I meant to say, this surgical protocol was initiated just over ten years ago, and the rate of ovarian cancer has dropped drastically - so thumbs up to Dr. Diane Miller who pushed it through (she was the head of the BC College of OB/GYN) even though she was laughed out of the first conference she presented her findings and theories to. 10 years later it's now standard across Canada (AFAIK) and she's been well vindicated.
Now if we could only get her to turn her attention to birth injuries... I bet this lady could get some changes made sad

Neptuna Thu 28-Nov-13 09:56:09

Hi everyone,

Thanks again for all your replies smile

cardamomginger I'm still angry for you at what that lawyer said regarding the incorrect use of sutures but I understand what you mean about persuing a lawsuit tipping you over the edge. Even if you were to success in gaining some financial compensation the added stress and impact on your mental health isn't worth it. Speaking of mental health I've only recently (like 3 weeks ago) been to see my GP about all the thoughts in my head and how angry/upset I am about it all, not so much that the tear happened but the fact that I'm still dealing with physical symptoms 9 months later that cause me distress. He got me onto seeing a psychologist and we're trialling some anti-Ds. There was a lot of upheval in my life just before I got pregnant and during the pregnancy so this latest series of events since the birth has been just a bit too much to cope with! I'm hoping it'll help me to deal with the anger and resentment and come to accept my body the way it is, without feeling repulsed by it!

I'm still livid that women aren't told the real risks of vaginal birth, no matter how small the stats are. I personally think it's a conspiracy theory by the government to keep costs down, as if more women knew then more would be electing to have cesars and that drives up costs.

Prof Dietz was good, he was a bit like me really, angry that more women aren't being made aware of the risks if vaginal birth and passionate about spreading the word although he did admit that it is impossible to predict which women will have a shitstorm of a birth and which women will come out fine. He did an ultrasound of my entire pelvic floor and said it all looked pretty good, no major gaps or 'avulsions' and the muscles were still anchored to the pelvis albiet a little less fleshy/bulky than before. He scanned my bottom too and said the external sphincter look fine, although there were a couple of small defects. The internal sphincter had thinned in one section (this is all the same as what the colorectal surgeon saw). He was adamant I wouldn't need further surgery but couldn't really comment on the wind problem and how to fix it apart from waiting more time, continuing with physio and seeing another colorectal with experience in damage from childbirth. He gave me the names of two colorectal surgeons I could see that had experience in this area so I will endeavor to get a referral organized and try to schedule yet another appointment!! What exactly have you been told about the wind problem seeing as your sphincters have thinned, have they suggested it will get back to 100% or might you need bulking agent in the internal sphincter, as was suggested to me? My physio seems to think I won't get 100% control back as 5 months of pf exercises havent helped too much, harrumph!!

So glad to hear you're able to do so many different forms of exercise! I'm pretty much restricted to walking with a young bub, or swimming if someone can take her for an hour or so but that doesn't happen very often. I do miss the gym but I'm so worn out these days I don't think I'd have the energy for it anyway! Hopefully that'll change a bit once breastfeeding stops.

Neptuna Thu 28-Nov-13 10:07:26

Arrgh sorry again for all the typos, stupid phone!

Aw Jacksmania you don't have to apologize! But thanks for the thanks I love thanks Dr. Diane Miller does sound fantastic, I wish there were more movers and shakers like her in the field of obstetrics/gynaecology/colorectal surgery looking after us women as we perpetuate the species. If men gave birth I reckon all these problems would've been ironed out decades ago!!!!! angry angry angry

Hi cravingcake hope you're enjoying the weekend away!! I'm glad your GP was able to reassure you so much, being pregnant is hard enough without worrying about your bum/crotch area! confused Hopefully your consultant can suggest something to help as well. Could you take metamucil to make the stools more bulky?

Good thing you're carrying your notes around, hope you don't go early though, scary!! My DD was born at 38+1 so worried I'd go early too...

What are you planning for anaesthetic for the Cesar? Epidural/spinal scares the living daylights out of me!!!

Jacksmania Sun 01-Dec-13 20:30:04

When this thread is done, would anyone shaw like to take over keeping an eye on it/moderating?
I've done the this one, and the one before. I sort of took over from the lovely Cyee. Knowing that my op is coming up in the next few months, and not being in the best frame of mind about it, I was hoping someone else would like to volunteer.

Jacksmania Sun 01-Dec-13 20:30:52

"Shaw" => else

Wtf. Autocorrect.

cardamomginger Mon 02-Dec-13 17:15:59

Sure - I'll be happy to do it smile.

Sorry not to have replied Neptuna - just heading out now and will reply this evening. XX

Neptuna Tue 03-Dec-13 02:58:18

No worries cardamomginger smile

Jacksmania I'll probably hang around for a while, it's nice to talk to ladies with similar experiences but I'm not sure how much help I'll be as I'm not as well informed as all of you! I haven't had any further surgery (yet) either. Sorry you're feeling so crappy about the upcoming op sad (((hugs))) Do you think you'll feel better once it's done, as in it is the anticipation that's causing the turmoil, or just the fact that you have to have it at all? I hope your husband and family are being supportive, it's so hard if you feel alone in it all (((((((bigger hug))))))

Jacksmania Tue 03-Dec-13 12:07:39

Oh, do stay and chat, Neptuna! It doesn't matter if you have any advice to give, just being around to give support helps too.
We also have a Ragged Bits Chat quiche on FB, it's a secret group so what we post doesn't end up floating around the internet. PM me or cardamomginger if you'd like to join us.

I think it's a number of things that are weighing me down. It's all dragged on so long, by the time I'll have had this done it'll be six years since DS's birth. It's hard to believe, one shit birth and six years later I'm minus a uterus. How the fuck does that happen????
And I really thought I was done with it all, until my prolapse worsened so noticeably the summer of 2012. That was a shocker.
Also, I'm worried about what's going to happen to my abdominal strength after, since it has to be an abdominal incision. I'm very vain but also terribly insecure, and a flat stomach means a lot to me. As does being really strong - I love my power yoga, and being able to rock arm balances and inversions, and what if I lose all of that, or some of it?
What if my ovaries do quit and I'm suddenly in menopause at 45? I don't look my age, and what if I end up in some kind of hormonal shitstorm and end up feeling like some alien has taken over my body?
I'm scared. I really am, and going about my business everyday pretending I'm fine is taking a toll.
Of course I'm not the first woman who's had this done, and wah-wah-wah, poor me. I should check out the prolapse and hysterectomy support threads but I'm a bit scared of reading more horror stories.

Sigh. Rant over.

cravingcake Tue 03-Dec-13 13:18:07

Jacks, what a rough time you are having. I don't have any words to offer which will help, just <<<<hugs>>>>>

I'll still be hanging about on the thread but not sure how often I'll get on here but will keep an eye on it too.

cardamomginger Tue 03-Dec-13 21:20:50

Yes Neptuna - please stay and chat grin!

Jacks sad. When you think about the time frame, it just kills. I'm only 3 and a bit years post birth, but realising that I am STILL having medical treatment and may STILL need another op (v v small, hopefully!) makes me want to scream.
As for the stomach issue. I had an abdominal incision for my first operation - colposuspension and uterine suspension. It's about 10cm long and is roughly where a CS incision would have been. It has made zero difference to my ab strength - any difference has been due to all the internal stuff, mainly the pelvic floor surgery, and this won't apply to you. The initial swelling took quite a while to go down, and I had some pretty impressive bruising. In the longer term, there was some swelling still for at least 6 months. I have a flat stomach - no puckering, no overhang, no nothing. Occasionally, if I overdo it I get a bit of swelling - but I think that is because the ligaments he tightened around the uterus are getting pulled, so that won't be an issue for you.
In short - my abdominal surgery was so much easier to recover from than my vaginal surgery. I had a full range of movement by day 2-3 (mainly once I'd stopped mainlining morphine and wasn't all trippy all the time grin). If I had a choice I'd got for abdominal over vaginal in a heartbeat. I'm happy to chat more about it, if you want. (Don't know if you will need a suprapubic catheter post surgery? I had one, and actually really liked it.)

Hi Neptuna smile. I'm glad you felt comfortable with Prof D. I'm pleased he shared the outrage about not informing women of the true risks of VB. He seems to have been very thorough. Are you happy with what he said? Are you planning to see the colorectal surgeon? Seems like a good idea to get an opinion from one. Does Prof D want to see you again? Did he say anything about the physio you are seeing and the exercises you are doing?

No one mentioned bulking agents for my anal sphincters. When I last saw the gynae who specialises in colorectal issues before my last lot of surgery in February, I was supposed to do biofeedback with my physio and then go back and see him. I haven't done any of this - I feel like I need to concentrate on the pelvic floor and vagina, and I'm just too traumatised by what I've been through and by what I still have to do (I'm finding the continued physio is taking a toll) to start sticking probes up my bum. Quite whether he would suggest bulking agents I don't know. No one ever said anything about holding in wind. I mentioned it as a problem, but because there was so much other stuff going on that was much more distressing and much more pressing, I never really asked about it. If I stand still I can usually hold it in, and that kind of works for me at the moment. I'm also on shedloads on antibiotics, which make things rather more gassy than they should be. If/when I ever come off these, I'm hoping my stomach will ease and I won't be quite so farty blush!

cravingcake Tue 03-Dec-13 22:58:51

Neptuna i'm planning on epidural/spinal for elcs but i'm very nervous about it so will be discussing in detail (hopefully) with my consultant on thursday. I am hoping that new baby will be enough of a distraction & i can focus on baby rather than what is happening to me.

I had a skin tag removed from my perrenium early this year and that was with local anesthetic and was really horrible as i was in almost exact same position as giving birth, it took a lot of controlled breathing and the staff were very good. If you do end up needing any procedures i'd recommend opting for a general for peace of mind.

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