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

(891 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.

bronnie98 Sun 17-Aug-14 23:23:40

Hello, I am new to this, hope I am posting in the right place... this is my 4th attempt smile

Long story short I had a 3b tear after the traumatic birth of my boy 5.5 months ago. Physio hasn't worked and saw a colorectal surgeon this week but I have had so many referrals feel like I am getting nowhere.

Main problems are urge incontinence, flatulence and muscle spasm with a lot of pain, apparently the problems should have settled down by now but they haven't. I couldn't imagine trying to have sex.

Could anybody who has had similar ongoing problems help with some advice on when they finally healed (if ever) and how? Don't need to know birth story just the after care bit. I am under the impression the nerves and muscles etc should have healed by now. I don't want to be like this forever, some days I am scared to leave the house.

Thank you in advance smile

cravingcake Wed 20-Aug-14 03:27:25

Welcome bronnie, i posted on your other thread - basically it will take quite a bit of time. For me it was 9 months to a year before things started feeling anything like normal.

How is everyone else doing?

Orange3Lemon Thu 21-Aug-14 20:47:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bronnie98 Sat 06-Sep-14 02:30:01

hello all, I have set up a fb group to discuss birth injuries if anybody would like to join, it is a closed group and so confidential smile https://www.facebook.com/groups/771932452853360/

Idrathernotsay Sat 06-Sep-14 23:22:49

Hi everyone,

Sorry to hear about problems others are having and thank you for previous messages of support.

Bronnie, I really feel for you. Hope things are improving slowly.

I am posting again because I am in a bit of a panic. Despite my problems I have mainly been fairly pain free. Over the last few days my scars have been quite painful, not agonising but stingy and tight when I sit down. I don't understand why this would be happening now as I'm well into the second year post-birth. I was a little worried there might be an infection or something although I don't see how I could have got one and couldn't see anything.

Cardamomginger, I have looked and things look pretty hideous but I would not contemplate any surgery for cosmetic reasons - I feel that I've been messed with enough down there and wouldn't want to risk anything that could potentially make things worse. I know that medically I'm considered to have had a good outcome.

The pain is a reminder of everything that has happened and everything that is wrong with me and I just want to cry. I feel like things are not getting any better and worry about them getting worse.

Does anyone know much about how scars heal in the longer term, and what is normal?

Impala77 Wed 17-Sep-14 19:51:35

Hi all, I'm after some advice.
I'm 11 weeks post op, I had rectocele and cystocele repair and perineum build up.
My problem is that my urinary symptoms are worse since surgery. Also I still have that "coming down" feeling I had before surgery and I also feel like something inside is catching or rubbing, it's quite uncomfortable. Is this normal after almost 3 months?

Impala77 Wed 17-Sep-14 20:21:25

Bronnie, i too had faecal incontinence after a forceps delivery and episiotomy. It does get better but it took several months and lots of physio. I did go on to suffer bowel and bladder prolapse which I've just had surgery for.(21 months after my dd's birth) I feel your pain i was housebound for months for fear of "accidents" the only thing is that now when I feel the urge to go it comes on quickly and i'm not sure if I could hold it if I left it too long. I too have suffered with body image i think in 21 months me and hubby have had sex 3 times and to be honest i wasnt into it cos of how i feel about my "bits". Hope you start to improve soon.

Gudgyx Tue 30-Sep-14 13:51:58

Hi all,

Hope you dont mind me popping in. My situation is a bit different from you guys, but it is about fistulas so I hope its okay to ask for some advice!

I have Crohn's disease, and from this I have developed some fistulas. 5 to be exact. I have 4 recto-vaginal and one bowel to bladder. As you can imagine, this is horrific. I have seton sutures in my RV ones, and take Humira to try and help these (also for my CD and rheumatoid arthritis). So yes they are all still open, and weeping.

I am also 17w 3d pregnant smile it is a consultant led high pregnancy due to my CD, RA and some other family issues.

Previously, my CD consultant and colo-rectal surgeon have always told me I couldnt cope with a natural birth, and would need a c-section. (Surgeons exact words were that I would 'burst right open' if I even attempted to push a baby out!)

I have my first pregnancy consultant on Friday, and am just hoping they wont try and make me have a natural birth, or try and talk me into it. I'm hoping it will be just as clear cut as the surgeon previously said it would be, a definate c-section.

Does anyone have advice/experience they can share?
xx

artyone Thu 02-Oct-14 21:24:50

Hi All, just checking in. I had another minor op today and am hopeful that things will get better now. They found I had some dead tissue under the skin which they think is the reason why the area was not healing. Fingers crossed my saga is over.

I just want to reassure anyone still having problems that it does improve, I've had times where I've felt like I was getting nowhere, but stand your ground and push for those referrals and things will happen.

Momforever Wed 10-Dec-14 11:37:38

Hi, I know it's a really long time since this post was started but I'm wondering if there is anyone out there for some handholding!!!! My story is waaaay less traumatic than any of these; second ds, ended up in theatre for episiotomy, which turned into a third degree tear. I recovered like a dream, which considering all the horror stories I had been told was amazing. I went for my 6 week pp check only at 10 weeks expecting to be told how amazing my wound looks but instead was told I have a perennial ridge which needs to be removed surgically under ga. my procedure is tomorrow and I am panicking really badly. No one can give me more info, the nurses all say it's a specialist procedure so they have no literature on it and (surprise surprise) google is turning up a blank!!!! Has anyone heard of this? Can they help? Tbh I don't really want to know what's going on there iykwim but would love to know what to expect. I'm so upset at the thought that my lady bits r gonna be under scrutiny AGAIN!!!! I feel like childbirth is pretty much dragging on forever!!!!

marzipanfiend Thu 11-Dec-14 09:33:14

Hi momforever. I think im in kind of similar situation. ...had a 'fentons proceedure' under ga last week to remove scar tissue/skin bridge on perineum after 4th degree tear in oct 2013...ga was nerve wrecking (but you ll have had it by the time you read this), recovery less painful than expected. Took painkillers solidly for three days then occasionally til yesterday. Was more bothered by 5 days of dizziness (presumably from ga??). Also felt very tearful and emotional. ..think trauma of birth maybe still not quite processed!
Now just hoping it's worked. ..follow up in jan. How did yours go?

marzipanfiend Thu 11-Dec-14 09:35:51

Oops nerve wracking!! Having baby messed up my brain as well as my body!!

marzipanfiend Thu 11-Dec-14 10:53:50

Also not how you spell procedure....can i blame general befuddlement from ga one week on??

Chalalala Mon 15-Dec-14 11:13:39

hi everyone, haven't posted here in a while, but in need of some clear-headed advice...

I had a 3c tear a year ago, with some transient faecal incontinence in the days after birth. The healing process was long and painful, but the physios/doctors who've glanced at it since all seemed to think it was going fine. I'm really not doing too badly, but I've developed a fissure that can't seem to heal, my scar still hurts (esp. around the back passage), and I've always felt uncomfortably tighter since - sex is ok, but it takes me a while to warm up, if you see what I mean.

Now I'm pregnant again, about 19 weeks, and I've been referred to a consultant to "discuss my birth options". I think I want an ELCS - I got a good scare, I still don't feel 100% back to normal, and I just don't want to risk further injuries.

Does this seem reasonable to you all? Or will the consultant call me a sissy and tell me to get on with it because CSs are major abdominal surgery? (pretty much what the midwife told me at my birth afterthoughts sessions)

Hugs to everyone, hope you are all getting on ok.

Chalalala Mon 15-Dec-14 11:17:46

forgot to say, my appointment is tomorrow grin

marzipanfiend Mon 15-Dec-14 21:50:23

hi chalala....no you are definitely not a sissy and I ve actually found the opposite with doctors so far....I had 4th degree tear with ds last year and had an ultrasound earlier this year which showed damage to
internal and external sphincter - symptoms are luckily quite mild (if a bit yuk) so not seeing colorectal drs however I have been having follow up with gynae dept for scar tissue on the perineum that needed operating on...Every single appointment I ve been to (and it feels like quite a lot) the doctor has asked if ive considered my next birth (not even ttc yet!) and then strongly advised me to go for elcs. so I think you can confidently say that is what you want to go for...if you need stats to back up your argument I posted something about the incontinence risks with a second tear around feb/march under the name bel2013. good luck and come back to let us know how it went!

Chalalala Mon 15-Dec-14 22:15:20

thank you marzipan - stats are good, I need everything I can get to not feel stupid!!

found your info, always worth reposting!

royal college of obstetrics and gynaecology quotes the following statistics from the green top guideline 'management of third and fourth degree perineal tear' ..... if symptomatic or abnormality on anorectal manometry or endoanal ultrasound, consider elective c section as 17-24% develop worsening faecal symptoms after subsequent vaginal delivery

actually googling your old username I see we had a few exchanges back in the day, I was Chacha23 :-)

marzipanfiend Mon 15-Dec-14 22:39:59

haha hi! congratulations on your pregnancy! maybe it was just that midwife?? I reckon if you just explain your reasons you will be okay...it seems to vary so widely between places that there cant be a right or wrong answer, just a matter of opinion, and a good dr should acknowledge that it should be your choice (and what a lovely choice!) good luck!

Chalalala Tue 16-Dec-14 22:22:05

thanks marzipan smile

and I am pleased to report SUCCESS!

not that I had much to do with it, in the end. The consultant was so lovely - she said, "your chances of a bad tear were 1% the first time, for a second time it'll be 3%, and if that happens you're at risk of lifelong incontinence. If that's not a risk you want to take, we can offer you an ELCS".

I asked if they could assess how well I had healed, to help my decision, and she replied that actually it was not really relevant to my risk of a second bad tear. That surprised me, but ok.

I also asked what she would do if it was herself or her daughter - she replied she'd go for the ELCS as it was so much less unpredictable.

all in all I'm very pleased. I only wish everyone encountered consultants as supportive as her. Oh and it confirms that the midwife who talked down to me at my afterthoughts did not know what she was talking about, HAH.

marzipanfiend Wed 17-Dec-14 07:02:09

brilliant chalala! please come back and tell us how it goes in about 20 weeks time smile would be great to hear someone else's experience of elcs vs bad tear (though I am pretty set on elcs next time already!!)

Chalalala Wed 17-Dec-14 07:37:40

will do, marzipan flowers

Bobsmyaunty Wed 04-Feb-15 12:37:42

Hi Raggedies - is this thread still going?

I posted about a year ago for some advice on my anal fissure, bowel probs and skin tags in the fanjo. You were all so helpful I'm hoping to get some good advice again now that I'm pregnancy with my second. I'm 38 week and today I have been offered the option of an elcs and wondered if anyone had gone for this is and if it helped?

Before I give you my backstory, I just wanted to say that I am in awe of all of you dealing with everything that is going on with your bodies. It is such a shock how much damage a 'natural' birth can do. Felt very unnatural in my case and it took me ages to get to come to terms with it. I am also SO pleased that threads like this exist. It's so hard to manage stuff like this if all your RL mum friends come out intact.

So my backstory is that after DD1 (induction, back to back, failed epidural, episitomy, ventouse, heamoragh), I suffered from an anal fissure for a year. Eventually cleared up on laxido and GTN. But for a large chunk of that time it was so bad I couldn't drive, I gave up bfeeding and eating really!

My bowels are also quite different now and I have to 'manage' them. I have 'urgency' and sometimes get spasm's of pain in my rectum. The urgency takes the form of feeling like my poo is a jaugernaut. I can feel it travelling down through my bowels, sending me the message that it WILL come out. I could hold on for maybe 5 minutes I reckon but that's probably it The same with wind - I just can't hold it like I used to. I find this relatively manageable, although when I went back to work briefly I found that stressful as I could be stuck in meetings where it wouldn't be polite to 'excuse myself' to go to the loo, like it is at the minute as a SAHM. So I guess I've never really been challenged to 'hold it in' and I would get very sweaty and stressed at the idea of having too!

I also had skin tags in my fanjo which had to be removed but that seems ok now - if anyone else has to have that day surgery I would recommend you go for it, it really was ok.

I should also add that my mum had bowel cancer very early in life and after the op (which saved her thankfully) experiences a lot of urgency so I feel I'm at risk of this in the future too.

Fast forward to this pregnancy. My midwife recommended I meet with the obstetrician/consultant because she felt I may need an elcs to avoid early incontinence issues, even if it wasn't immediately after birth.

The first consultant I saw was awful and said that there was no reason why I couldn't go on to have a vaginal birth - if I was incontinent it would be a different issue. I said I was trying to avoid getting becoming incontinent and got quite stubborn so she has referred me to someone else who I met today. I also paid privately to visit a colorectal consultant to get some specialist advice.

The colorectal consultant was really helpful and said that there may be some nerve damage which went undetected, however, they would be unable to do an examination because I am pregnant. She was more concerned about the urgency than the year long fissure. (Although I am still concerned about getting a year long fissure as it stopped me driving, eating etc)

Anyway - the fab consultant I saw today said she understood why I would want to avoid any further risk and it was my body, my choice. I almost hugged her and wept at her feet. She said pregnancy could equally take it's toll on my bowel and that I may still be prone to get a repeat fissure due to c section pain relief/drugs. She also said there were risks to tearing the bladder in the c section)

But at least now I have the option of an elcs. So I just wanted to see if anyone else had this experience and if it helped avoid further risks to bowel etc? And also how they managed constipation from c section pain relief?

I so hope this thread is still going. I have looked around for advice, but really there is so little out there.

Bobsmyaunty Wed 04-Feb-15 12:44:20

chalala just read your post! I did read about 10 of the 34 pages leading up to this but missed yours as I then skipped right to the end to post.

Glad you got the result you wanted and I am very much hoping everything goes well for you.

seaoflove Wed 04-Feb-15 12:58:07

Hi Bob

I had a 3b tear after having my first child in 2011, and am opting for ELCS for my second due in May. I didn't have too much trouble convincing the consultant, although he did completely dismiss my fears of tearing again (unlikely, apparently) and of worsening bowel symptoms even if I had a textbook vaginal birth. So he agree to it on mental health grounds.

I'm also a SAHM and manage any of bowel urgency simply by being home a lot! I also concerned about constipation post operatively (because I suffer badly from it anyway) but I'm hoping that as long as I get my usual dose of Movicol/Laxido (I'll bring some from home if I have to) and don't have too many constipating painkillers I should be OK.

marzipanfiend Wed 04-Feb-15 17:21:35

hi bob - I haven't been in your position yet but will be considering elcs when we get round to no.2 after 4th degree tear with ds1. I was thrown by sth a consultant said a few weeks ago - I was at my appointment finally being discharged 15 months after birth (surgery to remove scar tissue at entrance to vagina and investigations into anal sphincter muscles - mostly all fine now) and at the appointment the consultant said, oh well i d be happy for you to have a natural birth next time then we could do any repairs afterwards if needed!! This is after EVERY single person before her telling me on no account to have a natural birth! I still fully intend to have an elcs but would be very grateful if you could come back on here and let us know what you decide and how it goes. I hope you manage to find some people one step ahead to tell you how they got on.

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