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

(910 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.

Jayj87 Sat 30-Jul-16 22:05:48

I had surgery back in April and it's the best desicion I've ever made. When I had the op it took a while for swelling to go and everthing to settle but it now looks and feels great. I had surgery on the nhs, they were reluctant to do the procedure and told me I may have issues afterwards but I don't. They also said the same to me, to think twice about having the op just incase I want further children. I was very unhappy and made me very depressed so waiting wasn't an option. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

NTM12 Sat 30-Jul-16 20:47:10

1oldnewmum - I also had awful injuries after giving birth similar to yours. Who did you see in London? I saw 3 consultants and have had surgery with one which has helped a lot although I do need to have another operation. Pm me if you'd like to discuss in more detail.

CoconuttyOil Thu 28-Jul-16 21:57:10

I would recommend the team at Oxford Manor hospital - urogynae and colorectal teams who work together and cross refer when needed.

1oldnewmum Thu 28-Jul-16 21:43:51

I'm looking for some advice. I had my first baby 2 years ago. Precipitous labour, emergency ventouse and forceps. Resulted in large rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, faecal incontinence, pudendal nerve damage, uncomfortable scar, coccyx dislocation and all the emotional baggage that goes with hand in hand. I was advised not to take any rash decisions with regards to surgery in the first few years after the birth as things might improve but 2 years on and these symptoms are truly unbearably life limiting. I can still barely walk, I used to run marathons and was fit and active. I recently saved up to see a prominent gynaecologist in London. She dismissed me out of hand 'Ah things aren't that bad, I've seen worse!...Most of your symptoms are due to a bad back and damage to your bowels...I'm a gynaecologist!' It was quite shocking! I'm not 'looking' for surgery if it's not the answer. Perhaps satisfactory surgical options just don't exist yet? I've certainly been dismayed by many stories of women who have had a litany of procedures that end up just making things worse! Has anyone had anything done that has helped or seen anyone that seems to actually care about trying to deal with the multi factorial nature of these issues?

sksk Tue 31-May-16 18:53:57

I think you can ask to be referred to a physio and they could maybe suggest some exercises and perineum scar massage. Best wishes.

Jayj87 Thu 26-May-16 22:52:01

Thanks for your reply sksk. I have been to the gyne to get checked since the op and I've been informed everything has healed well.. maybe I've just got to get used to the new repair? Having said that it has felt a lot better these past few days. I think I should see a physio who specializes in that area to get the best outcome. Still get to get intermiate with my husband the fear will take me months.

sksk Thu 26-May-16 21:54:27

Jayj87- sorry to hear of your trouble. Has anyone referred you to a women's health physiotherapist- if not, then this is something you can ask for. If you are not feeling right then go back to your GP and they can re-refer you to the gynaecologist if necessary. Best of luck!

Jayj87 Sat 07-May-16 21:37:14

Finally I have found this group! I would just like to share my story. I had a natural vaginal birth 10 months ago, a very straight forward and plesent labour. Anyway midwife examined my tear..."you have a grade one tear and ummm it may need stitches...ummm...No it will be fine". That split decision is when it all went wrong. I thought I was in good hands..turns out I was wrong. I knew I didn't feel right below and I couldn't hold me wee, when I could finally walk I could feel liquid running out of me in the direction of my bum so I felt like I had to wipe all the time. I also felt very large down there so I decided to go back to the maternity ward. Unluckily I saw the same midwife who delivered my lb and she examined me and told me I was 'gaping'
I just thought she was being rude and it's not until I spoke to a friend she told me it's a term they use for a hole/tear. She basically told me to do my pelvic floor and to get on with it. So I took her 'professional' advice. I later had my 6 week check with the doctor and I told her I am still not right. She examined me and told me the tear had gone into muscle and in actual fact it's a grade 2 tear. Cut a long story short I have recently undergone a perineum repair. Everything is healing ok I think but over the past few days my vagina hole has enlarged to a 5p piece. It feels very uncomfortable and I feel the need to clench when I walk or stand. This wasn't the case when I had just had the operation..the hole was a normal size. Does anyone know what this could be or what could be causing this? I have cried so many tears over my experience and I feel the feeling of becoming 'normal' again is never going to happen. Luckily I have a great husband who has supported me all the way. Thanks for reading.

AJH12 Tue 22-Dec-15 20:41:39

Hi mumstheword - I'm lurking on this thread - and have seen some specialists in London after horrendous birth last year! Happy to help if I can?

mumstheword29 Sat 19-Dec-15 22:19:33 anyone still on this thread? Just checking before I type out my story...9 months pp and wondering if anyone has insight into what I'm feeling (rectocele/prolapsed internal hemorrhoids/perineal descent/not sure??) and/or can recommend any specialists in London as I've been waiting on NHS referrals and not getting any answers for the past 9 months.

cravingcake Thu 01-Oct-15 06:56:25

Welcome Mamfaery, sorry you are joining us but you sound like you are in the right place. Definitely ask your gp for a referral to a gynaecologist, I'm not sure exactly who you need to see but things definitely don't sound right. If it's easier, print out what you have written and take it to them to read. It's horrible when you get fobbed off, I had a bladder and bowel prolapse that kept being dismissed as I had a 4th degree tear and they just seemed more interested in making sure that healed well and said that the prolapse wasn't that bad and was the least of my worries. I had that repaired last year and the relief when I was finally taken seriously was great, and my surgeon said that it was that bad that pelvic floor exercises were a waste of time (as in my muscles were so weak they werent doing anything helpful) and he would normally only see that level of prolapse in grandmother's who have long since been through menopause, I'm early 30's (and hypermobile as well). So there is help. I live in the South West so if you want to private message me for more info please do so.

Mamafaery Wed 30-Sep-15 23:29:18

I live in the UK on the south coast :-)

Throughthestorm Wed 30-Sep-15 22:52:25

Mamafaery where abouts in the UK or abroad do you live ?

Mamafaery Tue 29-Sep-15 16:15:56

jacksmania fwiw my second birth was a natural VBAC at home and I wish to God I hadn't had it and that I'd had an elective c section. My bits are wrecked. Natural birth is not all it's cracked up to be.

Mamafaery Tue 29-Sep-15 11:09:22

I feel like it's probably a bit late to post on this thread. Could someone direct me to a different place if necessary?

I thought I might be making a fuss over nothing but having seen the posts others have written, I'm convinced there is probably a problem and I'm looking for advice. I've read all the posts on all of the ragged bits threads!

This might come out quite long so I do apologise in advance if it does.

DS1 - young, ignorant, terrified. Horribly traumatic. Had an emergency caesarean as there was no way at the age of 20 that I would let the OB anywhere near my perineum with a pair of scissors or forceps. In retrospect I don't regret that decision as I'm convinced the damage would have been quite severe if I'd birthed him vaginally. He was OP and asynclitic. And BIG. I had HG and preeclampsia. I pushed for four hours and when it came to do the section he was so jammed down in my pelvis it took two doctors to pull him back up. Had a uterine infection after he was born.

Seven years later, DS2 arrived. Lovely problem free pregnancy with no issues at all. HBAC drug free with a wonderful IM who I trusted completely. I have a tiny pelvis so pushing took about an hour for him to squeeze through, but we got there. Sadly, I have always had a very tight vagina and inflexible perineum. My body couldn't control the heaving at all. I roared like a lion and he went from crowning the size of a 20p to fully out in 27 seconds. He shot out like a bullet and I felt the pop as I tore. It didn't hurt but I will never forget the feeling, like my perineum was just suddenly unzipped. I was terrified of tearing so I did everything to avoid it, like birthing in water and pushing upright.

I got out of the birth pool to deliver the placenta and was checked. I had a second degree tear that very narrowly avoided being a third degree. To the point my midwife did a rectal to check my sphincters, which seemed fine. The tears were completely straight and my midwife was convinced that if I just sat with my legs shut it'd heal fine. So I didn't have it sutured and I cannot believe how much I regret that. My perineum healed fine and looks completely normal. But inside took a lot longer and nearly four years on it still feels all sorts of wrong down there.

Sex always feels horrible at the start. It feels like my vagina is shaped completely wrong. If I try and use a tampon or a menstrual cup it hurts and wonders off like there's a cave just inside my vagina opening.

I can't hold my bladder well at all. I've been religious about doing my PFE's. I don't have any stress incontinence but once I need to go I can't hold for long or I'll completely wet myself. My bladder can barely hold a glass of water before it feels bursting full. I never feel like I've emptied properly. Every time I go for a week it feels like I need to poo as well but trying produces nothing. 1-3 minutes after a week and if I stand up for a long time, I get a sharp pain that feels like a dagger in my vagina. It makes me tense up. When I relax my muscles I get a leak. It smells of wee and I have to wear Tena liners. But it isn't wee. It has the consistency of discharge and is a yellow brown colour. If I place my hand over my urethral opening while I am getting this leak it feels like my opening is gaping but then it goes back to normal. I have had repeated urine tests and urethral swabs, including checking for STI's, there is no infection there. I haven't had sex in 18 months because I feel like I always smell of wee and sometimes when I have sex I think I leak wee. Like I've said I've been religious about doing my PFE's but I wonder if I'm doing them wrong?

In addition, when I check my vagina with my fingers I feel bulges on both the front and the back walls and they hurt to press. If I press one of the bulges I can feel what feels like a tiny hole and I get a big gush of a brownish mucus like leakage.

I have bowel urgency but not usually accidents. Quite often it's very difficult to empty my bowels and if I put my finger in my vagina I can feel a big lump of poo through the back wall. I always have skidmarks no matter how I wipe. If I have a loose bowel movement (which is frequent because I have anxiety disorder and it triggers IBS attacks) I get a lot more mucus discharge and I've sometimes felt like there's small flecks of poo coming out of my vagina. I can hold my wind in my bottom but sometimes I feel a high up bubbling sensation and I feel like there's wind coming out of my vagina.

I have seen a gynae several times but never a urologist or a colorectal person. The problem is I have endometriosis and multiple intramural fibroids so every time I talk about these issues I'm dismissed and it's attributed to that. But I know this is different. I've repeatedly tried raising these issues and now I've become so demoralised I don't bother even trying any more. Ridiculously I've never had a proper vagina examination, only an ultrasound scan where they didn't seem to see anything other than my other gynae issues. I've not had a rectal examination since I was checked after birth.

Having vagina exams is excruciating and always leaves me sore and bleeding afterwards so I'm very reluctant to subject myself to them if it's not going to get me any closer to a solution. But I cry when I think about living with this forever. I smell, my confidence is shot, I have no sex life at 31 and I always hurt. I just want to be able to wee and poo normally. Sometimes pooing is so hard that I get very painful anal fissures which are sore for ages afterwards and bleed when I poo again for at least a week afterwards. Lactulose has become a staple drink in my house but absurdly sometimes I get really acidic diarrhoea and need to take loperamide.

I was talking to my best friend about this last night and he was amazed at how much I've normalised it and how long I have lived with it for. I want to cry when I think that this is my lot in life. And I want to hit people when they tell me things are just different after childbirth and there's nothing wrong down there. I want to be able to walk down the road without fanny daggers and leaking. I really regret falling for natural birth bullshit and having a HBAC.

Sorry to ramble on for so long but I really needed to get it off my chest. It all sounds so much worse when it's all written down :-( I had no idea you could get all this shit after just a second degree tear and a supposedly wonderful in concept natural birth. I love my midwife and we're still friends. I don't blame her at all and I don't think either of us could have done anything differently to prevent this.

I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome and I'm sure this is to blame for the wreck that is my vagina. I feel ruined and hopeless. I only found out I had EDS last year after complaining for over a decade about the related symptoms. I love my children so very dearly but if I'd known about the EDS before I had them I would have known in advance the damage it could do to my body and seriously reconsidered having them.

Can people give me support/advice/hope?

Throughthestorm Thu 24-Sep-15 22:58:09

It feels so wrong yet I'm sooo flipping looking forward to this .
Had a 4th degree tear 23 years ago followed by a repair and had my perineum rebuilt when i was about 26 .
2 children later it's worse than ever .
I'm 45 and have put up with the pain discomfort and embarrassment for years .
Finally went to see someone and I'm on the list for surgery !
Also after 27 years married I have been separated for about 2 years and have now got a new partner .
I never ever thought id DTD in my state ( ex h made me feel like a freak ) but he has been totally lovely and given me my confidence back .
It sounds wrong but I am so looking forward to feeling normal down there ( it's really bad Ive left it too long ) .
I've a great surgeon but would love to hear some positive stories .
Times have changed .
First time around I was in hospital 7 days !!!
I'm a single parent with no family support what so ever but some great friends .
2 dependant dc are half an hour drive away at school .
Ex will be no help what so ever he is 95% absent.
Any tips on recovery and what it was like resuming SI afterwards would be much aporeciated . X

cravingcake Wed 19-Aug-15 15:35:45

Hi Rosemouse

I also had shoulder dystocia with my DS so know how scary that can be. I would suggest you speak to your GP about your cervix, I don't know if that is normal or not. It does take a while for things to get back but I don't know what the timeframe is.

Rosemouse Tue 18-Aug-15 15:13:03

Hi -I'm reading through and its intense how traumatizing giving birth can be. My problem does indeed seem like a paper cut by comparison but thought I'd ask.

My second child was born almost three months ago - my first is now 11 so a bit of a gap. This second babe was very big, and he got his shoulder caught in my pelvis and I almost couldn't deliver him. I had a second-degree tear and then a massive hemmhorage - lost 2.5 litres. I was stitched up - my doc says she's never seen such a good job - so can't complain. But vjj still seems very open and just tonight i managed a finger inside and my cervix is very open still. I remember with my first child that it took a while to regain vaginal tone and tightness, but this seems to be taking a long time - and the cervix thing - ugh! Is there still room for improvement or is this as good as it gets?

counting my blessings, having rad some of the above, that I'm not actually in pain or incontinent!

cravingcake Mon 17-Aug-15 13:32:00

Welcome to the new comers, sorry you had to find this thread but we can all relate in some way to the challenges and difficulties of being a Raggedy.

TeeGee, that's great about your consultant. I had elcs for my 2nd and it was a much better experience.

Throughthestorm, I can relate to the 'excitement' of major surgery, its a feeling of relief that finally things can improve and hopefully be a lot better. I had rectocele and cystocele repair at the end of last year, I was in for 4 days. I could have gone home sooner except hospital food was awful it took a while before I could open my bowels. I had to be prepared for a hysterectomy at the same time (thankfully it wasn't needed) but was told it would have only been an extra day or two stay if it was done.

Crimson, it is still early days in your recovery but as you posted a couple of weeks ago hopefully things have improved.

sksk Sun 02-Aug-15 19:36:28

Crimson- maybe ask them about diltiazem cream? I had problems with anal fissures and that's the only thing that helped.

TeeGee1 Tue 28-Jul-15 20:54:17

Oh god throughthestorm that sounds just awful... you poor lady. so much to take into account each time, for so long. hope you get your surgery soon so you can move forward with ease. smile

I got my elcs thank god. consultant was wonderful. I almost had a breakdown when she said she needs to examine me. we put it off till 6 months. after birth I have to see a colorectal surgeon or something. The thought of more surgery down there is frightening, I have no trust. but now I just gotta worry about my stomach being cut open haha... at least I don't need to worry about anyone prodding around up there or any babies coming out!

crimson I have no experience of that. only stabbing pains when I need to go (fissures I guess). good luck.

CrimsonSunrise Tue 28-Jul-15 17:09:18

Hi everyone, I'm glad this thread's about because I need some advice. I had my beautiful DD2 7 weeks ago, pool birth and generally the birth was fantastic, everything I wanted after a horrific first birth with DD1. However I suffered a 4th degree tear and under went an hour or so's surgery to put everything back together. It went smoothly and it seemed to be healing really well, all the stitches had dissolved by 4 weeks and I escaped any infection or nasty complications.

I did have some very mild external hemorrhoids but they caused me very little issue until last week when one seem to have burst, was given Proctosedyl cream to use twice a day and after each bm. The pain seems to be internal now and feels more like a torn muscle? It constantly aches and throbs.

I've got a doctors appointment on Monday so I'll get it seen to then but I wondered if anyone has had a similar experience? I know in all reality it's still early days when it comes to being fully healed but its the suddenness of the pain that worries me. I've no issues with continence or the like either, seems my pelvic floor is coping for now. The pain is driving me loopy, ibuprofen doesn't stop it and the cream seems to be doing very little. I've noticed the pain seems to vanish once I've led down a while but as soon as I'm active (with a 19mo thats a lot of the time!) it begins to throb and really hurt again. Anyone anything similar at all?

Throughthestorm Tue 28-Jul-15 13:09:04

Tee gee I do hope you have an understanding Consultant . You have a choice and really your midwife should support you with this as long as you have made an informed choice x

I'm 44 and separated from my DH of 26 ish years and 4 dc.

About 15 years ago I had a rectocele repair and perineal refashioning then went on to have two more dc and ruin it all.

I've put up with a worsening rectocele for years and a gaping perineum.

Sometimes I can't hang on when I need a no. 2 and have been told my sphincter is damaged and I have a moderate to severe rectocele .

I was advised to leave surgery as long as as they want to do a hysterectomy at the same time . Being in a long marriage we were both comfortable with this .he never knew I could only make love if my bowel was empty and that sometimes it felt like he was in my bottom and I was scared of having an accident or breaking wind.

Now I've met a lovely gentleman and we had a night away and God I was nervous . I had to make sure I literally didn't eat for two days first !
I had to have a conversation with him which was daunting that I might look a little differrent and feel differrent ( gaping perineum and look like I'm about to crown a newborn on a bad day ).
It was ok !

Now I'm going away for a week with him .
Am prob not going to be able to go for a no. 2 because I'll be too conscious of him being around and that means .... Well not much fun.

Anyway I've asked my GP for a referral to reschedule surgery which my consultant said he would do anytime .
I can't believe I'm actually excited about a major operation !
I cannot wait to be comfortable and have a normal looking vagina .
I can't imagine being able to relax in bed with my new man and really enjoy penetrative sex again.
My consultant said after surgery orgasms can be less intense ect .... Any comments or advise welcome .
Any idea how long I'll have to stay in hospital ?

TeeGee1 Tue 28-Jul-15 08:43:59

Newcomer here, not sure if this thread is still active...

15 months post and 3 months pregnant. aappointment today with consultant to try to push for an elcs.

was sewn up way too tight, full of scar tissue and pain, think my bits didn't go back upwards so there's not much height in there. told 2nd degree but think rectocele which was dismissed by acrap gp, and also had gas come though vag which was worrying.

can't get clean with no.2. when I do there's mess later somehow, also gets in the front, again worrying. bleed almost every time. have fissures and lovely hemorrhoids from the birth.other times it gathers at the exit I crown but it's too big to get out, I suspect rectocele because of this diversion at the exit. I have to manually get it out. needless to say I am stay at home mum for now.

when I do rejoin society I will need a disabled toilet key card, that's for sure...

when I explained this to a bitch mw about why I want a cesarean, she told me there are other options. "Like a colostomy bag, you mean?"

Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted, ragged thread!

sksk Thu 23-Jul-15 22:45:13

There isn't anything more that can be done. Maybe pelvic floor machine or sacral nerve stimulation but that won't work miracles- maybe improve things a tiny bit more. I might ask about injections for perineum but maybe a few months down the line. Glad you're better, craving cake- I remember you were expecting when I was a few months post partum. Thanks, marzipan. It will be elcs if I have any more.

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