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Pt 7 (Feb13) Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc

(993 Posts)

This is thread 7 (again - see below) 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.

With apologies for confusion in thread numbers - the previous thread was called part 7 but it was actually the 6th thread.

Here are the previous threads:

Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
Thread 4
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.

nanaof2 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:44:12

hello ladies havent posted on here for since the new year but have kept reading all your posts
well after a very long and hard 6 months finally had my 6 month check up after my front and back repair and considering all my problems having to learn to self catherise water infections etc.. i am pleased to say that it has all been worth it everything is back to how it should be and consultant really pleased with everything down below so to all you out there if i can get through this anybody can
i would like to thankyou all for all your kind words and advice when i was feeling at my lowest you all really did help xxx

Nana - that's brilliant news, I remember how awful those first few weeks were for you. Can't believe it's six months already, six months for me next week too. Thank you for coming back and updating us.

Hello Lift - I see you've had lots more advice on your other thread, well done for taking those first steps.

Troubled - IIRC I was still in bed an awful lot for about 4+ weeks, it was just the comfiest place to be.

NeopreneMermaid Tue 19-Mar-13 23:36:28

Nana thank you for giving us some light at the end of the tunnel (so to speak!).

Tr0ubled Wed 20-Mar-13 09:30:02

nana lovely to read your post. I followed your recovery from when I joined this thread so it is great to read how well you're doing now. All the best for a happy healed future. smile

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19:23

Fab news nana

nowheregirl Thu 21-Mar-13 10:03:29

Can anyone give me some advice, please? I've had a prolapse and am waiting to see a doctor - I want to see the only woman at the practice - is that daft? What can I expect to happen - is there likely to be a long wait for surgery? Are the vaginal rings I've read about any good? Who fits them - and is there likely to be a wait for that too? I'm in a lot of discomfort and feel pretty horrible. things haven't been right since I had my second baby at the age of 41. I'm 49 now and think that being menopausal has made it much worse. I was convinced I had ovarian cancer so was quite relieved when the nurse I saw said it was a 'significant prolapse.' The relief has worn off though and I'm now just horrified! I will look through these threads for more info too - but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by them all at the moment. Love your joke nana about light at the end of the tunnel!

NeopreneMermaid Thu 21-Mar-13 12:42:55

Nowhere hello and welcome. It's up to you whether you request a female doctor or not. My surgeon/consultant is male but it honestly doesn't bother me and a female chaperone/nurse is always present for exams.

From being referred for surgery to having my op, I waited about 4 weeks. However, I went through 3 years of physio (pelvic floor exercises) with a women's health physio (she doesn't need to know I refer to her as the fanny physio away from her office smile ) before we decided it wasn't working and i got my gp to refer me to a surgeon. However, I did have another baby in that time and you have to wait at least a year after giving birth and have finished your family before you'll be considered for surgery; it sounds as though you don't have that restraint so you should be able to get fixed more quickly.

I never tried anyone the rings as when I saw the ob/gyn about it he booked me in for surgery instead!

Can't remember your other questions and I can't see your post on my phone while I'm writing - will add another post if I've forgotten anything!

NeopreneMermaid Thu 21-Mar-13 12:45:56

Ah yes, the rings can be fitted by your gp but my fanny physio advised me off-record to get referred to a gynae to do it as they're apparently quite tricky to get right so you want someone who does them all the time. She did warn there might be reluctance to refer you because it costs more so you might have to be insistent.

leakyR Thu 21-Mar-13 18:34:40

Hello again. Nightmare day where at 12.30 pm a letter arrived telling me that my pre-op appointment was at 9.50 TODAY!! Useful. Phoned hospital to be told by a delightful, monotone "computer says no" type that they would " probably have to cancel my operation". Just what I need to hear after a week of organising childcare and asking relatives from Northumberland to come to stay to help out. I then kicked off spoke to a genuinely helpful lady who managed to get me a cancelled appointment at 15.30. Cue DH rushing home to get back in time for the school run and me dashing to the hospital. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my blood pressure was a touch high at the beginning of the appointment.
Troubled how did your Ds' party go? Both dc have April birthdays and pre arranged parties, although I don't know how much help I'll be for Ds' party on the 14th.
Nana it's nice to hear that you'd doing so well and Neoprene you made me laugh with your light at the end of the tunnel joke too grin

NeopreneMermaid Thu 21-Mar-13 19:19:42

Glad I've made you laugh, though it's a risky business on this thread, eh? wink

Leaky what a nightmare indeed! How was the letter so late? Glad you got to speak to someone with a brain an ability to sympathise and help and you still have your op date. Is it next week then?

Tr0ubled Fri 22-Mar-13 14:23:13

leaky thanks for asking, the party was a great success. However even though I did very little I was shattered when I got home, couldn't sleep but didn't have the energy to keep my eyes open so just lay on my bed with my eyes shut for ages. Amazing how much energy your body uses to heal so how little is left for anything else.
I can't believe your hospital administration nearly screwed up your operation, you must have been so high on adrenalin trying to get it all sorted. How nerve racking for you but hope it's all resolved.

Hi nowhere. I think you'll find from reading these threads that we all have such different experiences from the point at which our GP refers us. For me I had tests over the course of 18 months in the NHS and was never offered a pessary. I was booked for surgery just before Xmas but they cancelled me on the day. I never heard again from them despite calling the dept several times so I decided to go privately and had my operation (cystocele, rectocele, entrocele, perenium repair and hemorrhoidectomy, and a cystoscopy!)) 3 weeks ago today. However there are others on here who had one consultant appointment and were then booked for surgery.

Can I have a little moan.... my doctor has prescribed a 2week course of new antibiotics as my cystoscopy found a high grade bladder infection however when I looked at the leaflet it says that they react with the pain meds I've been prescribed. I rang my doctor to alert her and check what I should do and was told to stop the pain meds for the next 2 weeks while I'm taking the antibiotics. However I still have quite a lot of pain, especially on my bottom and perinium, plus I started my period yesterday sad . She didn't seem bothered by this and advised I just stick to paracetamol.
I just feel really down about it as I had finally got my pain pretty much under control but today I am hurting again. Feel really cross that my GP is so dismissive. I blame all the f***ing leaflets that say the total recovery is 6 weeks giving GP's completely un realistic ideas as to how we should be feeling. angry

leakyR Fri 22-Mar-13 22:12:36

Neoprene I got my op date last Thursday when I saw the consultant for the first time. The letter with my pre-op info was posted second class on the 18th for an appointment on the 21sthmm, when I asked why I hadn't had a phone call to confirm the details I was told that if it is less than 3 weeks away then no call is made. WTF?! How many appointments and ops must they have to reschedule?

Hello nowhere as you can see from the paragraph above, I was referred to gynaecologist by my GP in February following 6 months of me pretending my undercarriage hadn't gone TWANG in a Zumba class and 6m of attending continence clinic with lots of old dears, lots of pelvic floor exercises and v.little progress. Because I've also lost 3.5 stone in the last year which seems to have had no positive effect on my cystocele or rectocele and it has definitely had a detrimental effect on my mental well being and my physical relationship with DH, the consultant booked me straight in for surgery. I was surprised at how quickly surgery has one bout after my referral, but know it will be marvellous if it all comes good in the end.

Troubled it sounds like you're having an awful time of it. I hope the pain is not unmanageable. So glad your DS' party went well. I've been stuffing party bags and wrapping prizes today. I'm trying to be uber organised for both parties, so that DH has it all there for him.

leakyR Fri 22-Mar-13 22:15:22

Op is 2nd April Neoprene. Knew there was something else I meant to type in last post.

edwinbear Fri 22-Mar-13 23:27:00

Tr0ubled glad the party went well but so sorry to hear about the antibiotics clashing with your pain meds. Your GP sounds a bit crap to say the least, she has prescribed you something with contraindications to existing medication you are taking? At best, that sounds pretty careless, you must be rally down sad. I do have one non medical pain suggestion though, have you ever seen these? gel packs They go in the freezer and then you stick them in your knickers, I used them post birth and also post surgery and found them really good.

edwinbear Fri 22-Mar-13 23:28:10

pain relief suggestion.....not pain suggestion, you have had enough of that to last a lifetime......

NeopreneMermaid Sat 23-Mar-13 09:21:38

Leaky and Troubled I'm so sorry you're having a rough time of it (more so than necessary).

cardamomginger Sun 24-Mar-13 14:46:17

Tr0ubled - that is shit and inexcusable. Who prescribed it? Even if it wasn't your gynae surgeon, he is probably pretty amenable to sorting this out, so I'd give them a call.
Bugger. Got to go. Wanted to write more but we are staying with PIL for 2 weeks, so privacy is tenuous to say the least. And my father has just turned up, so privacy to write about my vagina is now nil grin. I am really stressed!!!

Tr0ubled Sun 24-Mar-13 19:14:10

Cardamom My consultant put in his post op letter to my GP that he would like me to take the antibiotics, and so it was the GP that then wrote the prescription. One of the contradictory painkillers were a private prescription from my consultant, given when I went to see him a couple of weeks ago because of the pain. The prescription for the other painkiller was from my GP. Difficult to know who's to blame really. Anyway a friend of mine is a pharmacist and has kindly researched it all for me in more depth and has reassured me I'm ok to carry on with the Tramadol so I'm doing that.
Sorry to hear you're stressed. Surely you're with your PIL to help alleviate your stresses not add to them?!!

edwinbear thanks for the gel packs link. Not sure I can use them at the moment because of AF but will invest in some for when I stop bleeding. How's your recovery going?

Pamel Sun 24-Mar-13 20:31:54

Do be careful ladies. Do not rush into this surgery. I can no longer have sexual intercourse because of painful scar tissue following cytocele and rectocele repair in July 2012. I have since discovered that a survey in Australia in 2010 found 30% women ceased sexual intercourse after this surgery because it was too painful. Painful scarring is mainly associated with rectocele surgery. I was not told of this risk. Some gynaecologists do not recommend this surgery for sexually active women. I was given oestrogen cream to help with the healing but I stopped it after 6 months because of the health risks and now I have another prolapse. This surgery should be a last resort.

edwinbear Sun 24-Mar-13 22:52:33

Tr0ubled I've had no problem using them when bleeding, both post birth and post surgery (when I also had AF, great timing Mother Nature). There is a disposable, gauze material thing that goes over the actual gel pack and then i just rest mine on top of a pad. It's gets bloody, of course, but you just chuck it away. I'm doing OK thanks, still getting pressure if I'm on my feet for too long, but saw the surgeon on Thursday and he said he was 'very pleased' with his work. I could have kissed him when he asked the nurse for a small size speculum for the examination, haven't needed one of those since before children. I actually felt quite proud of my fanjo for the first time in nearly 4 years grin

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 24-Mar-13 22:56:33

Pamel I'm so sorry to hear about your problems. This is one of the two things my consultant warned me about (the other was the risk of bowel issues). He said that a % of all scars have issues and this is true with this surgery too.

I decided not to have surgery at this time. Right now the risks do not outweight my everyday issues. Don't get me wrong it does already affect my sex life, not just intercourse but now have issues with orgasming (anyone else?) These are serious operations and I for one am so glad of all the experiences and advice shared over these threads.

cardamomginger Mon 25-Mar-13 10:38:52

Hi Pamel. So sorry to hear about your experience. That's dreadful. Problematic scar tissue to that degree of severity seems quite unusual. What has your surgeon said? Did you have the surgery in the UK? (I'm asking this because I know that in other countries polypropylene mesh is used for vaginal repairs and that this can lead to problems.) Has specialist physio been suggested as something that could help (I'm thinking of dilators to soften and stretch the scar tissue)? What were the health risks of the cream that you were concerned about? What did your surgeon say about this?
I'm interested to know about that study you mention. 30% of women reporting no sexual activity at all post-surgery is extremely high and is a figure that I've certainly never heard in all my very lengthy an in-depth conversations with my surgeon. It makes me ask questions not only about the quality of the study, and the questions they asked (including at what point they collected the data) but about the characteristics of the study population. I'm not doubting that you read what you read! But if almost a third of women were unable to have sex ever again following what is actually a quite routine and standard operation (I'm not discounting our individual and collective experiences of the difficulties of recovery - I just mean that it's not an unusual procedure), it just wouldn't be offered to women who were sexually active. And it is. I'd be interested to know who these gynaes are who say not to have the surgery. I know some women here have been told not to have it until they have completed their families, although other surgeons (including mine) are perfectly happy to operate if a woman intends to have more children, so long as she has (usually an early) ELCS.
I think for anyone who is contemplating this kind of surgery it's always good to ask your surgeon tough questions about all the side effects and risks and not just in terms of overall statistics, but his/her rates of side effects and how your own individual presentation, set of symptoms, etc may effect the chances of side effects.
I'm so sorry that you now have another prolapse. That's a not uncommon phenomenon on this thread sad. What seems to happen is that the second prolapse was there all along, it was just being held back by the tissue that had been fixed and that now it is unsupported, it has a chance to do what it always wanted to do which was to prolapse. I guess you're not going to want to have more surgery. Has there been any talk of a ring pessary for you, or would that be too painful? I'm so sorry sad.
X

BangOn Mon 25-Mar-13 11:45:21

hi, sorry to barge in, but i was just wondering if anyone here has experience of a prolapse during pregnancy?

i'm about 6 weeks pg with #3 & although i was aware something wasn't quite right since dc#2 was born 3 years ago, i only really workd out it was a prolapse 2 weeks ago, just after i realised i was expecting.

i bookes an appointment with a female gp straight away but was told i'd have to wait 2 weeks, so i now have an appt for tomorrow. basically i'm going to have to tell her i'm pregnant in one breath, & that i have a prolapse woth the next. have had 2 low risk pregnancies, inc 1 home birth, so i'm not really used to complications. so pised off because i'd promised myself i'd stay active this time & not gain so much weight. doesn't seem like that'll be possible.

it seems to be the rear vaginal wall protruding if that helps? any advice welcome.

Tr0ubled Mon 25-Mar-13 13:27:18

Hi bangOn I had a low grade posterior prolapse (aka rectocele) when pregnant with my second child and saw a gynaecologist about it (and also bad episiotomy scar tissue from DC1) but she decided I was fine to deliver vaginally, which I did without any problems. My eventual problems actually stemmed from the birth of my first child and the terrible episiotomy I received.
But each case is so individual so I definitely recommend you ask to see a gynaecologist. However bear in mind that some prolapses progress very slowly and some very quickly, so I would be inclined to see the gynaecologist further into your pregnancy as 9 months is a long time in the life of a prolapse.

NeopreneMermaid Mon 25-Mar-13 14:41:11

Hi bangon. I had a prolapse after the birth of dc1 and it definitely go worse during pregnancy with dc2 even at that early stage. It's to do with the relaxin your body releases during pregnancy, making tissues a bit looser (clearly not the medical description but I hole ykwim!).

I'm also interested in the study so we can collectively discredit it to find out sample size, geography, whether the subjects never had sex ever again or just nothing a specified period. I am not trivialising anyone's negative experience though and I do appreciate reading good and bad.

I am aware that scar tissue can make the vagina too tight though. My surgeon seems pretty clued up though and said he wouldn't repair a cystocele and rectocele in the same op for that reason (he'd prefer to want for one to heal to see he extent of the scar tissue first) and he's also offered to repair my perineal tear but only after my prolapse surgeries, again so the scar tissue can be assessed first.

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