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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.

Tr0ubled Mon 25-Mar-13 16:45:11

Hoping I'm not screwed perhaps a bad choice of word! then as I have had cystocele, entrocele, rectocele and a perenioplasty all done together. Guess it's a waiting game but I doubt this is the first time my surgeon has done these repairs together in his 20 years so I can only hope he has a high success rate in women who go on to be prolapse free and sexually active.

I must admit the really negative talk is quite difficult to take whilst you're in the middle of recovering from the operation. It's hard enough to deal with the day to day frustration of healing without the positive future you're hoping for being stamped on. That's not to say that bad experiences shouldn't be posted and shared, we all need to be prepared, it's just hard to listen to.

Is it too early for wine?!

NeopreneMermaid Mon 25-Mar-13 17:27:23

I know what you mean Troubled. Surgeons have different views (mine prefers local anaesthetics for all these ops - no-one else seems to be having this!). I'm assuming you talked through your concerns with your surgeon first and got the info you needed to conclude surgery was best for you. Remember that. Each procedure is different, each case is different. All will be well.

NeopreneMermaid Mon 25-Mar-13 17:28:53

I'm rereading nana's success story and sticking my fingers in my ears for anything else

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Mon 25-Mar-13 17:55:20

Her this stupid cough has set my back off and my stomach aches from it.

edwinbear Mon 25-Mar-13 18:59:00

Hi bangon I suffered my cystocele and rectocele after the birth of dc1, but had a very straightforward pregnancy and delivery with dc2. I was given the OK to have a home birth but opted for a hospital birth because I tested positive for Strep B. I did 90% of my labour in the pool and would have delivered in the water, only I got out to have my waters broken and dd literally fell out 2 mins after that, so I didn't have to time to get back in. Personally I think the absence of a pelvic floor made dd's birth so much easier. I also felt like I healed better from dd's birth and actually found the prolapse marginally better than after ds. So for me, having a prolapse during pregnancy caused no issues at all.

With regard painful sex post surgery, my surgeon did a cystocele and rectocele repair at the same time, he said sex may be uncomfortable at first, but I would soon stretch. I think all our circumstances are so individual that we have to be guided by our own medical professionals who are the experts in our bodies after their examinations, their personal ability and the available surgical techniques.

BangOn Mon 25-Mar-13 20:20:43

thanks edwinbear & everyone else, reassuring to hear positive birth experiences. how did you find things like walking as the pregnancy progressed? are there any safe or recommended forms of excercise? i feel pelvic floor excercises are doing bugger all...

SlaveToTwoTeens Tue 26-Mar-13 09:21:57

Hi all
Just over 7 weeks following rectocele repair and apart from a little soreness at times at the site of the scar, all is well and Consultant was pleased to allow me back to normal activities (except heavy lifting of course). Prior to prolapse issues I loved to exercise, running and strength work being my favourites. I asked my consultant whether I could restart running and he told me to go for it- my concern is this seems to be contradictory advice to that on this and other websites. I don't see my physio for another 5 weeks, but I'm itching to get my trainers on and go for a run. Has anyone else managed to start running again following prolapse surgery with no complications? I don't want to undo the surgeon's handiwork.
Thanks in advance x

Tr0ubled Tue 26-Mar-13 10:21:02

Hi slave to two there is so much conflicting advice that it's hard to know. I have read on some sites that it takes up to 6 months for the deep tissue to be fully healed and those internal stitches to dissolve, and on other sites I've read that it's 3 months. Personally I have told myself I'm going to give it 12 weeks before I start any excercise regime (I've been doing pelvic floor excercises since day 1 post op though). As running is such a contributor to prolapse in the first place I would probably hold off for as long as you can.

WhoKnowsWhereTheChocolateGoes Tue 26-Mar-13 13:47:52

I'm taking it very easy with running, just gentle stuff for me now (jogging/power walking) with the agreement of the physio, I waited till about 4 months post repair. However I have still got an unrepaired cystocele, which is currently symptomless and I would like it to stay that way. Swimming is what I've been doing as my main exercise. Strength training needs caution too, I do pilates but don't do the stronger core stuff. I'm following Michelle Kenway's guidance, she's a women's health physio who blogs about exercise. A lot of strength work puts strain on the pelvic floor.

LemonBreeland Tue 26-Mar-13 20:04:49

Hello, just popping on here to see if anyone has had a tvt obturator op. I'm having one in two weeks and am rather nervous.

I've had sress incontinence since my DD was born 21 months ago, and although it is not terribly bad, it is getting me down.

I am however starting to worry about having the op, and recovery from it.

SlaveToTwoTeens Wed 27-Mar-13 13:07:40

Sorry to post and run (not actually run, you understand) yesterday, was taking my Mum for a boozy birthday lunch.
Thanks for the replies, I think I'll leave it for a few more weeks. I knew I wasn't going to be able to return to any type of weight-lifting which is why I only asked my consultant about running. I do also have a mild cystocele that he won't touch yet as I had a mini arc sling put in last May. All a bit of a mess down there really! I do hope one day I'll be able to get back to exercising properly without the fear of something falling out.
On the positive side, for those worrying about operations, I had a fairly easy recovery apart from a slight problem when I thought bits of flesh were coming out of the site of the stitches which turned out to be nothing to worry about at all.

edwinbear Thu 28-Mar-13 09:22:35

BangOn I had no issues with walking at all. In fact as my bump got bigger and lifted out of my pelvis there was less pressure pushing on the prolapse and I was more comfortable than pre pregnancy. With regards exercise, I swam, which I will continue to do post surgery. My consultant also said a cross trainer would be OK.

I am not a runner, but my consultant told me that it would be 6 months before all the tissues had fully repaired and personally, I wouldn't consider any impact exercise before then. I used to do a lot of weight lifting, but I'm resigned to the fact that this is going to be off limits now for life. I think a spinning class would be OK though, once my stitches have dissolved and I'm a bit less sore.

Footle Thu 28-Mar-13 09:52:19

Lemon, quite a lot of people here have had TVT ops ( not me ) but I haven't heard of the obturator bit. What does it mean ?

LemonBreeland Thu 28-Mar-13 10:27:19

In the booklet I was given it shows 4 different ways of doing the op. The obturator bit show that the tape stuff is stitched into the edges of the vagina. There is no external part to it.

flossyfloo Thu 28-Mar-13 14:47:25

OK, I'm new to this thread but I'm pretty sure I have a prolapse of some kind sad

I've just noticed it now after using the toilet, felt a bulge down there and when I had a feel around could feel something just in the entrance of my vagina. I've had a look with a mirror and it looks like my insides are just sitting there blush. Also, I am able to push it back up (although it just comes straight back down again!), is this normal? I'm not in pain, just discomfort really, feels a little sore and feels full down there.

I've just tried to get an appointment with the Dr but can't get one with a female Dr for another few weeks. This isn't something I need to see a Dr for urgently is it, I'm OK waiting?

So, as this is all new to me, please can you fill me in on what I need to know? I know about doing pelvic floor exercises but have been doing them for years (youngest DC almost 4y) and still have a little bit of stress incontinence at times so I don't think doing more is going to help me sad. Although, I've heard about a digital pelvic floor exerciser, do you think this may be wirth trying?

tinkxx65 Thu 28-Mar-13 15:04:32

Hi all

I have not posted for ages, my son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and it has been awful, anyway thats for another forum, Just an update really, finally had my appointment with the "bum man" and yes its a rectal prolapse and I have to have a ventral rectopexy? Anyone else had this. But before I get booked in for it have to have more tests and I have also been referred back to the gynae as it looks like the front wall has dropped down. For those that remember me, it was a year ago that I first went to the consultant and anterior and posterior repair in Dec 12. But like my bum man said today it was all a waste as I should have had everything done together, as the straining because of the bowel problem has undone everything.

Troubled - you got all sorted at last :-) Hope you are doing well.

Anyway take care all.

Footle Thu 28-Mar-13 18:20:12

Dear tinkxx, you must be wondering when you're going to wake up ! That is a lot of nightmare for one post.
I don't remember exactly what you had wrong , or what the bowel condition is, or what a ventral rectopexy is ( and I'm not googling ! ) but it sounds as if it might be a repair done through the abdomen maybe ?
Best wishes for your son's treatment and for your own. Hope you'll be back here.

roseanna1 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:27:49

Lemon - I had a tvto last September. It's very similar to the tvt (in fact many sites use the term tvt to cover both traditional tvt and the newer tvto). The main difference is that tvt is done by creating a mesh sling supporting the urethra via incisions in the pubic area and one at the urethra, whereas tvto creates the same effect but the pubic incisions are in the creases in the leg instead because the tape is slung side to side rather than up and down iykwim. The benefit of the tvto over the tvt is that is doesn't pass so closely to other organs eg.bladder during insertion so minimises complications due to accidental perforation. l personally hada bad experience and had to have it removed because of nerve damage, but don't let that put you off as the surgeon told me this was exceptionally rare and I was the first patient he'd ever had to remove a tvto from and he does them dayin day out, so I was not the norm.

Flossy - sorry to hear about your recent discovery! It's a bit of a shock isn't it? I doubt things would change in the next couple of weeks, so waiting should be fine if you're ok with that. They normally refer to a specialist physio before any discussions re surgery even if you've been doing them yourself. The physio makes sure you're doing the pelvic floor exercises properly (apparently lots of women think they're doing them but arent doing them properly) and give you special exercises and sometimes equipment to use for a few months to see if it helps.

Tink - I remember you; we must be veterans of this site! My heart goes out to you and I am truly sorry to hear of your issues, both with your son and the prolapse issues. Sounds like you've really been through the mill and I can only imagine the frustration of going through the surgery just to find they should've done it all together. Can't offer any advice, but hugs and hand to hold are always on offer xxxx

As for me...endometrial biopsy results were normal (yeeha!) but consultant wants to do a more thorough biopsy at the same time as the ablation and tvt just to be sure. Am very reassured given the clear ultrasound and biopsy though, so feel like its just a formality now. Just waiting for the date now...gawd isn't the waiting awful lol

Tr0ubled Fri 29-Mar-13 12:28:24

I'm 4 weeks post op and I think I may have thrush and just wondered if I can use canesten cream around my healing scars? They're still very raw and for the moment I'm just using sudocream but would like to use something more appropriate.

tinkx so sorry to hear about your current situation.

NeopreneMermaid Fri 29-Mar-13 13:37:30

Troubled I'm not sure about cream. Can you take an oral pill instead?

Welcome Flossy. If you'd prefer a female doctor and can wait then do. What you've said all sounds familiar. sad

flossyfloo Fri 29-Mar-13 19:13:19

Thanks roseanna and NP.

I'll carry on with the pelvic floor exercised until my appointment.

I just wanted to check, is it normally to feel a bit bloated and have some pain in the stomach, side and back, and to empty your bowels more often? These symptoms all seem to have started yesterday (which is when I discovered the prolapse) so wondering if they are all linked or just a coincidence?

WhoKnowsWhereTheChocolateGoes Fri 29-Mar-13 20:38:51

Troubled - I had thrush about 3 weeks post-op, oral canesten sorted me out.

Flossy - definitely ask for a referral to the women's health physio when you see your GP, they will be able to sort you out with optimised PFEs and also give general lifestyl advice to stop it deteriorating. I had mine for several years (front and back) before the back one became troublesome last year.

Tink - Oh no, so sorry to hear about your op failure, also about your DS, I hope you can get everythig sorted this time round.

Roseanna - glad your results were clear, another step on the way to it all being dealt with.

leakyR Sat 30-Mar-13 19:35:56

Bit of a post and run from me. No broadband at home so I've not had chance to pop back. We're at the out-laws for the weekend so I'm saying hi and that I'll come back and let you know how things go. Still scheduled for rectocele and cystocele repair on Tuesday all being well. I'm assuming it's normal to lie awake at night worrying about the op, the recovery and everything else in the run -up to it. I'm so tired and stressy.
Hope you all manage to have a nice Easter weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for me on Tuesday.

WhoKnowsWhereTheChocolateGoes Sat 30-Mar-13 19:45:13

Yes, I think it is entirely normal Leaky. Good luck, we'll look forward to hearing from you again afterwards.

slinkychick Sun 31-Mar-13 12:16:56

Just popping back topost on recovery. Anteria and posteria repair and TVT
5 1/2 months and just started to feel really well. Stitches were still comeing away untill a couple of weeks ago. Back to excercising, swimming, weights and treadmill, and feeling somuch better for it after gaining so much weight doing nothing. For those still only a short while post op, have patience I never thought I would feel well again. There are so many negative comments posted because people are worried and want advice, I thought it would be good to post a great outcome.I had a very bad cough that went on for weeks but fingers crossed all seems well. I did become someone who seemed to think about 'my bits'all the time. I went back to my consultant as I was convinced the ops had not worked, had a scan and examination and all is good.
Sorry long post but when I was recovering I could noy find anything that told me it was a sucess
Good luck to all. These ops were done so we can do things not so we cant

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