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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.

thrifty Fri 05-Apr-13 17:30:02

Its lovely to know there is successes out there, thank you for posting misty. This is where mn could do with a like button for posts :-)

wouldratherbeskiing Fri 05-Apr-13 22:36:56

Good news from me too. 9 weeks post op for cystocele repair and one year rectocele repair. Started back to work this week half days and had my check up today. Lovely registrar. I said I was feeling really well but needed reassurance that everything is ok as I can feel a slight lump and my uterus seems to be lower. She examined me - no discomfort and talked through exactly which bit was which. She said she knew what I was referring to and it is just where the stitches are still healing and it is scar tissue that will flatten. She said there is absolutely no sign of prolapse and she confirmed it was my uterus I could feel when I had a rummage but reassured me it was ok.

I feel fantastic. Everybody has commented on how well I look. The rectocele surgery did take longer to recover from - the cystocele repair has been a doddle in comparison. I still get those draggy feelings if I've been on my feet a lot but think they will go when fully healed. It will be a while before the worry that something might give fades. Surgery was definitely worth it for me and I was heartened today to meet such a lovely, kind, humourous young doctor who seemed to 'get it' and didn't just fob me off.

Onwards and upwards! Xx

NeopreneMermaid Sat 06-Apr-13 12:05:48

Thanks for the success stories! Really lovely to know.

When did you use tampons again? AF due any day now and I'm nearly 7 weeks post op. Feel fine but nervous after the trauma of them turning around and falling out head-first previously. shock

I didn't even know that was possible.

mistyviolet Sun 07-Apr-13 10:40:02

Edwinbear, Troubled, Thrifty and Neoprene, you are very welcome. I remember how terrified I was after my surgery. Every lump or bump, or jaggy feeling or pain filled me with horror. I was convinced that something had gone wrong and I would need further surgery. Then once I got over that I worried about being too tight. The swelling took a while to go down so I thought that I was tiny but I got over that too. There was just a distinct lack of success stories out there and I really needed something to give me hope so if I can pass that on to anyone I'm really happy to do so.

Neoprene I had the joy of getting my period 2 days after my surgery so I think from memory that I was either 8 weeks or 12 weeks after surgery before I used tampons again. I didn't use them till I thought my stitches were gone as I didn't want them getting tangled up! The good news is that they now stay in straight and don't just fall out when I go to the toilet like they used to! I have to say that they did feel a bit weird and scratchy when I first used them but that feeling disappeared. Good luck!

mumof2munchkins Mon 08-Apr-13 16:39:46

Hi all,

I am currently 10 days post surgery for rectocele and cystocele repair, vaginal hysterectomy, and sacrospinous fixation, (where they stitch the top of your vagina to a ligament in your sacrum.)

I had a terrible birth with my son 5 years ago, which resulted in a prolapsed cervix. Following the pregnancy with my daughter, 3 years later, my cervix was visibly protruding by a couple of inches. Emptying my bowels and bladder, (when I was ready for them too!) was difficult, sex was a logistical nightmare, and the discomfort of walking, standing, periods, backache, was reason enough for me to have surgery. I've just turned 37, but thankfully am sure that our lovely family was enough for us all, and that having more children was something I was sure I didn't want.

I was incredibly nervous prior to my op, and was still in tears as they wheeled me down to theatre. I spent some time before hand looking at various sites and reading people's experiences, but this just scared me more. I guess we are most likely to post when things have gone wrong, but it does make for pretty scarey bedtime reading. I'd like to think that there are lots of success stories out there, but I struggled to find one.

Hence, me writing today I guess.

I hope I'm not jinxing anything by posting like this, but already things look, and feel, and are working better than they did before I went in. It was major surgery and I am being very careful to make sure I get the proper recovery I need, as are my two children and my husband, who are amazing me daily, with their ability to get on and try without me, and their kindness. The drugs are pretty good and are undoubtedly making things look a little rosey, but I am excited by being 'repaired' , and the future right now is looking good x x

wouldratherbeskiing Mon 08-Apr-13 19:53:04

Mumof2munchkins - what an amazing post. You've clearly had so much to deal with and I 'm sure your account is going to reassure a lot of people. Look after yourself.

Tr0ubled Tue 09-Apr-13 00:04:22

mumof2, brilliant positive post! Hope your recovery continues to go smoothly. Rest as much as you can, I am just over 5 weeks post op and have only just started to spend more time dressed than in pj's but still find lying on my bed or sofa the comfiest place to be!

leakyR Tue 09-Apr-13 08:47:52

Hello again. I am sorry I haven't been back sooner, our broadband box died and my smartphone is tiny and rubbish and I thought this would be a long one.
Here I am 7 days post rectocele and cystocele repair, the operation went smoothly and the pain in hospital was manageable with regular meds ;in fact on day one I couldn't believe how well I looked or felt. I woke on the second morning feeling worse and promptly threw up after my pack and catheter were removed, then had spells of nausea and very loose BM for the rest of the day (no food).The nurses seemed to think it might be a reaction to the general anaesthetic or the suppository used after surgery. The next day brought the mortification of being encouraged to try some lunch, only to shuffle at speed to the loo after several bites, not manage to get there in time and decorate the corridor, the bathroom, my nightie, slippers and anti embolism stockings with liquid poo. My dressing gown was remarkably unscathed, so I stripped, cleaned up as best I could with just water and paper towels and put that back on. Only to come out of the bathroom to be told by a fellow patient standing watching the nurse cleaning up,
"Your gown isn't fastened properly, my husband is here and I do not want him to see you"
I shuffled, embarrassed and angry out of her view muttering,
"I had no intention of exposing myself to anyone!"
At which point she screeched
"I am not saying that, just telling you to have some dignity".
Well ladies I don't know about anyone else,but for me, dignity is hard to muster when you're in hospital having your faulty vagina mended and you've just pooed all over yourself and the bathroom floor. The tears were there by now but I didn't let the horrible witch see, and had a copious, cleansing weep in the shower instead. The staff were all lovely and one of my favourite nurses simply said when she next came to do my obs,
"The lady in the next bay down, has gone home, which is nice for all of us".
Was put in a side ward after that until I went home on Friday lunchtime, in case I had something infectious, it wasn't and it did settle down overnight.
My medical phobic husband managed 2 visits grin and didn't faint. I was very pleased to see the dc again, but 3yo dd has been very whingy, clingy and demanding since I got back, I think my disappearing for a few days in this hospital place and then really not being able to do much when I came home has hit her harder than we thought. The ILs are here this week to help and yesterday on the walk to preschool dd asked grandma several times if I would be at home when she came back.
I'm feeling quite bruised and swollen and do get a dragging pain if I stand or walk about for too long, but I'm coping better with this resting thing than I thought I would.
I'm very sorry to talk too much about poo, but would anyone recommend something like fybogel to soften up stools? I have had a bm every day since Saturday, but it's very hard and painful and I'm worried about getting a fissure on top of everything else going on down there. I'm eating lots of fruit and veg and drinking a lot of water, so think I might need some extra help for a couple of days.

leakyR Tue 09-Apr-13 10:00:42

Troubled so glad you're feeling like you've turned a corner. I am in awe of how you've managed after so many procedures at once. As everyone else has said there must be a lot of swelling and bruising everywhere.
Misty Wouldrather Thrifty and Mumoftwo thanks for such positive encouraging posts. I have to say I noticed straightaway the improved sleep from not having to get up and wee every time I even slightly stir during the night.
footle thank you for sharing your experience, it's a brave and generous thing to do for us.

edwinbear Tue 09-Apr-13 12:51:55

mumof2 really glad to hear you are feeling positive and everything is going well so far - long may it continue!

leaky I'm so sorry, but I did chuckle reading your post. The only positive I can make from it is that I suppose at least you didn't have to worry about when that first post surgery poo was going to come. I had quite the opposite problem and felt like I was to explode, but nothing came. And clearly you also looked so fabulous post surgery she felt threatened by you grin. I was advised to take senna to help as well as lactulose. I got a very good syrup of figs with senna in it from Boots which kept everything soft. I'm also sure your dd will be fine once she realises that you're not going to disappear off again for a few days.

5 weeks post surgery today here - stitches are still sore and I still feel pretty swollen, but other than that I'm pretty good. Had a lovely massage and facial this morning which was a lovely way to spend the morning.

Dahlialover Tue 09-Apr-13 13:31:44

Leaky - I can't believe that woman! What does she think hospitals are for!!!! Glad you are ok.

I got by with fibogel and glycerine suppositories (and the high fibre diet and water) post surgery. A lot of people used movicol, which I have found good later on.

I still have poo problems - ( I was told that the rectocele repair surgery would probably not solve it but one hopes.....) although some aspects have definitely improved and I feel a whole lot less insecure when I go smile

I now take the fibogel twice daily, take acidophilus capsules, eat porridge with all bran in it for breakfast, drink loads and have wholegrain everything and loads of veg. And ortisan cubes. Still can't get past a 2/3 on the Bristol poo chart http://foodhospital.channel4.com/fibre-challenge/stool-chart/.

I finally got hold of some movicol and had my first type 4 grin I am now going to try and stay there whilst reducing the movicol.

Pelvic floor relaxation is also useful to know about: http://pelvicphysiotherapy.com/downloads and michelle kenway has useful info. http://www.pelvicexercises.com.au/constipation-and-prolapse/

Dahlialover Tue 09-Apr-13 13:34:08
leakyR Tue 09-Apr-13 20:10:00

Thanks dahlia. Is it wrong that I am fascinated by the poo chart? I have to say I probably am close to a 4 normally with occasional lapses into 3 or 5. Since hospital it's 2-1. MIL brought back some Dulco-ease from the 'nice pharmacist' in Boots, we'll see how I do with that.

MrsAnnie Tue 09-Apr-13 20:18:17

I am aware that many posting here have been through or are going through long recoveries but I just want to give some positive news. 8.5 weeks post rectocele repair and just in the last week have started to feel almost fully normal - just slight draggy feeling after long time on my feet. Very pleased to announce that have resumed relations with DH and......better than ever, or at least for a long time. Got my tightness back and DH is delighted, as am I. New lease of life! 6 weeks ago I never would have believed it. Wishing you all well and full recoveries xxx

edwinbear Tue 09-Apr-13 20:38:14

MrsAnnie thanks for the update. I'm starting to think about intimacy and wondering how it will be - glad to hear your DH has also noticed an improvement!

MrsAnnie Tue 09-Apr-13 20:47:53

Edwin - just need to go gently. I was very nervous but found that I could manage fine. A little sore but made up for by more intensive feelings all round : ). Now all systems go. I know it's just one aspect of recovery but def part of the bigger picture.

Dahlialover Wed 10-Apr-13 10:52:29

Leaky - the poo chart is unfortunately very fascinating. I look forward to the day that it becomes irrelevant .... I am sure I have found versions with more explanation of the significance on the different types, and transit time. I did a 'transit test' with sweetcorn. Never saw it again.

Have tried dulcoease with success. I am pleased with the movicol, and it is an opportunity to drink more.

One unexpected positive effect of the rectocele repair is that I can wee straight, and more tidily smile

glossyflower Thu 11-Apr-13 15:51:06

Hello!
I'm new to this thread - just introducing myself.

I'm 32 on 1st pregnancy, currently 38 weeks. I had very bad hyperemesis which I don't think helped my pelvic floor at all. Lots of retching and vomiting for weeks on end.
Then just after Christmas I noticed a very uncomfortable bulge in my vagina, had a look in the mirror and was shocked to see a prolapse at the entrance to my vagina!

Got my GP to look at it who referred me to obstetrician.
Obstetrician doctor was not that helpful to be honest. Basically gave no explanation to what exactly it was and how this happened and she just wanted to know how I planned on giving birth, vaginally or c section.

She did not give me the risks of giving birth vaginally with this what she described as ''mild anterior vaginal prolapse' and I said I would like a vaginal delivery if its possible.

She described it as mild but surely a mild one is one you can't visibly see hanging out your lady bits?! And when I left the appointment I had no idea on how it was to be sorted out other than pelvic floor exercises.

My CMW since spoke to the dr who said they can not do anything until I've had the baby, which is fine, but it would have been nice to have been told that.
I am over it now but was initially very shocked and upset at having a vaginal prolapse at my age and having never been pregnant before.
GP tells me it's unusual for first time pregnancy and I'm just unlucky.

Somehow I don't think pelvic floor exercises is going to make it go away. Will I need surgery ?!

Footle Thu 11-Apr-13 19:53:54

Glossy, I think pelvic floor exercises are over-rated as far as prevention or cure for prolapse is concerned. And not easy in late pregnancy. Hope you get to see a more down-to-earth consultant , one who has a proper plan.

Leaky, thank you.Xx. Actually I forgot to say that I am very pleased I had the surgery because if I hadn't, I don't think we would be making love at all by now.

Tr0ubled Fri 12-Apr-13 00:16:55

Aghhh am having a sneezing attack, ouch!

Have had a very mixed week; Monday night I had reflexology and Tuesday and Wednesday was in lots of pain. Not sure it was related but the pain definitely felt like a step back. Then last night I had some visceral therapy massage, and he worked on my sacrum which is linked to pelvic floor and was very tight. Today has been almost pain free! However my current sneezes have left me reaching for more painkillers. Such a flipping rollercoaster. The thing is I have no idea which repair it is that gives me pain, I suppose it could just be a different one of the 5 procedures each time!

glossy so sorry you've found yourself with a prolapse at such a young age. Mine started in my early 30's too but only in the last few years did I feel the need to do so something about it, and now at 38 I've had my op (6 weeks ago today) and am currently crossing everything for a successful recovery.

flossyfloo Mon 15-Apr-13 09:57:38

Well, I have just got back from the dr for my fist visit to them regarding the prolapse and have been told I don't actually have a prolapse, just prominent vaginal folds. The treatment recommended is fybogel to loosen my stools, and lose weight. Been told to give the fybogel a month and then go back to see if it's made any difference.

I've come home feeling really upset and I'm actually in tears as I write this (which is just not me, I'm not a crying kind of person!). I just feel that I haven't been given the right diagnosis or treatment. For fear of giving tmi, I open my bowels regularly, my stools are mostly soft although can suffer from constipation sometimes so I'm not sure softening my stools is gonna make that much of a difference. Also, I was put on fybogel as a teenager when my adhesions got misdiagnosed as ibs and the stuff made no difference to my motions then so can't see how this time it will be any different.

I accept I have to lose weight, that was not news to me, I am about 3 stone overweight. This is something I am working on.

I think I am upset at the thought of my vagina being like this for the rest of my life. I'm only 33! It really hurt when she examined me and I've had plenty of smears which don't hurt at all. I've even got the coil and had no pain when having that inserted so getting that much pain just from a simple vaginal examination is not normal. I haven't attempted to have sex since I discovered the bulge but if an examination hurt that much, I can't see sex being pain free. FFS, I'm only 33, I want sex again!

I did try to argue the fact that I have got all the signs and symptoms of a prolapse and that I didn't feel I needed stool softeners but she asked me to try it for a month and then go back. I felt it would be unreasonable to not at least give her plan a go so said yes. So now I am stuck like this for even longer and it just feels rubbish.

Sorry for the long post, really needed a good rant!

Dahlialover Mon 15-Apr-13 17:10:27

Yes - they do seem to like to push the soft stools and pelvic floor exercise bit. It is quite disheartening. I got round it because I'm pretty active (dance) and have strong pelvic floor muscles, and a high fibre diet that wasn't helping. Also, it was repairing historic childbirth damage, that was not done properly at the time.

After the op, I still need the exercise and I am trying to sort out the constipation issues, as this may put the repair in jeopardy and I may end up with another rectocele which is harder to repair, and I don't want to go there!

I wouldn't take it too personally - they are just making sure all the boxes are ticked. Keep a diary of your diet etc and try and get to see a physio to tick that one off too! A physio might be more help in dealing with the lump.

Hopefully, someone will be along with more experience than me soon.

(I keep getting told to eat more fibre and drink more. It seems to cover everything! I don't think I can eat/drink any more than I do!)

Tr0ubled Mon 15-Apr-13 17:28:38

I think I still have a rectocele sad
6 weeks post repair and I've been finding it harder and harder to go to the loo. Today it took me over half an hour to go, so I had a feel and the posterior wall was definitely bulging. I didn't apply any pressure to it as I still have loads of stitches and don't want to cause any damage so I just waited and waited and unfortunately had to strain a lot to eventually go. Feeling really miserable now that possibly this could have failed, and so early on sad

Footle Mon 15-Apr-13 17:59:19

Dear Troubled, I really hope this is just the healing process taking longer and with more swelling than most of us experienced , because you had such a lot done.
xx

wouldratherbeskiing Mon 15-Apr-13 21:21:06

Flossyfloo - I'm sorry- it is a miserable dealing with these conditions and not feeling listened to. My GP said my 'lumps' were very mild and recommended pelvic floor exercises. I did everything he said and then went back and set out a case for a referral in a calm, measured way emphasising what a huge impact it was having on my life and a disaster for my intimate life. Losing weight is difficult but if you even manage to lose a little plus keep the food diary then it will show willing. Plus good idea from Dahlia to get going with the pelvic floor exercises and you can report that too. Good luck.

Troubled. really hope it is just the swelling. I had my check up over a week ago around 9 weeks post op and was told all is well despite me feeling a bit squidgy and a possible lump. I was told it was just the healing scar tissue. It did reassure me. Hope you can 'go' with ease soon.

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