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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.

NeopreneMermaid Thu 20-Jun-13 23:35:40

Mine was just under a local anaesthetic though!

Today has been the worst so far (3 post op). I could only wee by contorting myself on all fours over the loo and by this afternoon I couldn't even do this. I was standing in the bath, in a puddle of my own wee and screaming in pain because I was desperate to go but relaxing my pelvic floor to pass anything was excruciating (I actually started blacking out when I tried). DH called the hospital and they told me to go to a&e. Long story short, I now have even stronger painkillers and a catheter. sad Anyone else had to have this?

MrsC I also have small children (1 and 3) so I feel your fear! I'm guessing you're about 4 weeks post op which is still very early days. After my anterior repair, I still wasn't walking much or lifting anything other than a half-filled kettle. I think you'll be fine on your break but do take ot easy (definitely no bike riding!).

NeopreneMermaid Thu 20-Jun-13 23:36:22

Sorry, the bit about going away was to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh63 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:58:08

Thanks Neoprene will take this advice on board re no bike riding. Sitting on a chair is bad enough let alone a bike

mrsclairet Fri 21-Jun-13 10:02:46

neoprene - I had terrible trouble weeing after the operation and the catheter had to go back in. I tried holding a baby wipe against my skin like someone else had suggested here but that didn't help so my husband suggested I take the ipod in to the toilet with me and listen to one of my favourite songs to help me relax, I put it on really loud and it did actually work! I also found holding some toilet paper against my bottom helped in the first few days. I had to stay in hospital for 4 nights in the end because of having to have a catheter in. They did say I might have to go home with one but I didn't really fancy that idea!

I went to the doctors today and saw a really nice male doctor who said that if you have the front and the back done together in the same operation there is a chance your vagina walls can stick together and look like the barrel of a shotgun, which I think is what you were mentioning kotinka? He said if this happens you should try to have sex once you have been given a follow up check as he said some women leave it for a long time and then have problems having sex, partly through psychological reasons and partly because the vagina shrinks. He also said as long as I don't feel uncomfortable with the seat belt against my tummy that I should be ok to drive.

NeopreneMermaid Fri 21-Jun-13 10:34:16

Thanks MrsC, it's good know I'm not alone although I'm sorry you suffered too! I have been sent home with the catheter until next wed. Emptying it this morning with spraying tubes flying everywhere added to the indignity of it all though!

NeopreneMermaid Fri 21-Jun-13 11:20:26

Just had a call from the doctor (obgyn) I saw in a&e last night asking me to go back in now but "it's nothing to worry about; you're all right" hmm

kotinka Fri 21-Jun-13 11:22:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsclairet Fri 21-Jun-13 12:12:33

Good luck neoprene. I really feel for you, I had to have a catheter put back in to drain the wee off and that was really horrible, then I had to have it put back in again for another day because I still couldn't go and it was so uncomfortable but I think that was because I had a urine infection by that point. Like you say it's feels so humiliating and undignified aswell but I suppose the nurses and doctors have seen it hundreds of times before so we shouldn't feel bad about it.

NeopreneMermaid Fri 21-Jun-13 12:49:44

Thanks for your kind wishes. I've just been given an enema so let's see if this works. Oh, the dignity! At least I'm on a ward with magical soundproof curtains around the beds. hmm

kotinka Fri 21-Jun-13 13:03:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClaresAvonRecruitment Fri 21-Jun-13 13:39:47

http://www.imperial.nhs.uk/prd/groups/public/@corporate/@communications/documents/doc/id_012381.pdf this is a helpful link/leaflet I've just found, gives ideas on weights to safely carry post op....

Edinburgh63 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:11:19

Thanks: ClaresAvonRecruitment, a very good site you recommended. Well worth a visit ladies. :-)

ClaresAvonRecruitment Fri 21-Jun-13 14:19:55

My neighbours daughter is 6 weeks post op and just returned to part time nursing... She was told to lift no more than a cup of tea... I was obis worried that as I'd carried more than that, I would have caused some problems especially as I have sporadic bleeding.... The leaflet says 2 litre bottle of water as a guide, so I feel more reassured now... I'm 3.5 weeks post op, and I've gone back to regular lying on the bed if its only at lunchtime, it makes a difference.. Too much sitting is sooooooo painful..

ClaresAvonRecruitment Fri 21-Jun-13 14:22:23

Thinking of you neoprene, an Enema..... Never had one but it doesn't sound good.... X

Tr0ubled Fri 21-Jun-13 20:49:38

mrsc what your GP said just sounds so bizarre. If this was the case then no one would ever have both repairs at the same time, and if a consultant doesn't feel able to do both together then I'm not sure they should be doing either wall. Can you tell it really annoys me when gp's scaremonger wink
If it puts anyone's mind at ease, I had both anterior and posterior repairs at the same time at the start of March. For about 4 weeks I left it all alone but at about 5 weeks or so I decided to have a feel and was so nervous as I couldn't even fit a finger in. Others on here reassured me it was swelling but that didn't stop me panicking for the next few weeks. Fast forward to 11 weeks and I tried to have sex, and succeeded! We had to shift positions a little but it was just fine smile.

neoprene I'm so sorry to hear of your problems and really hope that the enema works for you soon. During my surgery I also had a hemorrhoidectomy and this made pooing for the first fortnight agony, but I managed it each time by breathing it out, I called it hypnopooing!
For me the swelling actually helped me go as it put pressure on my bowels. Unfortunately as the swelling subsided I started to have problems but my proctogram on Wednesday showed this has nothing to do with my surgery as my repairs are holding well. Hopefully I'll see my consultant soon and find out what's causing my problems.

rebels Fri 21-Jun-13 20:59:09

Thanks all for your kind words in response to my previous post. I've been working since I last wrote and finally had time to sit down and respond. I'm on the laxatives since 2½ months and I'm good at pfe's (have gotten compliments and ok's on that part at least for years).

Surgeon did say she was hesitant because it might get worse (but in other ways - chronic pain or pain during sex and so forth). I know she's right in some ways at the same time as I doubt this will go away. But I'll do as she says and eat the hell out of my laxatives (one problem is I am still on pain medications that constipate me and not really anything to do about it), work my pfes and so on. IF it happens that by autumn I can have bowel movements more times than not without having to splint and so on then maybe I can live with this. I know the techniques still aren't as good as they in my opinion should be for such a common problem.

Love,
rebels

NeopreneMermaid Fri 21-Jun-13 21:23:18

Well, I have finally pooed and even with Troubled's hypnopooing, I can honestly say I have never been through worse pain (and I've given birth to two 9+lbers on gas &air alone and broken my leg in three places!).

My mum was with me in hospital and after two enemas, I finally went but it was excruciating and I was screaming and passing out in her arms on the loo from the pain.sad Just awful. Hopefully the worst is now over.

I still have the catheter in and am being kept in overnight but, all being well, should have it removed and be discharged tomorrow morning.

Sorry to hear it was so awful Neoprene, hopefully next time will be better.

MrsC - my consultant said he doesn't do both repairs together because of the risk of the walls of the vagina sticking together or it just being too tight.

Tr0ubled Fri 21-Jun-13 22:20:35

neoprene the worst is over, you'll never have to do that first poo again. I almost passed out too, was in hospital and had to pull the red cord as I fell on my bed (2 steps from the loo) naked. I think the literal enormity of how much there is after so many days and the pain just makes your blood pressure drop so fast.

rebels Fri 21-Jun-13 22:53:56

Wow*neoprene*, I really really hope your stomach will be better now.

Badgerous Fri 21-Jun-13 23:44:47

Hello all, I'm after some advice please. I noticed a strange lump in my vagina, much more prominent when sitting, at the entrance back wall. It's not quite golf ball.sized but very obviously there, it's visible using a mirror to check. I went to my gp today who called it 'rectal descent' and told me to put tampons up and see if that helps. I'm not happy about this. For a start it's bulging through my vagina, so it's a vaginal prolapse. Secondly I tried the tampon thing and it was agony trying to get it out after 20 minutes, I couldn't keep it in, was far too uncomfortable.
I don't feel that he's taken me seriously.

Hi, that is rubbish advice Badgerous a tampon is not a medical device for supporting prolapses and he should not be telling you to use it as such. Do you have the option of seeing a different GP at your practice? Perhaps have a look at their website and see if any of them specialise in women's health. You would be quite justified in going back and saying that the tampon did not help at all and asking for a referral to gynae. Have you noticed any other symptoms, eg discomfort, pain, difficulty with bowel movements? Also, in the meantime, in order to help prevent it getting worse you need to think about trying to avoid heavy lifting, pushing (eg shifting furniture) or high impact exercise. If lifting is unavoidable, eg small children, make sure you tighten your pelvic floor muscles just before you lift and try and maintain the hold as best you can.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Sat 22-Jun-13 06:24:41

I would be making a complaint about that gp. That is such ridiculous advice on so many lives. Toxis shock can kill. Please see another gp.

NeopreneMermaid Sat 22-Jun-13 06:47:33

Badgerous I agree that is shockingly bad advice trom your gp. angry As he has diagnosed a prolapse (even if he's calling it something else), I can't understand why he didn't prescribe an actual support (e.g. pessary ring) or refer you to a gynae (or more likely a physio in the first instance).

Loads of us have been fobbed off by GPs and eventually got the right treatment by being persistent. See another GP if you can and request a referral to a gynae. And definitely stop using the tampons in that way (unless you have your period of course and that's what you'd normally use). What an absolute wally your GP is. angry

Badgerous Sat 22-Jun-13 08:14:47

That's what I thought, I'll have to wait until DH has a day off work so he can look after DD. I do want to have another child (I'm 27 and would love to have more children) will this affect it? Apart from not dtd!

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