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Pt 8 (Oct13) Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc (994 Posts)

(739 Posts)
gottagetthroughthis Wed 19-Mar-14 00:24:19

Welcome to thread 8 (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 - an earlier 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
Thread 7
Thread 8

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 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.
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.

Fauxgina Fri 21-Oct-16 11:14:40

Yes you really need to see someone, as I wrote above ask GP for a referral to a gynaecologist or urogynaecologist but pick the best hospital before you see the GP that way you can ask to be referred straight there. Whereabouts in the country are you?

MajorClanger123 Fri 21-Oct-16 10:25:28

Thanks so much for all your speedy replies - yes sadie9 another symptom I definitely have is feeling like I've had an incomplete emptying and I need to go back to the toilet. I saw a specialist consultant whilst pregnant with baby no3 (because midwives didn't want to give the go ahead for a c-section unless someone had thoroughly investigated my bottom end). She did various tests using water up my bottom to see how much I could hold. When she understood I was only there on the basis of did I need a c-section or could I have another natural birth she immediately said she'd request a section for me as she didn't want me back in her clinic 2 years down the line with fecael incontinence. Seems like perhaps I will be back there even though I had the section! I'm only 37 so I didn't consider prolapse as I thought this was more likely after menopause, but having discovered this thread I'm thinking I really need to see a doctor as it's only going to get worse if left untreated,
Thanks again

Fauxgina Thu 20-Oct-16 22:44:17

I think difficulty cleaning and having to re clean regularly is actually a classified as being fecal incontinent. Sorry, that's not a nice term but I don't want you to be upset thinking you're rushing in the morning and not wiping properly! It's a fairly common complication of issues after childbirth.

Also sadie I've been reading about anal intussusception lately as that's what I have and your symptoms sound remarkably similar although you say you've improved since which is good. Right down to the 'flat shape' of poo.

You really need to see urogynaecologists but I'm not sure if the GP can refer you straight or if you have to see a gynaecologist and get referred to a specialist department from there.

But look and find the nearest hospital that has a urogynaecology team and ask your GP to refer you there, all your tests and consultants will be under the same roof.


colouringinagain Thu 20-Oct-16 22:28:34

majorclanger, I had a 4th degree tear after my dd and was sent to a very special physio to help strengthen my repaired anal sphincter.

What you're describing does sound like maybe it doesn't close as tightly as it used to do. I'd definitely recommend going to GP and asking for a referral to a specialist. Having had two third degree tears you should have no difficulty getting this referral. In my experience this can definitely be improved on with exercise. Sympathies, I found it very stressful.

As you're going to your GP it may be worth requesting a pelvic exam too, to see if GP can identify any prolapse too, but my money is on anal sphincter weakness. All the best.

sadie9 Thu 20-Oct-16 22:20:56

I've had a prolapse (since repaired). I had a cystocele and a rectocele. So my bowel movement symptoms were 'incomplete emptying'. The Doc described it as the rectum (where the poo is stored) should be a kind of tube which ends at the anus. When the rectum gets pulled out of position by childbirth it can drop down a bit, and so a pocket is created slightly lower than the anus. So we do a poo as normal, but a little bit remains in the pouch below the anus. When you stand up then, that little bit is there still there and then presents itself at the anus, and so you might get incomplete emptying - as in you feel you had a bit more to do. And I'm thinking maybe the symptom you describe. But I'm not sure if my explanation is what you have.
I also had some stools getting 'stuck' so it felt like I hadn't the muscles to push it out. Also my stools weren't cigar shaped (TMI) they were like eel-shaped flattened 'ribbons', now they are normal shaped again.
I would suggest you go to a specialist women's physio to look at doing a pelvic floor program. Your GP should be able to help too hopefully. It is a big enough issue as it is quality of life thing, it is on your mind every day and does impact you...

MajorClanger123 Thu 20-Oct-16 21:17:24

Hi all,
I know there is probably plenty of info on this thread but I can't manage to read all 30 pages tonight!

I just wondered if someone could describe their prolapse symptoms to me as I'm wondering if this is what's happening to me....

I have had 3 kids - 1st forceps with 3rd degree tear, second natural with 3rd degree tear, 3rd elective c-sect as consultant said too risky for natural birth again given previous tears.

My youngest has just turned 5, but for some years now I feel I've had 'poo' issues - if I have a bowel movement during the day, I wipe thoroughly but many hours later I can wipe again after urinating & quite a lot more poo can be wiped away. It's like my sphincter isn't keeping 'closed' & is letting more out during the day.

I don't think this is helped by not having great regularity in bowel movements anymore - 3 kids means mornings are mental so I rarely sit on toilet long enough in mornings. I then try and catch up later but that's tricky too.

I think I need to see gp about it but I'm not sure it's enough to be going for? I just feel dirty after a bm and it actually stops me wanting to get intimate with DH unless I'm thoroughly showered.

waiting4relief Wed 19-Oct-16 04:40:54

Bocca I have not heard of the laser treatment either, but my surgery was done without mesh, I live in Australia and they don't like to use mesh thank God as there has been so many issues regarding using it. If you do investigate the laser treatment please let us know as it would be valued info for anyone else being offered the treatment, I hope the road ahead is a smooth one.

waiting4relief Wed 19-Oct-16 04:34:36

Fauxgina, I know 😞 how frustrating it can be waiting for all the decisions to be made regarding what type of surgery you will be having but hang in there. I know the agony of the prolapse let alone them poking and testing and also the waiting which seems to only make things worse. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Please let us know how you next appointment goes and what there decision is. I had a posterior and anterior prolapse surgically repaired almost a year ago and I have not forgotten all the pain and anxiety that went along with it. Any assistance, questions or just a ear of understanding I am happy to help as I'm sure all the other ladies are also. Take care of yourself thinking of you.

Fauxgina Tue 18-Oct-16 10:42:28

Joining in. I've been 12 months so far having investigations and tests and please God I will meet all my consultants next month to finally agree what surgery to perform and when it might be.

It's been really long, really horrible, very painful, too invasive. I'm totally fed up.

waiting4relief Sun 16-Oct-16 05:57:14

No it is definitely not selfish, I often get concerned when everything seems to be going great and then I feel a twinge ache or pain. I still have a hernia in the stomach that is going to be corrected via surgery and I think that sometimes pulls me up from doing to much. I am taking magnesia Pellegrino every second night or I don't poo and I am on bladder medication everyday so it isn't angry that's how I explain how it feels... It has almost been a year since surgery it was a really rough process and i am still terrified it will return. This site was my way of coping, understanding and of course great support from ladies like you who understand. May you remain symptom free and know that we completely understand.

gottagetthroughthis Sun 16-Oct-16 00:11:06

I have not had surgery - tried the pessary had to have it removed because too tight so counldn't poo blush however, would like to try that again before any surgery if I have to.. can't believe this but have had no symptoms (nearly afraid to say it) since so just "waiting" to see what happens. I am 56 so am getting on. sooo glad to hear all's well with you and long may it last!
always still keep looking on here it has helped me a lot at times when I do have my symptoms at least I know I not the only one so hope it never disappears it's my support - does that sound selfish?

waiting4relief Thu 13-Oct-16 15:22:20

gottagetthroughthis How are you going? Did you end up trying the pessary ring? I haven't been on for a while, I don't know if you remember me but I had my surgery in November 2015 and had a lot of setbacks but I am now so glad I had the surgery. I hope you have found some relief xx

gottagetthroughthis Thu 13-Oct-16 00:34:21


Never heard of that type of surgery - worth investigating and have you heard where it is offered and how it helps?hmm

BocaDeTrucha Sat 13-Aug-16 17:49:38

I can't offer any advice to anyone as not had any surgery (yet) but am 3 years post baby and been diagnosed with a rectocele. I had physio for a few months after childbirth then they discharged me. Since then, the rectocele has developed but I haven't been referred for any surgery and am just learning to live with it. I've just started using the Intimina pelvic floor trainer as am to lazy to do the exercises myself!

My question is if anyone has had vaginal rejuvenation laser treatment as a treatment for their prolapse? A gynae I saw last week mentioned it was a new thing, expensive but effective, and avoids the need for traditional mesh surgery. Does anyone know anything about this?

shrunkenhead Tue 09-Aug-16 07:31:31

Hi, I have been on and off a few of these threads but they fill up so quickly I miss a lot so apologies if this has already been asked....I have IBS and was also diagnosed with a rectocele (I also had a bladder prolapse but tvt op fixed that) I suffer badly with faecal urge incontinence and wonder if I got the rectocele fixed it would help with that?

CoconuttyOil Sat 06-Aug-16 21:12:51

I have had it for years so can wait another few months and want to lose a bit of weight and really try to get what is left of my pelvic floor in better shape pre-op. I hope these two things will give subsequent recovery a good foundation. I have been warned that whilst they think the planned repair will fix things, the shifting of organs may precipitate a further prolapse that may need more surgery. Having said that I think I actually have rectocele, cystocele and enterocele as all three have been mentioned by colorectal or urogyn consultants. I am having rectocele repair which i hope will fix all three!

Perkins08 Thu 04-Aug-16 22:21:21

Hi. Yes, I work full time. A mixture of sitting and standing/walking, but no heavy lifting (unless I'm daft enough to try and replace the bottle in the water cooler myself!). I went back for 4 hour days for the first 3 weeks. Was a bit weepy sometimes by the end of the day, but fine really. The trouble with half days was that I found it really hard to get the message across to my boss/colleagues, and consequently hard to leave after the 4 hours were up! I found I was iller than I expected for the first 4-5 weeks after the op, then got better very quickly in the weeks that followed. If it wasn't for the flippin' cystocele I've now developed, I'd be as good as new now! Greentea, don't worry about feeling rubbish now (assuming you've not got an infection of course). Being fit before will surely help your recovery once the anaesthetic and other drugs are out of your system. Coconutty, I delayed my op for a year (until my youngest child could walk) - I guess it's a question of how long you can live with the symptoms? Mind you, I'm so sick of the whole thing I want the cystocele done immediately!

CoconuttyOil Mon 01-Aug-16 21:27:52

thanks Perkins that's good to know. Do you work every day/full time? I do and so trying to second guess the impact on work. Expecting about 6 weeks off post-op and then some kind of phased return. I was thinking 3 days/week would be sensible but it sounds like 3 half-days/week is more realistic to begin with.

I'm also trying to decide how soon to have it done - in next couple of months or wait until next spring when hopefully I can spend my recovery on the patio.

Greenteandchives Mon 01-Aug-16 08:02:06

Hi I had a Rectocele repair three weeks ago. I used to be very fit. Now I can't imagine ever being able to get back to my job, let alone do a spin class. Please tell me it gets better! I hate convalescance.

Perkins08 Mon 01-Aug-16 07:49:13

Morning. I had a trans vaginal rectocele repair with levatorplasty. No mesh - the surgeon basically cut open the back wall of my vagina, pushed the rectum back where it should be, then overlapped the walls and sewed them up. Mesh wasn't offered. I had six weeks off work and, much to my surprise, really needed it. It turns out I'm not good with morphine, anaesthetics etc so it took ages to get them out of my system. Plus the codeine-type drugs make you really constipated, and I found the balance of those drugs with the laxatives really hard to get right. I never knew constipation could be so debilitating - especially when you can't get it over with a good push! I went back to work on 4 hour days for the first 3 weeks. In fact, I'm just realising I can't count - I'm 10 weeks post op today! Oops! There's hardly any lifting in my work, so that's fine. My 2 and 4 year olds are more of an issue there, but they're coping well. Anyway, sorry for the long post. Feel free to ask anything else!

CoconuttyOil Sun 31-Jul-16 21:32:32

hi Perkins08 I'd appreciate you sharing your experience as I'm due to have laparoscopic repair shortly. Which op did you have for rectocele repair? Did you have a mesh repair? How long were you off work?

Perkins08 Sun 31-Jul-16 13:40:55

Hi all. I'm 8 weeks post op for a rectocele - happy to share experiences if that helps! I was in hospital for two nights, which was great as I needed their help getting the balance right between the painkillers, the anti-sickness drugs and the laxatives. It took me much longer than I thought to recover from the op, and the side effects of the drugs were worse than expected - so do be prepared to be lying down a lot at first, and get yourself lots of support - especially if your kids are wee! I'm back at work now and feeling fine to be there, if a little tired by the end of the day. I had my post op appointment with the surgeon on Friday. Cheerfully expected to be signed off, all better, but thought I'd just check the bulge I sometimes feel is only swelling. The good news, he said, is that the rectocele is all fixed and nearly healed (the stitches take months to dissolve apparently), and by all means go running, live your life. The bad news though... is that I have developed a cystocele prolapse. Aargh! Here we go again - referrals to consultant and for biofeedback in the post, and back round we go. Still,
at least pooing is easier now!

ConfuciousSaysWhat Thu 28-Jul-16 15:44:51

Hi all can I join? Went to my gp today to discuss something else and got the ok for referral for that then got it together to discuss my continence issues. Dr's words of:

"I can see the prolapse already"


"you have absolutely no muscle tone at all"

Followed and we're accompanied with the diagnosis of rectocele and cystocele. She's not going to bother sending me for physio and instead I'm being put to the gynaecology team for surgery.

I thought I was just going to be told about pelvic floor exercises!

So what do I need to know? I've got 6-8 weeks before my appointment. Forewarned is forearmed.

havalina1 Thu 21-Jul-16 21:54:33

Footle Pilates is ok if your teacher knows what's going on! It's really helped me alongside my exercises that I do alongside those given by the Physio. My class is run at my Physio centre by the other practitioner and she knows why I'm at the women's clinic. I think there's loads of exercises we can do. I also do exercises to strengthen my bum - that's really weakened too and that affects my pelvic floor greatly.

Greenteandchives Wed 20-Jul-16 12:01:22

Hi pop I had this done last week. The worst thing is feeling totally wiped out. Probably from the anaesthetic. I am supposed to be going for little walks, but haven't managed to yet. Also very sore to sit down still. I am showering twice a day and blotting the area with clean towels every time to keep the stitches clean and as it is so hot at the mo. Make sure you have some stool softener to make it easier to 'go'. I am scared to sneeze or cough. Hopefully someone a bit further on in their recovery will come and offer some encouragement. Best of luck. Keep posting.

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