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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)

(815 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.

KatharineClover Tue 10-Jan-17 17:42:22

Oh my goodness smellsofelderberries, you poor thing! I also had a PPH with my first son and it completely knocked me for six. How are you feeling now? Have you had a chance to chat with your GP or HV about how you feel? I totally get the feelings of denial and wishing things were different wth my body - I have only just made the decision to put my name down on the waiting list now for my prolapse and perineum repair, and it has taken months and months of ignoring it and just wishing I didn't have it. I hope seeing the women's health physio has helped you? I found out I was doing pelvic floor exercises entirely wrong (fear of leaking meant they were held in a tight position and not relaxed at all, so the exercises weren't effective until I learnt to properly relax them first). After 2 sessions the improvement was massive for me, so I hope you have found improvement with your circumstances too x

Imstickingwiththisone Sat 31-Dec-16 14:59:23

Has anyone here tried the Whole Woman approach? If so how did you find it. The website seems a bit like a cult and the items available from the shop are very expensive!

Imstickingwiththisone Fri 23-Dec-16 19:27:47

Thanks lamby im feeling more positive about it all already. Sounds like you've had brilliant news and I hope you can look forward to dealing with it now. My understanding is that a rectocele is a prolapsed bowel so still a prolapse, just a different organ bulging in the wrong place. Were you examined lying down or did you have to bear down? Will you be having physio? I'm really happy for you, it's probably very common what you've got and its just a lot of people are asymptomatic until things get worse. Have a lovely Christmas x

Lamby80 Fri 23-Dec-16 18:16:48

Hi Imsticking
Well done! I'm so pleased for you. Dont feel like a pita. People have c sections all the time. And yes there are risks but there are with vaginal births too that they don't tell you about. My c section went fine for my first.
My appointment went well I think. I explained that I thought I had a prolapse and she examined me and said I didn't have a prolapsed uterus but have a mild rectocele. I was under the impression that was a prolapse of sorts so I was a bit baffled. The outcome was though that it is so mild it is not even classed as stage 1 and regular pelvic floor exercises should help. I can even run after a while though she has advised me to lose weight before I do that, I could do with losing a couple of stone ( you will see me on a weight loss thread in the new year! ). So in all fairly happy.
Hopefully we can put it at the back of our minds now and enjoy christmas!

Imstickingwiththisone Fri 23-Dec-16 11:10:10

Hi lamby how did the meeting with your consultant go? I hope you came out of it feeling better?

Im now booked in for a elcs so it was a success. I can't help feeling guilty though as I was made to feel like a pita. I was warned about risks that were not mentioned in the official literature they sent me away with though. For example that I'm putting my baby at huge risk and won't be able to have any more children. Im glad I saw through it but if I'd not already known the risks from my own research (googling) then I would've been convinced by their bullshit argument.

The reason given for the elcs in the end was past birth trauma so a psychological reason rather than that I have genuine medical concerns for my own health. I certainly hope that the gynae people you're seeing dont dismiss you like the Obs people do.

Imstickingwiththisone Thu 22-Dec-16 00:05:35

Thank you lamby. Absolute best of luck to you too.

I really hate the way the prolapse repair ops have been referred to so blase. They sound more frightening! Also all the false promises about what they will or won't do once youre in active labour when actually they'll just deal with everything as it unfolds and not look at the bigger picture. I understand that that's how vaginal deliveries work because they can never truly anticipate what will happen next, but why promise otherwise??

Hope I wake up with my assertive head on! Hope you see an understanding consultant flowers

Lamby80 Wed 21-Dec-16 23:14:16

Hi Imsticking, i hope it all goes well tomorrow. Don't let them talk you out of what you want. Maybe ask for a second opinion. I wish I had. I suspected I had a slight prolapse when I was pregnant and was assured a vaginal birth wouldn't make it worse, that I wouldn't have forceps as I was a vbac, and wouldn't be pushing for too long. He wrote it on my notes but the midwife didn't really take much notice and I ended up pushing for 90 minutes, and needing forceps as he was too far down for a c section. Lo and behold I think and feel like my prolapse has worsened. I too am seeing a consultant tomorrow morning to have it confirmed. The obstetrician did casually say during my pregnancy that prolapses can be fixed after but didn't inform me of the risks involved. I wish I had stuck to my guns. I don't notice the prolapse day to day so feel very lucky but annoyed that the anxiety and tears over this may have been avoided.
Good luck again.

Imstickingwiththisone Wed 21-Dec-16 20:47:02

Hello everyone, not posted in a while but feeling a bit worried about my consultant appt tomorrow. I'm 36 weeks pregnant with a uterine prolapse which I suspect occurred after my first delivery. I was fobbed off from the doctors post partum and managed the symptoms with an e stim and put it down to paranoia. Low and behold I have a uterine prolapse diagnosed during my second pregnancy but apparently this is just coincidence...

I requested a c section at 28 weeks and was told it could complicate any future prolapse operations plus theres no guarantee things won't drop further after baby is born due to strain of pregnancy alone. However she said I could have one if I wanted and to think about it. Second consultant review at 32 weeks I was told I didn't need a c section and that I barely have a prolapse to worry about. Well at 28 weeks my cervix was about 1-2 inches from my vaginal opening and my GP thought I was in labour so surely that's not normal. Was told they'd check prolapse tomorrow and make a decision based on how bad it appears then.

Why do I have to walk in with my uterus hanging between my legs for them to take me seriously when they readily admit that there's no way of knowing how bad my prolapse will be post partum.

Apparently pushing doesnt do any additional damage which im sceptical of. However if it turns out babys head is positioned wrong or has an arm up I could end up with a tear or forceps which clearly would make it worse. Why should I risk that on the basis that oh I can just have a different op afterwards to sort prolapse... surely prevention is better.

Sorry, trying to get myself in the right frame of mind for tomorrow here.

sadie9 Sat 17-Dec-16 13:47:03

Take heart smellsofelderberries, you are only weeks after a baby. It is really, really early days for you. And it's emotionally a rollercoaster time as well. I eventually got down to crying only once a day at around 5pm when the whole world seemed to collapse in on me. You have hormones surging all over left right and centre.
The ligaments are slacker too with breastfeeding, so just give your body a chance to recover a bit. There was absolutely no way I could have run around after a football at 6 weeks post birth on my first, with no prolapse, just no way. That's a pretty big ask to be honest. It's like you are expecting everything to be back to normal straightaway very soon after a birth and that might be a bit of an unreasonable expectation and a bit unfair to yourself. If you can use a tampon now that is pretty good going too... yes you can definitely feel it more when you have your period. A mild prolapse can be symptom free for a good bit of the time with good management, a lot of women only realise they have one after menopause, because they haven't had symptoms (or not recognised the symptoms) and they haven't been poking their fingers up there while standing up. If you can't feel it, then you forget it's there, then it doesn't bother you, that's my experience. And yes it's highly inconvenient, but it's not life threatening. There are worse things I could be sitting in the doctor's office waiting to discover. I'm not minimising by saying that, because I know myself the distress that can be caused, but sometimes remembering that helps me to put it in perspective sometimes...

smellsofelderberries Sat 17-Dec-16 08:14:08

Thanks all for the kind welcomes. I am still trying to wrap my head around it and failing. Felt really positive this morning as for about 10 minutes after I got out of bed, I couldn't feel my prolapse. I had a little feel around with fingers and it did feel smaller, and having a quick look in the mirror, my bits were definitely looking a little more like pre-pregnancy than they have been. That didn't last long and things dropped and became uncomfortable again, I'm just hoping against hope that if it was 10 minutes today, maybe tomorrow it'll be 10 minutes and 30 seconds. And then maybe, in several months time, that will last all day. It gave me an inkling of hope that maybe I can get things feeling back to a new normal that's halfway between what was and what is.

I am still very much grieving though. We went out this morning and I couldn't run for the bus. We are going to my Mum's next week for the holidays and I realised I will have to say no when my nephews ask me to play football with them. I have a headache most afternoons from crying so much.

For some reason my period has decided to make an appearance at 6 weeks PP even though I am EBF my little girl, so I'm also hopeful that things have felt worse the past week because of that, as I've read many women experience worsening symptoms around their period. I seem to be able to (just) still use a tampon, though I can feel it fairly low down. I guess that's more than most.

I just really hate how my doctors and physio so far will only talk about 'management' and 'alleviating symptoms' and 'not letting it get worse'. Never recovery, though I suppose if I could be asymptomatic 99% of the time then that would be a recovery to me. I am not one for formal exercise, but the thought of not being able to run for the bus, or do a 5 mile walk with my husband and baby makes me very sad. I suppose I'm only 6 weeks in. I just don't know how women who have been through this with their first child go into another pregnancy knowing how much more damage they could sustain. And I feel like less of a mother for not feeling like I can sacrifice my body for my children.

sadie9 Fri 16-Dec-16 17:08:55

I am coping well my surgery 2yrs on. And it has gotten better again in the 2nd year I have found. I went back and did more specialist women's physio at my local hospital as I thought it was coming back, occasionally I could feel something. So the physio helped a lot. I thought I'd had both anterior and posterior but since found out he only did the anterior. So the rectocele may start to be bulging in again a little. However, I have no day to day symptoms except becoming aware of 'down there' every so often. For me doing the deed improved as before the op I couldn't have been on top as it was too painful, now that is fine. I was a bit sore down there and spotting pink after but turns out I had thrush without knowing it.
The recovery is slow so if you have smaller children and if you can wait a couple of years then do, as picking up toddlers won't help after surgery. Jogging, running and any kind of weight training (unless specialised), or any sit ups or stomach crunches are out. Walking is ok. I also started pilates and just got the dvd by Michelle Kenway (Australian physio) designed specially for those with pelvic floor issues to try and strengthen my core safely.

waiting4relief Fri 16-Dec-16 15:40:16

Hi ladies I was on here quite a lot a year ago as that is when I had my prosterior and anterior surgery repair. 1 year later still having pain with intercourse but it more around the labia and entry point not internally tmi. I avoid sex as much as I cant do it more then once a week. I did have a lot of complications during surgery and will see my gyno/surgeon in a few months again (5th time) I am happy I had the surgery though as it has changed my life for the better in every day activities. I have a stomach separation larger then my hand that needs surgery so needless to say my 6 bubs (last one 13pounds) have left me in a bit off a mess, I'm only 35 and fell like I'm 75. I feel terrible for moaning on here when so many of you are facing what I know to be a hard and sometimes scary situation, I do hope every one on here finds the support I did on here when I needed it most, don't let this post did as it is invaluable Blessings xo

Lamby80 Fri 16-Dec-16 14:21:36

Hi Sadie9, thank you for responding. I don't blame myself really but angry at myself for being talked out of the c section. I think I had a slight prolapse before the birth but wasnt confirmed and the doc was very blasé and said we would sort it out after and wouldn't get worse. Anyway, what's done is done. Need to move forward. It's actually quite easy to live with and day to day I don't notice it much to be honest. A little discharge but nothing uncomfortable. I have found that I am scared to chase my son around the garden etc or go for a jog.
Can I ask did you get yours fixed? And how did you find it? I am not sure I want the risk of the op if I am coping well with it.

sadie9 Thu 15-Dec-16 15:36:30

Hi, just to say don't be blaming yourselves for getting a prolapse. I have seen women posting her (and other sites) who have never had children and they can get a prolapse too, as well as women who have only had c-sections.
We have done everything right the whole way along, no worse than anyone else did. No one can predict how a birth will go on the day. Then we prioritise our baby's safe passage into this world above everything else at that moment in time, because we have to. There simply is no choice in the room at that moment. No part of this is the woman's fault.
Lamby80, the sensation would take a good few months to come back again anyhow after a birth. Well done on dtd. I found doing the deed with a prolapse took a bit of effort and determination, but in the long run I found it was better to maintain it in some way or frequency that you can manage. I did go through a period of a few months of not doing it and being depressed over it. Then I realised not doing the deed at all only made me feel more isolated from my hubby and worse about myself. Although the humour wasn't on me due to worrying about the prolapse, getting into a routine of doing the deed made me feel closer to my hubby and more 'normal' than avoiding it altogether or for long periods.

Lamby80 Thu 15-Dec-16 12:55:27

Smellsof, the only the I can say is it gets better. I was in the same situation as you a couple of months ago when I had my son via a forceps delivery. Horrified, tearful, angry and bitter are feelings I had every day, every hour even. I was tearful all the time and it was on my mind all day every day. Like you I also wished I could turn back time and not had another child. I posted on here and everyone was so supportive. I realised I needed to talk to someone about the constant tears so took myself to the gp just before my 6 week check. I asked to be referred to a gyne and for advice on feeling low. As my tears were due to the prolapse we agreed that I wouldn't get any medication until after my appointment as it may turn out my prolapse was not as severe as I was imagining. My appointment is next week. In the meantime, I booked to see a counseller and this worked well for me, I sat and cried through the first session and the few I have had since then have been just chatting. I realised recently that I have been thinking about it less and less and not obsessively looking in a mirror to remind myself of it and hoping that it has magically disappeared. I downloaded an app to remind me to do pelvic floor exercises and it helps knowing I am helping things along. My other thoughts used to run into thinking I would never feel like sex again, never feel attractive etc and that sex would be painful. I finally managed to pluck up the courage to dtd this week and didn't fund it painful. A little stingy but that could be the cut they made. On the other hand, I didnt have a lot of sensation though i will take that over pain any day.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions, I will keep an eye on this thread.
Btw, I have since found out that this is very common even in women that have so called straightforward births. I had a c section with my first so this was all new to me.

smellsofelderberries Sun 11-Dec-16 01:37:26

God, that last bit makes me sound like a terrible, terrible person. I love my girl so so much, I guess I just wish I'd been much more informed of the potential risks of certain labour positions, midwife led pushing and how damaging certain posture can be post-natally. I feel quite let down in that regard by my healthcare providers. I just hope I can be the sort of Mum I always thought I'd be to her, feeling pretty lousy at the thought of not being able to run around with her at the park and like I'm letting her down so much by being so upset by this sad

smellsofelderberries Sun 11-Dec-16 00:28:50

Hello all, checking in for the first time if that's okay. I'm just over 5 weeks postpartum with my first baby and have discovered this week that I have a bladder prolapse. I'm so angry- I had a straight forward labour with just over an hour of pushing, drug free water birth with no interventions and only a 1st degree internal tear (massive PPH with retained placenta but that's another story). My DD was only 3.3kgs at birth so not very big. I am fit and healthy and was super active throughout pregnancy- walking a few miles a day and doing my pelvic floor exercises throughout. I haven't had an office diagnosis yet but I suspect it's a stage 2/moderate prolapse as I can see and feel the bluge right at the entrance to my vagina. The good news is that I am seeing a women's physio on Thursday, only saw the GP on Friday, so I'm pleased I am getting the help so quickly. I vacillate wildly between sobbing hysterically and wishing I had never had my daughter, which I feel horrific for even thinking, being SO SO angry that my midwife was directing my pushing and telling me to push when my contractions had finished, and that she didn't see my contractions had slowed and weakened when I got in the bath and suggest some different positions to help, and then sometimes feeling optimistic that I might be able to really improve my prolapse and have some sort of recovery. But everywhere I read talks about prolapse management, not recovery, and then I feel utterly shit again. I remember feeling like I was tearing up the front when she was crowning and was shocked when they said I only had a first degree, and now I'm wondering if it was all my muscles tearing inside that I was feeling. Probably
Right now I'm struggling to care for my little one. We also both have thrush so breastfeeding is painful. I suspect I did more damage over the past few weeks with terrible posture, carrying way too much and too much activity. We were hoping to have another 2 children in quick succession but that looks like it's probably out the window now, if I can ever bring myself to want to get pregnant again as I am now terrified of labour (c-section also v scary).

I feel so utterly broken and useless. My little one has started being really fussy and I can't help but think it's because I'm crying all the time. I'm scared to do anything in case I make my prolapse worse. I can't really see a way forward right now and just keep wishing I'd never had her sad

KatharineClover Thu 24-Nov-16 09:51:57

Thank you so much Kitty, that is really helpful. I'm glad your recovery is going well. I really think I am going to go for it, but the final bit of courage I need to call the consultant's secretary is eluding me at the minute. I think I need to set myself a deadline to call by and just bite the bullet!

kitty1013 Wed 23-Nov-16 23:05:46

Hi Katharine

Luckily for me I have private health insurance so once I'd decided to go ahead (with the same surgeon I would have had on NHS- but no wait times) I could just book it in on 2 weeks notice. I'd seen him on NHS and then dithered about going ahead, especially as I was still breastfeeding my youngest, so from him saying op was appropriate to me going ahead with it was about 8 months, but I appreciate that's not very helpful to get an idea of NHS waiting times.

I was in hospital for two nights. First wasn't the nicest with catheter in & inflating things on my legs but second night more comfortable although then I was constipated and that was a bit stressful. Take stool softeners before the op! I didn't and regretted it.

I don't work I "just" look after six kids. All but the youngest are at school/nursery and I had a lot of help for the first two weeks but still had to put on washing etc at the weekend and the surgeon didn't ban me from anything just said be "guided by the pain"! It was more of an ache if I did too much. I drove after two weeks. It's now been 3 weeks and two days and I feel pretty normal and am certainly doing all normal things, no heavy lifting but must admit have picked up my crying toddler for hugs a few times as he's poorly. But I try to go to sit down and let him climb on me.

I don't think you should be carrying things of much weight sooner than 6 weeks post op, but if you can adjust your job so you don't have to do that part then 3-4 weeks off may be enough- but everyone is different and you may disagree when it's you. Personally I found post-baby stitches more painful and traumatic than this has been. At least you aren't handed a newborn at the same time, like you are with birth!!
With this op the stitches closer to the surface are meant to have dissolved by six weeks but The deeper ones take three months apparently.
Good luck , I hope once you've decided you don't have to wait too long!

KatharineClover Tue 22-Nov-16 15:39:41

Hi Kitty,
Thanks so much for your reply, that is really helpful. I've done a lot of thinking about it lately, and I am almost sure I want to go ahead. I still have SPD pain, now I wonder if some of the pain I think of as spd is actually prolapse related, and so the op may help to stabilise things I guess, potentially another reason to go for it.
My first baby was 8lb 11 and my second was 10lb, both with fast labours. It was my second baby (plus stitching job by midwife who didn't seem to know what to stitch to where from the conversation she was having with a colleague) that caused my issues.
Can I ask how long you were in hospital for, and how long until you could drive /work? And how long you had to wait for surgery if in the uk? I have to carry quite a lot of things for my job working in different venues, and move tables and chairs too, so it may a while before I can get back to full duties?
Thank you xx

kitty1013 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:45:31

Hi Katharine

I had a tvt put in and a posterior repair i.e. Rectocele repair, three weeks ago. So a bit different to you but the rectocele is the same. My Problems were caused by five babies, the last with forceps.
I am really glad I had it done. My consultant thinks it's worthwhile and so do i. If I can go back to pre- baby anatomy and lack of symptoms, why wouldn't I.
Maybe in the future something will need re-doing- it's not something my consultant's talked about - but if I've got 10-15 years "out of it" I think it's worth it.
The recovery has been fine. Uncomfortable and you have to take it easy for a few weeks, but nothing awful!
Obviously it's up to you but I'm so happy I had mine done.

KatharineClover Sat 19-Nov-16 18:04:31

I was diagnosed a year ago with a rectocele grade 2 and perineal deficiency. Women's health physio has reduced to almost zero any urinary incontinence, but I am still affected by the rectocele (sometimes difficulty pooing, and need to push from inside). The perineal deficiency means reduced sensation which is depressing, as in some positions I cannot feel a thing sad
I have been recently offered a repair of the rectocele and perineum (from inside, not with mesh). I was a bit shocked in the appointment (I nearly fainted in the waiting room before hand) and so didn't ask many questions. The consultant left it that I would call his secretary when ready for the op. I am nearly 38, 2 kids aged 5 and 2.
Has anyone else had this op done, and if so could you tell me about it please? I see from previous threads people talking about some ops needing to be re-done in 10-15 years - is this the kind of op that needs to be re-done? I can keep going as things are, but ideally I would like the perineum repaired at least, as it does affect my confidence and how I feel about sex, however I don't want to risk making things worse. sad
Many thanks,

Imstickingwiththisone Thu 10-Nov-16 14:37:32

Hi everyone, this slipped off my Threads I'm On so I've only just found it. I feel for you Lamby, I feel like a lot of the obs people don't see the psychological impact it has on your wellbeing when they give their advice. I'm 7 months pregnant with a uterine prolapse. I keep being told that things will probably spring back up afterwards but my understanding is that the baby is keeping things up right now and once gravity has a chance it will all be hanging out. I was also crying a lot a few weeks ago as I felt 'changed' and the pressure I feel as well as the stress incontinence are constant reminders of that 'change'.

I spoke to my mum and she said 'it is what it is' and although that sounds really crap it actually helped me to minimise the issue.

If you're at home with a newborn right now I suggest you get out and about to as many mum and baby groups. Sitting at home made me so much worse, and in fact work days are my best as I have a desk job and am totally distracted but sitting.

Im having a crap day today. Have a cold after having already had a cough for about a month. Had a load of injections today which have left my arm tender. Lots of housework to be done and feeling guilty that my DD is having such a boring day while I wallow.

Cupoteap Mon 07-Nov-16 13:16:15

Btw sex does not had to be a problem. On a previous thread it was described as the flap ply bit of skin under your tongue.
My boyfriend has only ever know me with it and has no complaints lol

Cupoteap Mon 07-Nov-16 13:11:04

Hello ladies
I am suffering today with pain from my rectocele and back - nothing is touching it, any recommendations and what works best?

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