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Any old prolapse! Uterus/womb prolapse, rectocele, cystocele, enterocele, urethrocele, incontinence, pelvic floor, anterior and posterior repair, TVT etc part 7

(1001 Posts)
gottagetthroughthis Fri 19-Oct-12 00:38:09

This is thread 7 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.

Here are the previous threads:
Thread 1
Thread 2
Thread 3
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 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.

fengirl1 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:13

Evenin' all! Had my checkup today (7 weeks postop) and like Whoknows have been discharged. (I only got to see the nurse though.) Apparently my fanjo is still not looking youthful enough so I have more oestrogen cream.... The PDS stitches are now less uncomfortable - just as well as they're likely to still be with me in the New Year hmm. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes as I'm still quite sore at times, but whatever happens they won't cut them which is fair enough as overall I'm pleased that I no longer have the Dartford Tunnel down there and don't want to risk spoiling it! grin I'll just have to remember not to get carried away with anyone (chance would be a fine thing) and do them an injury with my 'man trap'. grin I'm doing more now but as a result feeling just as tired which is a bit frustrating.... but I obviously still need the odd 'nanna nap' or two! smile

Glad you're making progress too Fen, I know what you mean about the Dartford tunnel! Even without PDS stitches I'm not feeling quite ready for mine to be receiving guests yet. DH might get an early Christmas present though grin.

When I joined MN one of the things I decided was off limits for posting about was my sex life as it was unfair on DH. Little did I know!

fengirl1 Thu 22-Nov-12 11:27:54

Whoknows, lucky DH!!! I've just spent all morning on my feet and it has illustrated very clearly that I'm not ready to go back to work..... P.S. How is it possible to get bum ache but only in one cheek???

roseanna1 Thu 22-Nov-12 14:34:05

Fen and whoknows- great news for both of you. What a relief to know everything's gone well and great to see the good newsstories to inspire and give hope to us all...congrats smile

Fen - I still can't spend more than an hour or so on my feet without a little rest, but the rests I need are much shorter now (no excuse to sit and watch telly all afternoon any more). Sitting is noticeably more comfortable this week, but still some way to go. I am getting numb in one bum cheek because I am sitting on one or the other instead of in the middle a lot of the time.

Roseanna - thank you, how are you feeling this week?

tinkxx65 Fri 23-Nov-12 09:02:33

Hi Everyone, not been on for a while. I have my pre op on Tuesday and wondered if anyone could tell me what to expect. As my op gets nearer, I am seriously working myself into a state, I need to get a grip lol. I know this has been asked before but what would those of you that have had the op recommend I take into hospital. Do I need a dressing in gown? I dont really want to buy one just for one night.

So pleased to hear that you are both doing well Fen and Whoknows.

Roseanna, Bladder and everyone else, hope you are all ok, I had a quick flick through the posts and cant see one from Skinikki, am hoping her op went ok.

Take care everyone x

Hi Tink - at the pre-op they do bloods, urine, measure you for surgical stockings and run through what to expect before, during and after surgery, also what precautions you need to take at home afterwards eg avoiding lifting, rest etc.

As for what you need to take in, I did use my dressing gown, but didn't really need it. Slip on slippers or crocs are essential once you are up so you can go to the loo. They need to be slip on so you don't have to bend. You are cathetierised typically for 24 hours post op, after that they like you to stay till you have managed to urinate 3x by yourself to make sure everything is working. If you are still in a gown at that point you need a dressing gown for decency but if you have a nightdress that should do. I also took in a water bottle (easier than a glass in bed), my phone, Kindle, wipes for face etc, some sweets (I took Opal fruits), sanitary towels, and a whole lot of other stuff I didn't use. Oh and soft tracksuit bottoms or similar for going home, jeans will not be comfortable.

I was in hospital for 2 nights (my op was in the afternoon and I really would not have felt able to go home after one night, I was extremely wobbly for the first couple of trips to the loo). My stay was really quite pleasant, all the staff were lovely and the other patients on my ward, we all had a nice old time chatting away.

Also, it might be a good idea to start on some mild laxatives eg Fybogel a week before your op to keep everything nice and soft for afterwards.

tinkxx65 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:57:24

Thanks for the reply Whoknows, bit of a bugger about the slippers, mine are boot ones, hadnt thought at all about not being able to bend, doh. What sanitary towels do you recommend? I have been looking at them, but there is such an array, I just dont know which ones to get. I have just bought some mini shampoo and conditioner and shower gel to take in, am hoping to be able to wash my hair (I am vain) and have the sort of hair that looks like I have been dragged through a bush in the morning - or am I being silly and my hair is going to be the last thing on my mind!!!

Fybogel I have some, the doctors gave me some when they put me on iron tablets, but I was too scared to take them, I dont want it too be too soft if you get my meaning, I have a problem holding it in at the best of times. Or does it just bulk it up.

As you can tell I am panicking lol, god only knows what I will be like the day before.

I also have boot slippers, I went and bought the cheapest pair of slip on ones I could find in BHS. To be honest any slip on shoes will do, it's only a day or so.
Slip on shoes for coming home too for the same reason. Also cut your toenails, you won't want to do it afterwards for a bit.

I took dry shampoo in, I really did not feel up to standing in a shower the first day and had a bedbath. My hair is quite long and needs shampoo and conditioner and a lot of rinsing though. It was a massive relief to get home and have a shower/hairwash though.

I was nervous for the same reason with the Fybogel, I did take it for a week and noticed no difference whatsoever. I also took Lactulose for the first couple of weeks post-op. If you need codeine based painkillers (which I did not) or iron post-op (I lost a pint of blood, as did the lady next to me which is higher than normal so they did a full blood count on both of us, she was given iron but I was not) both can have a constipating effect. My first BMs were very loose indeed, certainly no straining there and I put towels on my bed at home just in case.

I used Natracare towels, I keep reading on MN about the Always ones being perfumed now and wanted to avoid anything that might irritate. I had fairly light bleeding for about 2.5 weeks post-op, switched to Natracare pantyliners for another week or two after that and that was it. I don't have periods though (Mirena coil), if you do you will need to take account of likely bleeding from that as well as you can't use tampons.

Pain wise, it really wasn't too bad, especially once the packing came out, I only used paracetamol and ibuprofen once I got home, but did stay on max dose for a couple of weeks,stock up on those.

Try not to panic, I'm sure it will all be OK (I know it's easier said than done). What day is your op?

Can you tell I'm putting off my housework?!

Tr0ubled Fri 23-Nov-12 15:06:18

Tinx I think we might almost be op buddies. Mine is on the 20th December and have to say now I've hit the 4 week countdown I'm starting to feel incredibly nervous. I'm keeping my kind occupied at the moment with my daughter's 3rd birthday which is on Monday, and trying to get everyone's Christmas presents organised. The thing is I'm spending so much time focusing on them (have a 5yr old too) that when I remember whats happening to me it almost comes as a shock.
Whoknows, thanks for the useful info. Think I might treat myself to a pedicure a few days before so at least my feet will look ok! Had already thought that dry shampoo might be a sensible option for hospital. Did you shower at all whilst in there? And if so did you avoid perfumed body washes?

You have to take off all nail varnish Troubled so the anaesthetists can see the colour of your nailbeds or something. I didn't shower, but I had a bedbath once I had been decatheterised and then the next day I went home late morning and got straight in the shower when I got back. I just didn't fancy using the hospital one to be honest and that first day I really couldn't stand up for more than a few minutes without feeling wobbly.

As for the bodywashes, I have to avoid most of them anyway because I have eczema, I use a very mild bar of soap in the shower at home. They advise you to avoid getting any soap on the mucous membrane areas IIRC, and just use water. Another good idea is to get the ladygarden trimmed nice and short, makes keeping things clean a lot easier afterwards.

slinkychick Fri 23-Nov-12 16:48:01

7 weeks post op tomorrow. Work next Wednesday... gulp.... Has anyone else had anteria, posteria and TVT and still has tummy pain every day and sorry id tmi wind all day and night. The ache rather than pain is below the tummy button all along. I was thinking it is the TVT ? .I also think I am paranoid and spend half the day thinking about my vagina and how it feels LOL. If I did not have this constant ache and aweful wind I would be feeling really well. Tired by afternoon but thats to be expected for a few more weeks. Good luck to those about to have the op and keep getting better everyone else

I only had posterior repair Slinky, so mine was not as major. I have had some wind, but not abnormal amounts, not after the first week or so anyway. That could certainly be contributing to the tummyache. Have you got a checkup due with your consultant?

tinkxx65 Fri 23-Nov-12 20:11:39

Thanks Whoknows, I am writing a shopping list and now will be able to just get those blinking sanitary towels without dithering. When did you have to get to the hospital, I have to be there at 7.30 in the morning, so have been thinking my op will be early, or is that wishful thinking?

Yes Trouble you are 9 days after me, I remember the 4 week countdown and now for me it is two and a half weeks and I just dont know where the time has gone. I feel sick about my operation, partly because I dont think it is going to help me. I have a rectal prolapse as well - I am waiting to be seen again by the colorectal consultant, but am not seeing him until March!!!! I am hoping that the rectocele procedure is going to help, but from what I have read online I am not too hopeful. Also they have told me I have a real possibility of being fecal incontinent after the procedure due to weak internal sphincter muscle, and I have been having awful vivid dreams (that I wont go into) but I am drowning and it is not in water :-) lol.

Slinky I am in that paranoid state of mind, have been for the last 9 months, am constantly thinking about how my vagina or bum feels, and can no longer remember what normal is.

Trouble, hope your daughters birthday goes well, and it must be really difficult for you with such young children and having to prepare for this op. I am an oldie (47) and just have two left at home (15 and 16) so they are just going to have to learn to manage, am hoping it will do them good.

Whoknows, did you get your housework done lol x

Take care everyone x

You should be a morning op, but they get everyone in early to make sure everything is ready. I think they like to keep their options open as to who goes first. I was on the afternoon list and didn't have to be there till 11.30, another lady arrived just after me and she was supposed to go first but it turned out she had last had a drink later than me so I queue jumped, went down about 1.30. They were really strict about the not eating or drinking for several hours beforehand, whatever you do stick to what they tell you at the pre-op.

Yes, I got my housework done, albeit with varying degrees of success (I was letting off steam on the Flylady threads) but I can't fault anyone for effort. Childcare was more of a problem as my two are 6 and 8 and I do 99% of the childcare, I had to call in a lot of favours from friends and family ferrying them to school and all their activities. It's nice being back in charge again now.

Oh and Tink, I know it's not exactly the same because I don't have the rectal prolapse, but I was also warned about the increased risk of fecal incontinence and I have noticed no difference in my level of control at all. I don't have the level of control that I did pre DCs, but I have never had accidents and it doesn't interfere with my life. It is nice not to have to do the splinting any more.

0120LISA17 Sat 24-Nov-12 08:21:46

hi guys im a bit late on this thread, i wondered if anyone is still here? im in need of someone to talk to. I had a beautiful baby boy 10 weeks ago, but with a horrific birth - lost nearly 2.5 pints of blood, had forceps with an epistomy and a 4th degree tear to the internal and external schpinter muscles. also my skin between my vag and bum and epistomy tore, Leaving me with a colostomy which im told is temporary until they heal from the stitches. Im damnned sure i have a fistula (connected bwteen my vag and my bum) which mens further operations before they even THINK about reversing my colostomy. I have 3 main tests to go through before any of that but my main question is has anybody been through this, what happened, etc, thanks

tinkxx65 Sat 24-Nov-12 09:55:26

Oh Lisa17 how awful, massive hugs your way. I think there is a thread called, "ragged bits" or something like that, full of ladies like yourself, that have had difficult births who might be able to help you more. Really hope everything works out for you. xxx

fengirl1 Sat 24-Nov-12 20:24:13

Tink - everyone is warned of possible incontinence with the op you're having - it's standard procedure along with loss of blood, infection etc. I can understand why this is so worrying for you, but really try not to. smile
Whoknows, how did you know how much blood you lost? I bled right through the pack, the pad and had a fair bit on my gown and the inco pad. I'm just curious really as noone batted an eyelid when I realised and asked them to look. (I do know that rectocele repairs bleed more than cystocele repairs apparently!)
Very achy again today.... The last few days have been worse than for a while so I hope (I'm trying to kid myself) that's it's the fishing line on the move!)

Bladderama Sat 24-Nov-12 21:01:23

Glad that you are making progress Fengirl I winced when I read about your fishing line.

Tinxx so sorry that you are worried I don't think I slept properly for the 2 weeks prior to surgery either. Post Op I was out of bed as soon as I could and straight into the shower because I felt horrible. The best tip for that first night is to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and face wipes in a bag next to your bed when you cant get out of bed, it really helped me feel less groggy.

Lisa you poor soul that sounds awful sad enjoy your new baby boy and congratulations. I hope that those on the raggedy thread can offer some advice I have no experience of that sorry.

Whoknows glad that you are getting back into routine again and starting to feel better.

Major improvements here over the past few weeks thankfully. I can sit for much longer and am back to doing nearly everything that I was doing pre-op. I have got the dreaded urodynamics tests in a couple of weeks so will hopefully be a step closer to sorting out my ongoing bladder troubles.
I am going to start exercising again next week and am really looking forward to it I really have not enjoyed not being able to and feel flabby and bluergh so need some tone to wear my frock to the xmas ball!

fengirl1 Sat 24-Nov-12 22:08:48

Bladder - urodynamics is not the most graceful thing in the world but should be fine - I had one when I had a period and it really wasn't too bad - much better than people furtling about in your fanjo! Hope it all goes well. smile

Fen - they told me as soon as I woke up, in fact it was mentioned several times, they took blood for a test at about 6am to check the full blood count to make sure it hadn't left me anaemic. They had clearly stopped it OK as I had relatively little on the packing, I was surprised at how little there was afterwards. Hope the aching settles down now.

Lisa - you poor thing, I'm sorry to hear things are so rough for you, I'm afraid I haven't really any answers either, I think my prolapse was also a result of forceps delivery but not the same magnitude as yours, hope things start to get resolved for you soon.

Bladder - glad your sitting is getting easier now, I was much better at work this week but still some way to go before I can sit upright on, for example, dining chairs, for any length of time.

surewoman Sun 25-Nov-12 11:17:09

Tink and Whoknows - I had a few fecal accidents after my first op, but that all gradually improved after a few weeks (thought |I had only passed wind but then had a surprise!). I was on a lot of lactulose and had had a huge enterocele, so nothing had been able to get through properly for a while and I presume that my anal sphincter muscles had not been doing any exercise at all prior to the op. It is possible to buy an attachment to go with the i-touch sure pelvic floor device to work on anal sphincter muscle control, but I didn't need it in the end. Try not to worry too much (they were only little accidents anyway and as I was all padded up, weren't really a bother).

Talking about pads - I found the really big fat basics from Tesco/Sainsbury were really comfy and as they are so cheap you can change them regularly. The always variety make you sweat and stick to the stitches!!! Body form are also ok!

Tink - if you don't have slippers, flip-flops work just as well! A dressing gown for me was really nice to have, and very useful afterwards at home.

Quick update on me (enterocele, rectocele, cystocele, tvt, perineum rebuild) - I am now nearly 6 months post op and am fine!!! I can actually/dare to, have a BM normally (ie even push a bit!!!) with no mishaps, over tight fanjo has resumed its elacticity (tampax go straight in and out, no problem), I don't invest in Tena products any more and have had no accidents (bladdder or fecal), I can go all day without a visit to the loo (useful on school trips!) and can sleep through the night. So, to all you ladies waiting to go through this, I would say it is definitely worth all the stress, worry and embarassment. Hang on in there smile and good luck to all pre-oppers!!!

Lisa - So sorry to hear about the terrible time you have had. At least the colostomy bag is temporary (if it's any consolation, my Father had one for six months and was then reconnected - we had a 'poo' party to celebrate!!!!!). Hopefully you will get fixed relatively quickly as your damage sounds so extensive. Good luck with it all, enjoy your lovely baby, and try and keep your sense of humour, Big hugs your way xxxxxx

fengirl1 Sun 25-Nov-12 22:04:51

Sure - very jealous of the elephant-like bladder! Glad you're doing well. smile
I used maternity pads, not that I needed the absorbency, but they are good for an extra bit of cushioning!

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