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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.

Bladderama Wed 09-Jan-13 19:08:37

I also meant to ask if anyone else has needed this done?

YourHandInMyHand Wed 09-Jan-13 20:58:18

Hi everyone

Just going to jump right in on here. smile

In 2010 I had a cystocele and rectocele repair. I was one these threads, can't remember my name back then though as I regularly name change. All went well, however they now seem to be back with a vengeance. sad Has anyone else had this happen? My gynae said I was the youngest woman he'd ever done op on, that I was probably born with weakness in this area of my body (one child, prob free birth) and that he'd more than likely see me again after op.

I feel so gutted I am going through this again. I have a very small tear on my perineum today from a bowel movement trying to come out as I didn't hold the back wall of my vagina as I went. Looking in the mirror I can clearly see both the cystocele and the rectocele bulging out.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 09-Jan-13 22:27:26

Your hand - I am so sorry to read your post - I think most of us on here have that nagging dread at the thought of our repairs failing - hopefully others will be along who can offer some shared experience. I can only offer a cyber hug and some empathy of having to deal with these conditions. Awful for both repairs to go. Were you given any advice and support regarding pelvic floor exercises or what you could do post op? I wish I had a magic wand x

YourHandInMyHand Wed 09-Jan-13 22:33:32

Just pelvic floor exercises. Got a booklet when I was dishcharged from hosp with gentle exercises to do whilst healing but that was about it. I healed quickly (once an infection was quickly nipped in the bud), and everything seemed ok, I had no problems for ages. To know I am back at square one is so disheartening. sad I'm a single parent and my DS has autism - his latest severe anxiety topic is me dying so going into hospital for a short stay will really freak him out, it did last time and that was before he even realised I wasn't immortal. Plus it will mean finding someone to look after us both again for a short while. I really could cry. sad

So glad of this thread as it's not the sort of thing you can idly chat about with acquaintances at the school gates!

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 09-Jan-13 22:39:47

Bladder - it's such a roller coaster. Sorry to hear you need another procedure. Haven't got as far as you to need a neaten up of a repair. Can only suggest you ring your consultant or gynae clinic, or GP. I've found the secretaries really helpful, not to answer questions directly but to find out things for me. You've reminded me that after my second birth I didn't heal we'll and they talked about 'refashioning' - their words not mine! Good luck.

Yourhand - so sorry to hear that, I haven't got anything particularly helpful to suggest I'm afraid. Perhaps try ringing your consultant's secretary and see if you can be seen without going via GP again, might speed things up? I have found myself chatting with a lot of mums at the school gate about this, I had to ask a lot of them for childcare favours post-op so had a bit of explaining to do and a lot of them were very interested, I hope by chatting I can encourage anyone else who is suffering to get help. I have definitely glossed over it with the school gate dads though!

*Bladder - I would imagine it would need at least a week off work, if not a bit longer, is it done under GA? I would agree that ringing up your consultant's secretary would be a good idea. I think mine is far too ridged as well, I've got an appointment with the gynae physio clinic in a few weeks, I'm going to ask their opinion.

Have a great holiday Would and good luck with the surgery.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 09-Jan-13 23:00:56

Your hand - You've such a lot to deal with. I am older and do not have young children let alone one with additional needs. My consultant did a research paper on the benefits of pelvic floor exercises and before I had even seen him I bought a TENS pelvic floor exerciser. I am sceptical but felt I needed to do more than doing them myself. I only did one gynae physio class but others on here have had intensive tests on their muscles. Perhaps this is what you need as you are young and your consultant described weakness. My cystocele op is soon and i've put the TENS machine away - I am going to stand on a mountain smile.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 09-Jan-13 23:04:01

Bladder - 28 jan and learned yesterday I'm first in so very happy with that.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 09-Jan-13 23:13:53

Who knows - I have been led to believe it takes a very long time to completely heal and that ridges can reduce in time. I've got a prominent ridge on the back wall repaired in March. I avoid feeling things too much as cystocele has got bigger and I think my uterus has dropped more. I feel such a mess it's depressing but do have an op soon and know I will have a great week away. Thank you for your good wishes.

tinkxx65 Thu 10-Jan-13 09:22:21

Hi all, and welcome to all the new posters. Have a lovely holiday wouldrather smile. Well I am four weeks and two days post op and think I have some sort of infection now, have doctors appointment late this afternoon sad and I have borrowed my sons phone and taken a picture of the tissue that is falling out my bum when I have a BM - the things we are reduced to do lol, my main worry is that I can work out how to delete it afterwards.

And the secretary from the hospital has just rang and I have an appointment with the gynae consultant on the 22nd, so not too long, am really hoping that they can get me in with the colorectal consultant quicker and that the dropping cystocele is all in my mind, fingers crossed hey.

Anyway take care everyone xxxxx

That really is one you wouldn't want to get on Facebook by mistake isn't it Tink!.

Bladderama Thu 10-Jan-13 18:48:33

Yourhand so sorry to read your post sad and that your repairs have failed so soon, what alot you have to deal with. A cyber hug from me too.
Hope that you get a referral and some advice soon.

Tinxx glad that you had a good holiday and have an appointment through to see your gynae but totally dreadful what you are going through aswell and good luck with deleting!

Nana and slinkychick so pleased that you are both doing well

Wouldrather have a fab holiday on top of that mountain smile I have already had a 'refashioning' 8 years ago which did not do me a lot of good and I cannot remember how long it took to heal but was a SAHM then so didn't feel pressured with healing and time off etc.

Whoknows that is amazing that you can talk about this at the school gates I am in awe of you. I just cannot bring myself to discuss this with anybody in RL.
I dont think that I have helped the healing and ridge problem, you might remember that I pulled a stitch out getting out of the car which was very very ouch at the time blush
I need to contact my consultant I think, I didn't even ask what type of anaesthetic they would use because I just wanted to leave and go and digest what I had been told.

GAH this diagnosis, referral, procedure, healing and keeping healed is just such an all consuming worrying time for us all. Thank goodness for these threads or I would be lost x

YourHandInMyHand Fri 11-Jan-13 07:54:48

Thanks for the support ladies. I've booked a GP appointment for next week. Can't say I'm in any hurry to show my lady parts to strangers again!

Those talking about ridges from OP, I had these and they did fade. I do have an odd random bit of skin though which wasn't there before op, kind of like a skin tag.

I can't imagine talking about it at school either! If I had to tell people I just said "gynae operation", that seemed to be enough information for everyone. grin I spoke to my sister about it yesterday and even that I found hard and we talk about everything!

daisygatsby Fri 11-Jan-13 13:10:18

hi there, i started a thread about this but thought you guys might be able to help me out.

i had ds nearly three years ago and think i may have a prolapse,thing is ive had several smears since then and no doctor has ever mentioned it. is it something that should be able to be picked up at a smear?

i think i may have rectocele too - ive seen it , i think. also, i think when i cough i feel pressure in my bum. im sure i never used to!

i would apologise for the TMI but i guess you guys on this thread are used to it!

wouldratherbeskiing Fri 11-Jan-13 13:38:03

daisy - welcome. I can only suggest you see your GP and discuss a referral. Do not be put off - you will only get a proper diagnosis by being referred to a specalist. Sorry for the short reply but as others will know on here I am off to stand on a mountain!

Finished packing and ready for the off:

Toothbrush - check
Toothpaste - check
laxatives - check
ring pessary - used for rectocele but haven't used for cystocele before -think I should take it just in case - check
HRT cream - check
glycerine suppositories - check
pain relief - check

..... packing never used to be like this. grin

Happy healing everyone.

MiseryArse Fri 11-Jan-13 14:24:41

I've not been on this thread for a while but I've now had my defecating proctogram. What an experience but I found it fascinating! No results through until I see the colorectal surgeon at the end of the month.

In the meantime I've been to see the gynae who says the cystocele has improved. I'm amazed by that but not unhappy. He fitted a ring pessary today to see how I got on with it and I have just had my first proper complete wee for years. OMG the relief!!!

Just wanted to share grin

YourHandInMyHand Fri 11-Jan-13 14:42:05

What the heck is a defecating proctogram?! Does it asses how you poo??

Should this be done as a matter of course with a retocele? Never heard of it, and definitely didn't have one before surgery.

I did have a bladder test thing though. I found that a really negative upsetting experience. Mainly to do with the guy's personality who was doing it. But I also found it triggered emotions from an upsetting experience I'd had in the past.

I'm more worried about having to go through the bladder test again than I am about going into surgery! hmm

YourHandInMyHand Fri 11-Jan-13 14:44:36

Congrats on the proper wee MiseryArse. grin

Daisy do make an appointment with GP, and regardless of what they say ask for a referral to a gynae to be checked properly. My GP was great as was the gynae.

I remember when I noticed my cystocele and rectocele I called NHS direct in a panic and was practically laughed off the phone. angry Put off going to GP for months after that, but when I went in I was so glad to feel I was getting sorted and referred.

someoneseatenmyapple Fri 11-Jan-13 14:55:56

Hello Ladies

I recently had an anterior prolapse repair & a sacrospinal fixation op (17 Dec), so almost at the end of week 3. I have a couple of questions and wondered if anyone had any advice to offer as I'm a bit unsure as to how I should be feeling {down there!}.

It still feels a bit prolapsy but when I touch it {on the outside} - it seems fine and feels like it used to {pre kids} but I'm aware it is probably still a bit swollen. It just feels a bit odd on the inside. I'm not in any pain.

Secondly in reality {they tell you six weeks} but if all goes as expected how long will it be until I feel fairly normal again and can resume normal life properly. I'm in no rush but as you don't get a six week check {unless anything untoward happens} it seems to be a bit of a guessing guide.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


peedoffbird Fri 11-Jan-13 21:44:14

Hi all. Sitting here very worried and think something has happened inside my vagina. I had a really bad pain in my abdomen a couple of days ago after straining for a poo! It went away and I think it could be to do with the coil.

Tonight I went for a poo and something didn't feel right. I feel a pressure inside and feel like there is a tampon stuck but there isn't. I examined myself inside land could feel something towards the back wall that like a soft lumpy thing. No pain and doesn't feel like it's related to my bowels.

Thought it could be a prolapse ? Any idea? Crapping myself to be honest. Thanks in advance.

roseanna1 Sat 12-Jan-13 15:29:42

Had my 2nd urodynamics test yesterday...can't quite believe how calm I was this time compared to last. Amazes me how quickly the most embarrassing things become normal in this journey! Anyway, this time there was 'marked' stress incontinence when coughing lying down instead of it taking standing up and coughing hard, so as I suspected, the si has gotten worse (actually after having coughed gently coz I knew what was going to happen they said to cough as hard as I could and the water ended up spraying all over the poor nurse's arm - luckily they laughed and made me feel ok about that!). There was also a new thing this time - when I got up off the table I immediately started leaking loads....they said there was a strong detrusor contraction at that point. Grrrrr....more problems....

Waiting for the defecating MRI appt to come through now. That one I am anxious about, mortified at the thought of it and I'm genuinely not sure I can go through with it, but I know its the only way to find out what's wrong. Thanks for posting about your experience Misery, it does give me some comfort. Are there any other details you'd be willing to share about what to expect? Will understand if you don't lol x

Peed - could be a small rectocele, but your gp could easily check for you.

Daisy - again I would check it out. I don't think they mention it even if they see it sometimes so you don't panic about it, but if you go to the gp and specifically ask about it they should be able to confirm it. The pressure can be to do with other things too besides prolapse, so tell them about symptoms in detail as well as mentioning any bulges etc you might have x

Losh Sat 12-Jan-13 20:32:00

Hi all.

I had posterior repair surgery on Monday for a rectocele.

I was pretty gutted about it when it happened as I am only 33 and have only the 1 baby (my son is 2 now). He only weighed 7lb 10oz but was born very quickly, so not sure of that was a factor. I was stitched inside and out (worse than birth) and I think they may have bodged it a bit. I was fine until a couple of weeks pp when I became seriously constipated and it was after the exertions and trauma of that when I noticed the bulge.

It was only mild and my only real issue (other than the ick factor) was that my tampons wouldn't sit in properly and as my periods din't return until 9 months pp, it wasn't really a problem until quite recently.

I have private health care and the consultant I was referred to said she would go ahead and do the surgery, so here I am!

The surgery went well according to my consultant (think I also had a repair to my perineum, although I did not expect this, lol) and other than some throbbing for the first couple of days, pain has been reasonable.

Had some constipation on day 2 so was given an enema on day 3. Wasn't that bad really and was such a relief not to be bunged up. Been taking lactulose since and bm's are regular and not painful, so all good.

However, I was discharged yesterday morning and by the end of the day I was noticing some stinging near the perineum, to the side. It is external and feels like a scrape / cut. It is not really bad or anything, but I am a little concerned as it was not stinging before!

Does anyone know if this is to be expected or do you think I should be concerned?

Thanks in advance for any advice and best wishes to all those recovering!

Peed - it could be a prolapse, but TBH I think the only way to find out is to go to the GP and get it checked out.

Daisy - it might not have got picked up at a smear because they are less noticeable when you are lying down, also they probably see all sorts of different things and don't comment unless it looks harmful. It may be that the speculum they use only lets them see the cervix rather than the vaginal walls too, I think a Gp visit is the best way to get it checked. I had my prolapse for a good few years before surgery and it was never commented on by the smear nurse or the Dr who inserted my coil.

Roseanna glad the urodynamics was less stressful this time, finger crossed the defecation thing is not too difficult for you.

Apple - I had a prolapse repair at the end of Sept. I went back to work at 7 weeks but only for a couple of hours a day (three days a week) for the first couple of weeks. I would say I was able to do most things again byt that stage but I still had to take quite a lot of rests, so I didn't do as much as usual, just built up gradually. It was probably about 12 weeks till I was really back to normal, ie sitting on hard chairs without a cushion, full daily schedule of housework, childcare and work, and I still get the odd twinge (about 15 weeks now).

Losh - I didn't have any perineum repair, so don't know if what you are feeling is normal, although I think there is a very wide range of aches, pains etc associated with these ops, so it is probably fine. As you are so recently discharged I would suggest ringing the gynae ward where you were treated, did they give you the number?

Losh Sat 12-Jan-13 23:12:11

wkwttg - I gave them a ring this evening and the nurse seemed to think the new pain is as a result of doing more since I have been home. I have been taking it easy, but in hospital I did absolutely nothing, so my activity is greatly increased.

My head is telling me that is probably the case, but I am so scared of infection or other complication, so just getting a bit wobbly! Nurse said I would be getting a bad discharge if there was an infection, so somewhat reassured.

Having said that, this is the most discomfort I have been in since the op, ouch!

someoneseatenmyapple Sun 13-Jan-13 05:52:35

Hi & thanks whoknows for your reply. I've had a quick google & found this Losh about itching:

All wounds go through several stages of healing. The following are frequently experienced:
 Sensations of tingling, numbness and itching.
 A slight hard lumpy feeling as new tissue forms.
 Slight pulling around the stitches as the wound heals. Please see your doctor
if the level of pain in your wound increases, or if there is any heavy blood

This is the leaflet I got the info from (not from my local NHS) but the advice seems quite comprehensive. (& better than the info I was given).

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