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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.

hh83 Tue 15-Jan-13 22:27:41

have all your ops been a success? I suppose not many people post about it online so there is not many long term success stories around!

Not all, no. Mine has been so far (end of Sept), so have those of plenty of other posters, but there are a few people here who have had them fail, either immediately or long term. There are also several posters whose problems have required more than one operation. However, I do believe it is likely to be skewed as people who have had successful surgery tend to drift away and stop posting so often, whereas those with ongoing problems stick around.

I have an untreated cystocele as well as a repaired rectocele, so I still have a prolapse and have to take care not to make that one worse as well as looking after the repair. I'm seeing the physio soon to help with that.

Newyear -I don't know about electric thapy I'm afraid, as for the pain, perhaps try some ibuprofen if you are OK to take it and if that doesn't settle it go back to the GP.

hh83 Wed 16-Jan-13 16:00:42

hi, I've been to the doctors. she had a good feel and said I don't have a prolaspe but do have a very long cervix. I did say that when I stand up and bare down slightly that I can see what ever it is. she said my pelvic floor seems good and nothing else seems to have prolapsed but I'm not sure what I do now!! would pelvic floor help lift it slightly?she didn't really tell me much.

Melady Wed 16-Jan-13 19:41:25

Hi ladies, I haven't posted in a while but have been looking in to see how everyone's doing. I'm booked in for TVT on 5th Feb but the dr said she thought she saw /felt a 'bulge at the rear' which would be easier to see when I'm under general anaesthetic.

I've learned enough from this board to know now that I will tell them not to fix more than the TVT on the day. I'd like to know what the bulge is and if i need anything done what the options are. Hopefully I have a simple op and recovery ahead.

Thanks for all the frank posts which help us all make sense of the tests and options available as well as what is normal after these ops -it seems the hospital sheets are a little vague, they should get you lot to write them! I have learned a lot!

Celegirl2 Wed 16-Jan-13 23:24:23

I am new to this forum. I am 6 days post posterior op for a rectocele repair. Got a slight prolapses uterus and slightly worse cytocele but they didn't need repair.
Unfortunately just found this thread so have been reading it for post op tips.
So far so good. Have got a just one year old and three year old so struggling with the no lifting rules but other than that physically am ok. Just want o fast forward 5 weeks to know it has worked.
Any advice anyone?

YourHandInMyHand Thu 17-Jan-13 12:59:24

Well I womanned up today and went to the GPs, she agreed that my cystocele and rectocele were back sad and has made referral back to gynae. She was shocked at me having to have them done so young and agreed it was a real shame OP hadn't lasted long.

roseanna1 Thu 17-Jan-13 13:28:55

Misery - thanks so much for describing your experience. The MRI sounds similar, just with gel rather than barium and the whole thing (pooing and all) is done lying down inside the scanner. Yours sounds a bit more interesting one than mine given you could see the screen lol When will you get your formal results back?

Yourhand - sorry to hear about your repairs not working. Mine fell apart pretty soon after the op, but there are other options so don't lose heart x

Dahlialover Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:40

Hi - a quick one as I am finding sitting at the computer uncomfortable. Last posted when I went to urogynae, and am now 3 days post rectocele/perineum repair op.

Hurrah for Glycerine suppositories!! They are wonderful and thanks for the tip.

Slept loads

I have put this off for 20 years. So far so good.

For those waiting, I have done the pelvic floor exercises, pilates, yoga and ballet quite seriously for the last 10 years and all these have been a great help, and hopefully will help with my recovery. It is so nice to wee without feeling your vagina has turned into a wide open cave though, so pleased with the surgery so far. Will wait for the verdict on the number 2's though. Off to lie down again :D

Tr0ubled Thu 17-Jan-13 22:34:12

Just popping on to say hello. There are so many new ladies. Celegirl2 and Dahlialover, I hope your recoveries are as swift and comfortable as possible. yourhand so sorry that you are going through this for a second time.
roseannai had 2 defecating proctograms, on the first one a spring in the X-ray machine was broken so the doctor had to kneel next to me holding it in place as I squeezed the barium paste out. Not sure you can get more humiliating than that!

Well it is now 4 weeks since my op was cancelled on the day itself and despite chasing the hospital I still don't have a new date. However I'm paying to see a private consultant tomorrow so hopefully he will be happy to do my surgery sooner rather than later.

Celegirl2 Fri 18-Jan-13 10:41:56

Thanks a lot troubled. Can't imagine how you are feeling with it cancelled. Every step of this process is so hard mentally that to have it cancelled on the day must have been awful. Really hope you get it sorted privately. I was lucky to have my op privately on health insurance. Made the whole thing as pleasant as it can be.
yourhand I am so sorry yours has failed. That must be hard plus do difficult to sort practically which is harder than the op itself. When snd how did you know it had failed? I have a bulge which makes me thinks its failed. It feels like my rectocele just pushed firther up. If its failed I would rather know now as finding it so hard missing out on stuff with my girls snd cuddling my baby. Not doing anything to give it chance to heal whereas if its failed will at least be able to do stuff. Will be p*ssed off of missed out on these 6 weeks and its already failed.
dahlialover how's your recovery? You are just a few days behind me.

Losh Fri 18-Jan-13 13:21:15

Celegirl2 - I had my op for a rectocele on the 7th, so just a few days ahead of you. My little boy is 2 in a couple of weeks and I am finding it hard going not being able to lift him too. Recovery is much more prolonged than I had originally anticipated and like you, don't really mind as long as it works! Wish I could be put in suspensed animation for the next few weeks, as this part is really boring!

Dahlialover - I also had a perineum repair done at the same time as my rectocele. Inside still aches a bit, bit it is the external side of things that is causing me grief. Are you finding the same?

I found some lavender oil leftover from my postpartum period and had the most gorgeous long bath this morning - it was really relaxing and soothing to the area. Highly recommend!

slinkychick Fri 18-Jan-13 13:43:10

Hello all the new people. Hi Fen, gals all is ging well, I too am feeling better but stitches still in and givieing me tummy ache, They seem thicker now than the first lot
For the new ladies I had anteria and posteia reapsi and TVT on the 6th October. It takes a while to really get better. I am 56 so younger people may heal quicker. I could and did a lot more than some people post on here. It is only the first 6 weeks with the lifting. When they say heavy lifting after that, it does mean heavy. You can walk from day one, there is no allotted time it is for as long as you feel is right for you and you dont hurt. Build up gradually. I was lucky in the fact that I had private insurance and with that came physio, she said not to sit araound, to take it slowly, but it helps the healing to do something. Swimming is ok once the bleeding has stopped. I started about week 6 but took it very slowly at first. I can now swim like I used to. Not had sex even after all this time because of stitches, and frankly am scared to ......... and because I prefer a good book !!
There is so much help on this thread, but remember we are not doctors and people talk from their own experiance. You are right it is usually the people with problems that post, I did the same when I was worried and got some great help. I am back to work full time and 3 1/2 months post op must admit to not haveing the energy I did yet
Good luck to everyone, i will pop back again.
A couple of people have sent me emails and I am happy to reply to any that I can offer help to.
There is light at the end og the tunnel x

Celegirl2 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:46:10

Thanks losh. Think I had a perineum repair too looking at the big stitches there. Getting pains in abdomen snd lower back now so getting more worried. Been watching eldest make snowman in the garden through the window so making myself lie down again too.
It's so frustrating not knowing how the healing is going and having to do nothing. Fed up of watching lots of rubbish tv and just lying around.
My consultant advised against me having a bath. It's really annoying as so much conflicting advice and think bath be lovely. Once been told not to do it though I don't think I can. Wish hadn't asked!
Fingers crossed for all our repairs being a success

Celegirl2 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:51:52

Thanks a lot slinkychick only saw your post after posted mine. I have been told no lifting until 6 weeks then after that moderate only. My baby is a chubby one year old so apparently not allowed to lift her until after 12 weeks. I also went private so have got physio in 6 weeks time so should no more after that. Was told lots of rest and lie down lots for first couple of weeks. After that pottering around and walking on flat ok for next couple of weeks. Walking on hilly roads and walking further after 4 weeks. Hopefully back at work after 6 weeks with only limit on lifting. So scared of undoing it for once it is making me extra cautious.
Really glad your op went well and nice for you to give us update x

Losh Fri 18-Jan-13 15:14:02

celegirl2 - the nurses did tell me no baths but my consultant phoned me 1 week after op and said to ignore that as she completely believes in them! She also recommeded some soft music and a glass of wine at the same time - my kind of doctor for sure. I was feeling really fed up and irritable the other night and having that bath really soothed me.

I know what you mean about being told no though. If it was the doctor who said no and then the nurses who said yes, I don't think I would be able to ignore the doctors advice!

Are you taking laxative meds or codeine based painkillers? These can make your tummy ache - I am taking both and mine certainly does.

I have also got a little tear to the side of my stitches which is horrible. I think it is the pressure of the stitches and additional movement at home that has caused the skin to split a bit. It is only tiny (although quite painful), so not sure what could be done. I have a follow up appointment on Monday and the nurses seem to think my stitches will be removed, so will see if that helps.

I was told mostly lying down for 2 weeks, then easy walking, then build the walking up from 4 weeks. Also sticking to very light lifting till 6 weeks, then moderate till 12 weeks, the main thing is you must listen to your body. I was advised baths or showers, but no soap or bubble bath on the stitches, I never have baths so I stuck with showers. I went back to work at 7 weeks but could not manage to sit comfortably in an office chair for more than a couple of hours a day for 2-3 weeks.

Celegirl - I think nearly all of us have been really worried it has failed in the post op period, there is so much swelling that you really can't tell that early (I mean a Dr might be able to, but it is unlikely you would know). Just stick to taking it easy and listening to your body.

Tr0ubled Fri 18-Jan-13 17:06:42

I had a really good appointment today. The consultant was lovely and really seemed to understand that the effects of all these prolapses are just as emotional as they are physical. He has confirmed my suspicions that my rectocele has now become an entrocele too and so my surgery will be to repair both of these plus cystocele and a perenium repair. Wow!!
I also have a couple of very uncomfortable large skin tags around my bottom (sorry tmi!) that the NHS wouldn't touch. However today's consultant has said he is going to refer me to see a colorectal surgeon with the aim of him fixing them at the same time as my other surgery.
Such a different experience to my NHS appointments, the only thing that was missing was a cup of tea!

linziluv Fri 18-Jan-13 18:17:38

Hi all!
Just wondering how many of you are quite young with this problem??
I'm 26 and have had two 40 hour horrific labours....I have a rectocele which isn't too bad I suppose but I've noticed since my daughter I'm constantly weeing, feel like I have a kink in my urethra lol....not sure how else to describe it!....I struggle to get going then usually feel I've not emptied properly. When I'm on a period it seems that I struggle to hold the contents of my bladder confused
I did/do pelvic floor exercises but no different.
What is an operation likely to entail??
Sorry for all the questions, this is the first time ever I've addressed this problem!

That's lovely news Troubled - glad it went well.

Linzi - there's quite a range of ages on here, not that I really keep track, but I think we range from about your age to people in their 60s. I'm in the middle at 45. An operation is a major undertaking, with rest required afterwards as some of us have described earlier in the day, min of 6 weeks off work, up to 6 weeks no driving and only light lifting. The first fortnight you can't do much other than rest, shower, potter round the house a bit. They aren't usually keen to offer surgery to younger women unless symptoms are severe because of the impact any future pregnancies could have on it. It sounds as though you could do to be seen by a gynae physio or incontinence clinic, have you seen your GP about these issues?

linziluv Fri 18-Jan-13 18:49:39

Thanks whoknows!
I once saw my GP about the rectocele but although I thought it was enormous, she assured me it wasn't, and my partner hasn't noticed!
Further pregnancies not on the cards for definite!
The other symptoms are more annoying if anything, and with an operation, my problem mainly would be the 4 year old, 20 month old and DP, they have no concept of me needing to rest!
I must say I feel far less embarrassed about it now....seems pretty common!

Dahlialover Fri 18-Jan-13 21:18:11

Celegirl, I will have to go a long way to catch up with you. I am so, so tired. I always have this with GA, but it is worse this time. I am just looking after myself and resting in between. Nothing else as the children are all at uni and OH is cooking in the evening.

The pooing is still a problem. I was told that the op would probably not solve the problem as there is a diverticule in the rectum, but disappointing nevertheless. Maybe there will be some improvement as things progress. It is still a huge improvement not to have ones privates fanning out when one goes.

I had a look and the perineum is a shock. Not had one for so long - hope it will not be a problem................ Things are still swollen though.

Anyway, off now - typing gives me tummy ache. Best wishes to everyone recovering, especially those with small children to manage at the same time. It is hard!

fengirl1 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:48:15

Dahlia, it took two weeks for me to feel 'awake' again. Don't be disheartened by any problems with bm's yet - it is very early days and you will still be VERY swollen. Glycerin suppositories are your friend! Use them as long as you feel you need them, along with plenty of fibre and fluid at the other end... The perineum repair can be a bit of a shock, but I'm pleased to have mine back and not feel like I have the Dartford Tunnel down there! grin Hopefully your bm issue will settle down. My op was oct 2nd and I am still childishly amazed at the fact that I CAN go, and every day too!!!

NeopreneMermaid Fri 18-Jan-13 23:13:17

Linzi, I felt I was fobbed off by GPs and three told me there was nothing there (consultant eventually confirmed a grade 2 cystocele) so keep going back. In the end, it was a health visitor who referred me to the specialist physio where I spent two years before she sent be back to the GP to get a referral to a gyne consultant. I'm now booked in for surgery next month. I'm 34 and have 2 children and no plans for more!

NeopreneMermaid Fri 18-Jan-13 23:14:08

*sent ME back.

Celegirl2 Fri 18-Jan-13 23:38:20

troubled that's fantastic that you had a positive experience. It must feel better to know someone is helping you to sort it.
dahlialover I am doing nothing too. Husband has had the week off snd is running around after me snd the girls. I am lucky that the ga doesn't affect me snd my body generally recovers from trauma quickly. Although I think that might have been part of thd cause as didn't realise my body might need to rest after my two traumatic births and was running round like a madwoman the day after both of them! Pain is a lot worse today snd the external stitches are driving me mad.
whoknow thanks. It's driving me mad thinking whether its worked or not. As you say I can't tell what's swelling or even remember what it's supposed to look like when its normal! Plus the cytocele and enterocele will still be there . Patience has never been one of my strengths.this time in 5 weeks I will have had my consultants appointment so will know.
linzi I am 38 so like to think of myself as young but not that young. Definitely young enough to know that I had to give the operation a go.
fengirl thanks for sharing your positive news.
Right I must try snd get some rest. The one year old is unsettled by her lack of hugs from me snd has been waking loads which is not like her. Could be another long night of me lying in bed listening to get cry while hubbie looks after her. It will be worth it in the end!

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