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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.

Lavender Bladder - shake up a few drops of lavender oil with some water in a spray bottle and spray lightly onto your pillow, it really helps me sleep.

hh - have you had an episiotomy or tear that required stitching in childbirth? Maybe you've got folds because of that.

Bladderama Sun 27-Jan-13 21:10:00

Thank you for the tip whoknows I have not tried lavender before so will give it a go. I got given a bottle in a gift set so will dig it out tonight.

Go easy with it Bladder - it is easy to put too much on, although you can always turn the pillow over. Hope it works.

fengirl1 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:41:07

Hh, can't dig back that far (am on phone) but I think you have a rectocele? I had a horrible collection of 'bobbly bits' which was tissue that was just sagging - I called it a sea urchin. It's much better now (though not totally gone), so perhaps it's the fanjo version of wrinkles?

charleymo5 Mon 28-Jan-13 00:41:04

Good luck for tomorrow would rather, hope it all goes well for you.

hh83 Mon 28-Jan-13 08:10:41

I'm hoping it is wrinkles too and not a wall prolapse. she just said that when I bear down it folds over. I've had a doctor and a nurse now saying that they can't find a prolapse. the doctor even did the exam with her fingers and couldn't feel anything and missed this. hopefully it nothing because the worry is killing me.

thrifty Mon 28-Jan-13 10:08:33

Can't really help you on the sleep front, as I can't remember the last time I slept through the night, however, you could try a spoon of honey before you go to bed, its supposed to stabilise your blood sugar levels, however, I find, blood sugar level or not, I still have to get up for a wee smile

hh83 Mon 28-Jan-13 10:56:34

whoknows- I had a terrible birth with my son 9 years ago. I had to have surgery after to be stitched inside but I was out of it so not sure what for but I do remember the consultant saying people pay hundreds for the surgery Haha. obviously it didn't work! I did have a hematona also and the placenta was removed but that's all I can remember x

Dahlialover Mon 28-Jan-13 12:34:54

2 weeks post op. Everything going well. Then infection sad. Bother.

thrifty Mon 28-Jan-13 17:21:12

[Sad] for you dahlia how did you know you had infection? Have you got abs now?

Bladderama Mon 28-Jan-13 19:23:57

Sorry about the infection dahlia sad

Thank you the tip thrifty and the needing to get up to wee at least once a night is part of the issue with sleeping I can never get back to sleep.

Well I sprayed my pillow with the water and lavender and fell asleep within minutes only to be woken up by DH an hour and a half later and then couldn't get back to sleep again - arghhhh

Fingers crossed that the procedure on Monday will finally sort out my pesky bladder.

Dahlia - I got an infection two weeks post op too, but the ABs sorted it very quickly. I then got thrush, but one dose or oral canesten zapped that. I just noticed a slight increase in bleeding and a nasty whiff.

hh hope you get some response quickly om the gynae dept.

Bladder hope you sleep better tonight. Have you had any further info about recovery times etc for this next procedure?

rockinhippy Mon 28-Jan-13 22:54:58

I've still to go through this, real palaver with the hospital because my good Doctor retired hmm long & complicated, so I won't bore you with that but I do have a question that I'm hoping one of you might have an answer too please

I was diagnosed a long while back after fighting for probably 10 years with rectocele, with the comment that more suspected & I was referred for defecating proctogram (eek) but because of the hospital balls up, I am still waiting on that.

I have since been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, again waiting on renal referral, but as I have had all the obvious cause tests come back as clear, (Diabetes etc) I wondered if there is any link between kidney function & rectocele, especiallymifbtheres ain't of a blockage going on as a result ??


Bladderama Tue 29-Jan-13 19:19:58

Welcome to the thread rocky hippy and sorry I have no idea if rectocele can cause kidney troubles. Hope that you get some answers soon.

Whoknows I don't have any more info on recovery times or anaesthetic yet (couldn't face contacting my consultant and left my head firmly planted in the sandblush) but have my pre-op assessment on Thursday morning so will ask then.
Tried the lavender spray again last night and slept through for 6 hours -woohoo am so pleased and going to continue doing this. Thank you for the sleeping tip!

thrifty Tue 29-Jan-13 20:15:53

Bladder, glad you got some sleep :-) I long for a whole nights uninterrupted sleep, I cannot remember the last time I didn't have to get up for a wee. I am actually hoping that once I've recovered from the surgery that it will be a reality.
The pessary ring is a godsend for allowing me everyday support, but its crap for my bladder, I swear it pushes on it. Have pre op a week Thursday..
I should take a list of questions, what do I really want to know?

thrifty Tue 29-Jan-13 20:22:57

Oh, and not totally related but I am now 60hrs without nicotine after 25 years of pretty much consuming everyday in some form or another. Its bloody hard I feel like a proper addict, but I know I'll feel better for it when I'm not craving a fag in the hospital. This time tomorrow it should be a little easier as there should be no nicotine left in my body......still its certainly taken my mind off the op a bit :-)

Bladderama Tue 29-Jan-13 20:33:46

Wow well done thirfty that is fantastic thanks for you!

Things that I am going to ask at my pre-op are:

What do I need to bring/pack?
What type of anaesthetic is being used?
When will I be able to get out of bed?
When will I be able to go home?
Will I get a sick note? and how long do I need to take off work (not sure on recovery times for one of the procedures)
What are the risks associated with one of the procedures?
How long will it take?
Will I have a private room or be on a ward?

Hopefully I will actually remember to ask this time instead of just wanting to make a run for it...

thrifty Wed 30-Jan-13 07:23:59

Thanks bladder << arranges flowers>>, that's a good list too, I may have to pinch some of those. Especially the sick note, I need to apply for ESA, don't know if ill get it though.
My tip would be to write all your things down, and not leave til you covered everything.

mangledbits Wed 30-Jan-13 12:19:33

Hi everyone

I have namechanged for this. Tried to read as much as I can of the threads but I haven't had time for it all I'm afraid.

Some of you sound like you've had a hell of a time and I'm not sure if my problems will seem significant but I was hoping for some advice.

DS born 20 months ago, water birth, 2nd degree tear on the rear wall, stitched up by mw. Suffered an infection in stitches for several weeks after. About 6 weeks pp I realised I was a little incontinent, leaking a bit and feeling the need to go again soon after urinating. Also never got rid of that heavy, dragging feeling.

Saw about 4 GPs who all shrugged me off until finally got private referral to Gynae and then Physio. Have just looked at the report again, and at the time (about 14 months ago) they said I had a minor cystocele with no obvious protusuion. Graded my pelvic floor a 3/5, which I thought was good. Gave me exercises and said I can only be reassessed once I stop breastfeeding (we still have one feed a day now at 20 mo). She said scar tissuse seemed slightly atrophic(?) and suggested I ask GP for oestrogen cream which I never got in the end (GP not convinced).

I did all my exercises as prescribed and returned a few months later. Second report says, on standing, mild anterior wall laxity but no obv prolapse - therefore an improvement after the exercises. I remember around then having marked improvement with the incontinence too.

I also told her about a bowel issue I had - that I could never seem to wipe clean and often had skid marks on my pants - but she assured me no rectocele present and that a weak pelvic floor/sphincter was to blame and could also be fixed with pfe. Over time it did.

Now to the present. I have become very very slack with pfe. I still havent had sex for many reasons but am also xo anxious about the whole area. I doesn't feel right. TBH I never had a good look around there before having a baby so I don't really know what is normal. But Let me describe it!

Inside I feel bumpy and a bit rough - scar tissue maybe? Am sure I can feel a slight bulge at the front (the cystocele I guess). When I am just relaxed, I feel that everything down there is just a bit lower than it should be, Like I am aware that my PF isn't doing its job. The poo/wiping symptoms have returned (although I know they went away with pfe last time so am hoping to tackle that). Main concern is that I am definitely leaking urine again. I am aware of a smell everytime I go to the toilet. It is the thing that depresses me the most. I don't feel myself leaking and occasionally just feel a bit wet, but am never sure if its wee or discharge. It is noticably worse around ovulation time (increased hormones?)

The other very upsetting thing is that when I go to the toilet, it feels as though I am urinating out of my vagina. Am I? Is this even possible? I just feel very 'loose' down there in general and it really feels as though the wee is coming out of a much larger orifice than a urethra! How do I work out where it is coming from?!

What could this be? This is a relatively new symptom and is the thing that has led me to start thinking and worrying about this all over again.

The whole thing just fills me with anxiety. I am young, I should have a thriving sex life (dh is very patient!) and it all feels too much to be dealing with - I have a very severe anxiety problem too. I only have one child and would love two more - what on earth will happen to my bits after two more pregnancies/births!?

So thats my backfground, sorry its been so long and I hope someone can offer some advice. I really, really am terrified of surgery.

Thanks in advance

rockinhippy Wed 30-Jan-13 12:46:01

Thanks Bladder -I have been on the thread/s in the past, but it's a busy one so easy to miss me, not sure if thats smile that theres good support on here or sad that so many are going through it.

I wish I could work out namechange, or I might be over here more, though with the carry on I've had getting heard, it would probably just wind me up more that so many go through the same shite medical carehmm

Hi mangled I hope you find good advice & get some good help soon, other here are probably better experienced than me - good lucksmile

thrifty Wed 30-Jan-13 18:52:36

Hi mangled, sorry can't help you much, suggest the pfe with a vengeance to see if it improves, re the wee thing, can you have a look with a mirror, say in the shower? Sounds a bit grim, but may answer as to where your wee is coming from. Then go back to your gp fully armed.
My understanding of prolapse surgery is that they won't do it if you've not finished your family but I could be wrong.

thrifty Wed 30-Jan-13 18:54:54

Bladder, hope your pre op goes well tomorrow and you get a good sleep, don't forget to write your questions down...

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:06:41

mangled - I am not sure what to advise as things are different following childbirth and I am at the other end of the scale having reached menopause. Is there a women's health clinic at your GP surgery - may be worth going to that if there is or could you have another chat with your GP as it is so distressing.

As pelvic floor exercises proved helpful before it would seem a good idea to do them regularly. If you make a note of when you start again in earnest then you'll have a date to give as evidence to put pressure for a further referral. My experience was that I had to go away and do them for 3 months before I could be referred - if you start now you could say, I've been there and done that and need a referral. I found a battery operated TENS pelvic floor exerciser useful as it made me do them every day. I'm not sure how effective they are but I personally found one really helpful and it did seem to exercise the right bits and sort of put my head in tune with the muscles.

Don't be fobbed off you shouldn't have to put up with the symptoms you are experiencing.

Hopefully others will be along soon with advice.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:27:13

Cystocele repair first in theatre on Monday and back home yesterday evening so only stayed one night. Report was moderate cystocele and registrar indicated the stitch line was around 2 inches. Felt perky in recovery ward and continued to feel well post-surgery on the ward. Completely different to rectocele repair in March when I don't remember the recovery ward and was knocked out on the ward for the first day. Declined a spinal and had a general anaesthetic as I felt it had worked well for me in March. Only pain relief I had on ward was paracetamol and ibrufen. At home I have been taking paracetamol but not desperate for it like I was with the rectocele.

So.... all you lovely ladies ..... it all feels good and there is hope. I have been lucky to be in very good hands with my consultant. He's a neat darner - hardly any bleeding at all. In fact the lady in the bed next to me said she had been referred especially from another county (still NHS) because he is one of the best in the country! A huge stroke of luck for me since I wasn't referred to him originally and as well has being highly skilled he's a really nice chap who listens to you. I confessed to my skiing and he said that was fine and after the op he had written the back wall repair was good and firm so that has boosted my confidence for the future.

I've had my feet up all day except for a tiny bit of pottering. Good luck everyone.

wouldratherbeskiing Wed 30-Jan-13 19:27:54

Good luck Bladder

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