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Calling all Raggedies - the THIRD Ragged Bits thread. Childbirth injuries, sphincter problems, fistulae... all welcome.

(933 Posts)
Jacksmania Fri 26-Oct-12 19:08:26

First thread here, May 2008 to June 2009.

Second thread here, June 2009 to Oct 2012.

Welcome everyone with ragged bits due to childbirth. We're sorry you had to find us, but we promise to hold your hand and listen.

There is no TMI here and nothing is too gross, too embarrassing or too horrible.

<lays out tea tray, buffet and alcoholic bar>

All welcome.

CactusPlant2017 Fri 17-Feb-17 21:36:45

Hi, is this post still active? Unfortunately I have lots to add.

CactusPlant2017 Fri 17-Feb-17 20:05:52

Hi, I can see this thread hasn't been active for some time but I don't know who else will understand.

I had a fourth degree tear in labour a few years ago. Immediately afterwards I had trouble holding in wind and I would always have feacal residue remaining no matter how many times I wiped after a bowl movement.

The symptoms cleared up after a while but three years later and they are back. I saw a surgeon today who has said there is a gap in my anal sphincter. I have to go for further tests to determine how bad it is and what the next step will be. However, the only option that seems as though it would work is surgery. And the surgery success rate for this type of issue is 50-60%-that's so low!

Has anyone experienced this and found something that worked, or had the surgery with a good outcome?

At the moment I feel so extremely low and I want to cry whenever it comes to mind. The involuntary passing of wind is extremely embarrassing!

Jayj87 Wed 15-Feb-17 07:57:08

Im so sorry to hear that you have also had a bad experience. I was the same, sex was completely out of the question and all I done is cry. Don't give up hope though as it is salvageable. Basically I tore and was told it was only a first degree tear and left to carry on with life, something that I definitely didn't have. I went to the doctors for my 6 week check and she examined me and confirmed it was a second degree tear as I had torn muscle and had a gaping vagina too. Long story short, I was referred by my GP to my local NHS gynaecologist who carried out a reconstruction 10 months after having my baby. Since, the operation has been extremely sucessful and I am so happy I had it done. This was carried out by DR Kenney at St Mary's on the isle of wight. Please don't feel you are the only one who has experienced such poor care. Make sure you go and get the right treatment for you. Obviously sex was a bit awkward at first but we have no issues now. The only thing I am aware that's different is the vagina hole, it's less supple and doesn't stretch as well as it did. But it works extremely well and has made me a happier person. Good luck. If you have anymore questions, I am happy to answer them!

Idonthaveenoughtime Tue 14-Feb-17 21:52:42

She told me it was a 'tiny tear' was imagining some sort of straight line easy to fix thing or I'd have demanded to go to hospital and be stitched there! It's not as though it was a 3rd/4th degree. Going to go make tea and try to think happy thoughts.

Idonthaveenoughtime Tue 14-Feb-17 21:41:32

Hello ladies, please help me find a specialist to fix my ruined down below please! Or give me advice on what can be done to fix it.

Also if anyone had their stitching fixed on the NHS what hospital did you go through/who carried it out, and what was the process you had to follow, and how long did it take?

Unlike my first labour I was relieved to have had a lovely totally unmedicated and textbook birth pretty much completely unassisted (starting to think i'd have been better never calling the midwife at all and stitching it myself!! ha.) The only bit I needed a medical professional for was the bit that has ruined enjoyment of my life and child subsequently - a few stitches.

I'm feeling extremely depressed at the moment and think my relationship is about to breakdown because of it, I can't stand my partner being near me and sex is impossible anyway because of pain and because I find my lady garden too disgusting and ruined to look at without crying, I'm also finding it very hard to enjoy my baby as I want to and should be able after a straight forward birth because I am so upset and distracted and don't know how to fix this. There are moments when I wonder if I would be better dead than mutilated and watching my happy family crumble because of this, not that I'd do more than fantasise about it, but I'd probably trade a limb in return for not being mutilated down there and unable to ever have sex again, or feel like a proper woman. I don't have PND because I know exactly what the problem is and want it solved. And when I say mutilated, I mean, I've seen postpartum vaginas and this is not normal, I was very happy with my vagina even after my first DC, and there were changes (big episiotomy, some pain but otherwise looked pretty much normal enough after healing). But this time I can't even recognise my normal anatomy, it's like a Picasso.

Yet this time round I only had a first degree/borderline second tear (do I trust the woman that stitched me up so badly to accurately diagnose a tear?) mostly internal but it looks like I tore at the entrance to the vagina. And for some reason the midwife has mutilated me. The base of my left labia has been pulled over and sewn onto my right labia, the fold of skin at the base of the vagina that used to be there is nowhere to be seen, she's just reconstructed my fourchette/perineum with my labia? There is some hard red skin sewn to right labia that sticks out and hurts ( there was a stitch holding it on), where did that come from? I've no idea why she's done this, but the skin is now warped and overlapped as confirmed by an obstetrician on labour ward. All I know is sex is impossible, my vaginal hole is now wonky as is my entire perineum, and because the edge of my left labia is pulled tight to the left and sewn sort of inside the lip of the right labia my left labia is pulled into a sort of L shape, it also makes my right labia look twice as big and twice as projecting as the one on the left. It looks deformed, and unnatural, which it is. Unfortunately I don't know if my labia is even salvageable 8 weeks later as the tissues have fused. Even worse, the painful tension on that skin pulling my labia at strange angles means I have a gaping vagina, it isn't muscular, it is caused by the malformation of the skin, my labia meet at the top but not at the bottom where the skin has been sewn inwards and sideways. I think I'm going to need more than a simple repair, more like reconstructive surgery of the labia minora and base of the vaginal opening?
An Obstetrician has told me I will need a fentons. I do NOT need a fentons! Dh can get in fine on the one time i tried it, but it hurts excruciatingly where the skin pulls unnaturally on the left. If anything the hole is BIGGER than before as the little fold of skin at the bottom where the labia met has not been reconstructed by the midwife and is gone so the opening looks longer. (i'm fine with that, just not fine with it being deformed, painful, or made bigger and looser so as to ruin my sex life for a different reason to the one that is ruining it now), the pain is because my labia has been stitched and pulled across and is thus pulling the wrong way. If i went in for a fentons and came out with part of my labia just cut away rather than fixed back and a massive loose hole I would literally kill myself having been mutilated twice by the NHS! I need to see someone who really knows how to fix me back to some kind of NORMAL post baby state.

Secondly, they never stitched the second degree internal tear properly, if at all ( when I went in to labour ward they told me a. I hadn't torn why the stitches then? b. that my stitches had fallen out, or were never put in?) and I now have a deep chasm that is still open two months later in there and shooting pains, I also have pain on the side they say has no tears, so want that checking!)

I went to my gp and was told a referral was made but when I rang to check how long they said it could be weeks? I can't wait weeks, I can't even drive my car because it hurts when I put tension on the skin reaching for the pedals! On the other hand I have zero confidence in the staff at the hospital and don't want to go back there as the gynaecologists there have a terrible reputation.

Please can someone tell me where and by whom they had a repair done? Or someone who might be of help? After my recent bad experiences I'd rather make a private appointment with a good consultant directly so that I can explore my options in depth and know I'm going to get the right results based on a proper diagnosis of my situation, as this doesn't seem to be common?

I'll go anywhere in the UK to find the right person. I'm not even sure if it's a urogynaecologist or a plastic surgeon I need. But i need to see someone skilled in repair/reconstruction of the vulva/perineum I would guess and someone to check what's going on with the stitched tear internally and the pain from that.

I'd just like my labia to look normal again (as there was no reason to mess with them!) and thus my vaginal opening to look (and feel!) much more normal without them just cutting a bigger hole! If I have to go through another surgery I want to make sure I get the best aesthetic and functional repair possible after all of this so that I never need to have surgery there again.

I have read about perineoplasty but it's the skin not the muscle that's damaged ( I hope! Who knows what else was missed). I had no perineal tearing and have no perineal scars, and i don't want undamaged muscle cut and thus damaged just to repair my vaginal opening and labia if possible.

I am also very upset because I hadn't finished my family, and after this botched stitching of a tiny tear it may be I can't have any more children if I have a repair, and if i don't have a repair i can't have sex to have children. This stings emotionally, especially since I really enjoyed the birth and would have no issues doing it again. And the last thing I want is more (what should have been unnecessary) surgery via a c-section.

Really hoping someone can give me some hope that this can be fixed because although I'm trying to be strong and focused for my children inside I'm feeling really down and can't think of much else.

Jayj87 Sun 01-Jan-17 09:47:36

Definitely go to the GP and get it checked. No women should ever have to feel that way and have ongoing problems years after giving birth. I really think there should be some support for women who have have traumatic births or problems after.

cravingcake Sat 31-Dec-16 10:41:02

Totally get it, I am 5 years on from when it all first went raggedy and still have moments of tearfulness about it all. It can take a long time but I am definitely improving and now just trying to do everything I can to manage things. there's no reason you can't carry on walking, and even possibly running as well.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Sat 31-Dec-16 10:32:25

Thanks for the reply craving, I'm very weepy and panicked about it all which is OTT I know. It's a combination of how hideous it looks/feels and the implications for my future eg I'm a keen runner and walker. I hoped to have a sex life again one day. And the fact it might mean I'll always have issues now. Eugh. I've had a proper root round and there's a bulge at the front which feels like it's causing the scar bit to drop down.

cravingcake Sat 31-Dec-16 09:25:59

Welcome twolittleboys, firstly don't panic, it sounds very much like a prolapse which while uncomfortable isn't dangerous (as far as I know) so see your doctor when you can and ask to be referred to gynae. I had both cystocele and rectocele (bladder and bowel) prolapse. In my case my only option was surgery to fix it. But pelvic floor exercises do help, I saw a women's health physio who was really good and taught me how to really do them properly. This may be worth doing for you as well.

I actually read your other thread, and it's not age related, I am early 30's.

twolittleboysonetiredmum Fri 30-Dec-16 19:52:11

Is this thread still active? I've posted my own thread but just discovered this thread and hope you can help.
I have 3dc age 4,3 and 1. Had a forceps and episiotomy resulting in 2b tear and cut then two very fast births with tears and a few stitches. Experienced lots of pain in scar area after dc1 but has mainly gone now. Have lots of internal lumpy scar tissue which is normal (says midwife and nurse and causes no problems)
However, a few days ago I think I may have prolapsed. I can feel something bulging down, like I'm wearing a tampon incorrectly. Went to nurse who was doing a speculum anyway as I've had mid cycle bleeding and she doesn't think I've prolapsed and said all looked fine. But I can still feel it - with my hands and just generally as a sensation. I also looked properly tonight and was awful. There are lumpy bits hanging down out of my vagina sad in guessing it's the original scar tissue being pushed down by some kind of prolapse? Does that sound right and has it happened to anyone else? I'm so worried about it and not sure what to do. Can't get to gp for at least a week sad

Simmi1 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:44:51

Actually I saw both the urogynae and a woman's health physio as standard on the NHS because of my tear. I'm surprised you haven't been referred. I really hope you get some good help and advice Becky flowers

Addictedtohotbaths1 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:33:55

The urogynae then referred me to he women's health Physio

Addictedtohotbaths1 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:32:59

Hi Becky, I went on my local private hospitals website and researched all the private gynaes and went to a urogynaecologist with a special interest in childbirth injuries. Where are you based?

Simmi1 Wed 28-Sep-16 11:15:44

Oh Becky how awful for you. I had a third degree tear and had my anal spinchter checked by a gynaecologist specialising in this area. His name was Ruan Fernando and he works on the NHS and privately. I saw him at St Mary's. He seemed nice and very knowledgeable. Good luck!

Beckyandbaby79 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:15:05

Thank you jayjay87 for your kind advice smile

Beckyandbaby79 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:14:24

Hi addictedtohotbaths1. Sorry for late reply the email notifications got missed. Can you tell me who u were referred to? I have no idea who to goto privately?

Many thanks.

Addictedtohotbaths1 Wed 07-Sep-16 21:10:38

Becky - definitely don't wait 3 months that's ridiculous. My women's health Physio told me the early postnatal days are when any nerve damage has a chance of being reversed. If you cannot get a referral then it's worth going private just for an initial consultation where they will be able put you on the right track. It's between £150 and £250 usually.

I had a very similar experience and struggled to get anybody to even look at me, I was just given endless antibiotic prescriptions so went private about 6 weeks postnatal when I was still in too much pain to sit down.

I hope you get some help soon. x

Jayj87 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:08:27

Really sorry to hear of your bad experience. I suggest you go back to see your doctor or gyne and explain that you are not willing to wait and go through pain and depression on a daily basis in hope that pelvic floor exercises will sort out the issue. I would demand that you get the referal now. No women should ever have to go through such trauma post birth. I don't know the answers to your questions but I hope that someone is willing to help you as soon as possible. I know that I wouldn't wait for that referral and would go straight back to get the issue sorted. Congratulations on the birth of your baby and I hope that you have a positive outcome.

Beckyandbaby79 Sun 04-Sep-16 17:19:58

I hope you can help. I really need some advice re post childbirth fecal incontinence after forceps delivery. I gave birth 4 weeks ago with forceps, episiotomy and a 2nd degree tear but I fear actually my anal spinkter is damaged.

I now have fecal incontinence, both with hard and soft stools. I have a constant ache/pain in my rectum and my sphincter won't move at all when I squeeze it. It also feels inflamed and floppy to touch instead of tight. There is also something sticking out and I have had some blood when passing stools.

I also feel like so mch pressure in my anus when I walk and also in my vagina. I also get massive shooting pains in my vagina walls and clitorus when standing up. The pain is getting worse week on week and is just as bad now as when I left the hospital. I wonder if I have had some sort of prolapse (anal and/or vaginal)? I also have a white coloured lump in my vagina that is sort of hanging, looks like its part of a tear and may need stiching.

Note: I did get readmitted 2 weeks post birth due to infected vaginal stiches I think this has now healed after 2 days IV antibiotics plus 8 days oral AB.

I've been referred to a Gyno and obstetrician but he wants me to do 3 MONTHS of pelvic floor physio before he will see me. Then after that he will see me and only if he cannot help he will refer me to a colorectal surgeon. I feel I should be seeing a colorectal surgeon straight away not waiting 3-6 months. I can't even leave the house right now in case of an accident. I'm so depressed and scared.

I feel that i need to see a colorectal surgeon NOW for a rectal/sphincter andoanal ultrasound to assess the damage. I worry I have a tear or nerve damage from the episiotomy or forceps that needs diagnosis and fixing before its too late.

Please help as I am beyond depressed at being incontinent i am so scared and unhappy and its its ruined the first 4 weeks with my new baby. I feel my life is over and it should be just beginning with my first child.

Can anyone advise a) Re the incontinence and rectal pain and the spongy anus that i cant tighten anymore.. What the cause could be b) Should I be seeing a gyno (like the NHS are making me do) or should it be a colorectal specialist c) What procedure should be done to diagnose? Endoanal ultrasound or a camera up there? d) Can I have some recommendations re private colorectals around london? e) I am assuming the pain in the vagina is just part of normal childbirth and will go.. I hope tbh my biggest worry is the incontinance and anal pain.

Thanks for listening!!

Jayj87 Sun 04-Sep-16 16:20:59

If she ever needs to ask anything surgically related I am happy to answer! I couldn't live with it myself so best to get it sorted and live a normal happy life!

justsomedad Sun 04-Sep-16 16:01:29

Thanks for replying Jayj87. She tends to put things like this off and out of her mind - even though it is causing her pain every day and means we have no kind of intimacy. I'm not sure how I can remain supportive for several more years. Sometimes I think she needs a bit of a nudge.

Jayj87 Fri 02-Sep-16 19:46:58

I think your wife should feel ready to do something about it herself. It's a nice thought but she may feel that you have a problem with it more than she has. Just remain supportive and If she really isn't happy with things then she would take the step to go and see a gyne surgeon. I had my op on the NHS and couldn't fault them so happy with the results. Good luck

justsomedad Fri 02-Sep-16 15:30:37

My wife has had issues since giving birth several years ago. The tear didn't heal properly and she seems reluctant to take the next steps towards getting it repaired. I'd like to do some research on possible surgeons to approach in the hope that it might help her take the next step. Is this a bad idea?
Anyone have any recommendations at all? I wouldn't mind her seeing someone privately.

Jayj87 Sat 30-Jul-16 22:05:48

I had surgery back in April and it's the best desicion I've ever made. When I had the op it took a while for swelling to go and everthing to settle but it now looks and feels great. I had surgery on the nhs, they were reluctant to do the procedure and told me I may have issues afterwards but I don't. They also said the same to me, to think twice about having the op just incase I want further children. I was very unhappy and made me very depressed so waiting wasn't an option. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

NTM12 Sat 30-Jul-16 20:47:10

1oldnewmum - I also had awful injuries after giving birth similar to yours. Who did you see in London? I saw 3 consultants and have had surgery with one which has helped a lot although I do need to have another operation. Pm me if you'd like to discuss in more detail.

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