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

(961 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.

smellsofelderberries Sun 02-Jul-17 12:19:36

Anyone still here? Really struggling with things lately. Not seen any improvements with physio (and pretty sure my cervix has dropped too so now dealing with 3 types of prolapse) and feeling so very sad and hopeless.

smellsofelderberries Fri 28-Apr-17 09:49:57

Thanks for the warm welcome all. I'm not based in the U.K. and the only upside to this whole mess is that I live in the same city as Prof Dietz, who seems something of a world leader in this sort of injury sustained during childbirth. That's who I'm seeing in August. In the mean time my physio seems to know what she's doing and I think is going to try and fit me for a pessary next week to make me more comfortable.

I really feel so you who are dealing with anal issues, my problem feels horrid but at least I can hide it and I'm still fairly functional. If anything I have to opposite problem of not being able to go properly as unless everything is very loose and comes on its own, as I'm too scared to push even the tiniest bit sad

How do you all deal with the anger? I wanted to have a few babies and now coming to terms with the idea that DD might be an only as I don't know how I'd cope with potentially making myself worse. We have no family support where we are so things just feel extra hard. With all the extra appointments I have to take my DD with me and just manage. Desperately wish when DH was working late (often) I could just go to Mum's for dinner and some company.

Clanger, I'm sorry things have gone too far the other way for you! That must feel very uncomfortable. Where is the diagnostic process are you?

MajorClanger123 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:10:50

cactus and blah I find that my wind issues are much more controllable based on diet (I know that sounds obvious!) but basically if i'm mega careful on what I eat, I can just about avoid any terrible embarrassing wind issues.

Out of interest - what exercises are you doing? I wasn't given any at my meeting with consultant, just the Imodium syrup to harden up stools, which I'm not getting along with as its now making me constipated and bloated angry

MajorClanger123 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:08:14

Hi smellsofelderberries gosh that's a lengthy wait for the ultrasound, so sorry to hear that life is so difficult with your injuries when you should be enjoying your new baby and not worrying about prolapse issues.

Common theme seems to be surgery is tricky in this area, my surgeon has written all sorts of papers on pelvic floor disorders but still says symptom management is the most common tool in these situations.

I have no great advice as i'm currently in the investigative process awaiting ultrasounds / sigmoidoscopy etc and all I've been given is a prescription for some Imodium syrup to harden my stools so they don't leak out blush.

Sounds like your symptoms are pretty hindering on a day to day basis, I'm amazed there is no further support offered other than waiting until August for an ultrasound. In the meantime, am sending you wine and cake

CactusPlant2017 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:05:00

Blah-when you said that the wind isn't as bad a problem as you thought, is that because it got better?

Smellsofelderberries- it's rubbish isn't it! Surgery isn't an option for me either with such a low success rate. Have you been given any Physio?

smellsofelderberries Thu 27-Apr-17 12:46:07

Can I join in here please? I am also over on the prolapse thread but that seems to be pretty quiet these days. My stats are: almost 6 months PP, normal vaginal delivery. It was a drug free waterbirth, 1st degree tear, but it appears I also blew a huge hole in my pelvic floor at the same time. I have a grade 2 bladder prolapse, and my vaginal opening is too big when I bear down, which means there's way more room for my organs to fall out. Surgical repairs for this sort of injury are really poor, so right now this feels very scary and life feels slightly impossible. Seeing the specialist in August and will have an ultrasound then so he can tell me how bad things are sad

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sun 23-Apr-17 21:43:08

I can definitely relate. However, I can say the wind issue isn't as bad as how I worried about it. I feel that my exercises helped. How's your diet? Feel free to pm me if you need to ask anything.

CactusPlant2017 Sat 22-Apr-17 18:05:10

I will definitely pursue it anyway in the vain hope that it can make a difference.

I can relate to the leakage and how frustrating it is. Eating a high fibre diet helps me but it still happens. The flactulance is persistent whatever I try. I dread having to go back to work with flactulance incontinance. 😢

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 22-Apr-17 17:49:23

Sorry, phone up to something- caps lock error!

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 22-Apr-17 17:48:56

IT is still worth pursuing. Although definitely worth seeing what the consultant has to say and recommends. My sphincter has healed as. A sort of c shape rather than an o, with scar tissue making up the difference between the c and o shapes, if you see what I mean. Scar tissue doesn't contract like muscle, however, so that's why I have the low level leakage. STILL FRUSTRATes me.

CactusPlant2017 Sat 22-Apr-17 14:25:28

Blah- I haven't seen a Physio yet. I am sure, regardless of the gap in my sphincter muscle being too wide to ever be fixed by exercises, that the consultant will recommend that's what I do first.

Not sure about scarring, I've only had one check up of the injury, that was on my six week check up.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Sat 22-Apr-17 06:09:09

HAve you ladies had input from a specialist women's health physiotherapist? Although, they're likely to just recommend the pelvic floor exercises. They can, however, check to see if you're doing them properly.
Do either of you ladies have issues with your scarring?

MajorClanger123 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:07:14

Hi ladies, gosh that sounds very frustrating cactus, when you're expecting tests not just a meeting with consultant.
I am working park time but in my husbands business (so if I let rip in our office it's only in front of him) plus I also do freelance work from home so no worries about coping in an office environment. The colorectal consultant asked me about wind and I kind of laughed and brushed it aside, but thinking about it, I frequently end up with horrible uncomfortableness because I've been desperately trying to hold it in. Or worse, I do break wind in front of close friends when I can't help it. It's so unladylike and embarrassing , I can't stand it.

CactusPlant2017 Thu 20-Apr-17 19:55:05

Blah-that is exactly how my wind problem is! If it's unexpected then it will pass out! 😱 I'm dreading going back to work for that reason.

Please keep us posted and let us know how you get on after you have seen the doctor. Good luck.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 20-Apr-17 19:38:01

Yes I get the wind issue as well. It's not terrible but it's not funny somehow as a woman, even though wind is generally hilarious with a three year old and a husband! I allow myself to let rip where possible but use my pelvic floor squeeze to hold it if I can when I don't want to pass wind. If I can feel it coming then I can make an effort to hold it in but it is the ones where I don't know it's coming when I get caught out. Does that make sense?
I'll mention other issues to my GP as I've been rehearsing what I need to mention for long enough!

CactusPlant2017 Thu 20-Apr-17 17:56:57

Blah- Thank you for your reassurance. It's the passing of wind that also concerns and embarrases me. Do you have that too?

Definitely bring it up. My symptoms started in November and I waited until January before seeing the GP. I wish I had gone earlier and I may be closer to an answer!

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 20-Apr-17 17:39:25

I hear your frustrations. I had my tear 3.5 years ago and went to work after 10 months. I keep wet wipes in my bag or locker in case of a bowel movement at work. The urgency did get better with time and is not as bad as it was in the initial months. I'd say it is worst with the first bowel movement which thankfully usually occurs at home. Definitely keep up with the pelvic floor exercises and don't hesitate to ask for physio referral.
For me, there is n surgery to improve the anal sphincters and I have seen a colorectal consultant as well.
I really should ask my GP about my other issues; I've been avoiding it/too shy, but I might bring it up at my postnatal check (I had a c section 3 weeks ago). I also need to arrange for physio follow up- the physiotherapist might be able to do some scar tissue massage. I don't really know; I'm also frustrated that this far down the line I am still seeing physios!

CactusPlant2017 Thu 20-Apr-17 10:14:28

Blah, such horrible symptoms-I know too well. Although I've not had the clitoris sensitivity. Have you been to your GP?

MajorClanger- I share your 'being clean' concern and I would also be concerned about being intimate without showering.

Are either of you ladies working? I'm off on maternity at the moment but I dread the thought of being back at work with these symptoms!! If you are, how do you deal with it day to day?

Regarding my appointment on Wednesday, I was suspicious that the letter from the hospital for next week's appointment didn't mention any tests. The consultant that I saw privately, asked my GP to refer me for these two tests so I assumed that was what I was going for.

So today, I called the hospital and asked what the appointment entails and they confirmed it just a consultation! So I'm right back to the beginning!

On Wednesday the consultant will confirm what the other consultant has diagnosed and then, no doubt refer me for the tests that I should have had on Wednesday and then who knows what!! I'm just devastated!

I don't want to sound dramatic but I'm so extremely upset by all this and I can't believe this has happened to me and I keep wondering what went wrong and why this happened 😭😭 All these thoughts are keeping me up at night and I just feel rubbish!

MajorClanger123 Thu 20-Apr-17 08:38:50

Ps to clarify - I do shower daily, first thing in morning, then usually bowel movements later, so by bed..... sorry, didn't want anyone thinking I'm not showering daily blush

MajorClanger123 Thu 20-Apr-17 08:37:24

I'm sorry to hear that blah. Have you been offered surgery at all?

I don't think I have any sensation problems as such, but I do have big worries around sex and being clean down below beforehand - so for example there is absolutely nothing spontaneous happening as I have to be showered / bathed immediately beforehand in case I have any leak / wiping issues. Kind of takes the fun and spontenaeity out of it. Plus I often have to decline my poor DH's advances due to having not showered before bed.

What does the endo anal scan involve? I am not sure if I'm having it done immediately after the sigmoidoscopy - appt only mentions that and not an ultrasound but I assumed both would be done at same appt, although perhaps not.

Blahblahblahyadayadayada Thu 20-Apr-17 08:27:07

Sorry to hear about the problems everyone has been having. I also have the wiping issue, some faecal urgency, some (minor) wind issues and "passive soiling" ie the wiping issue/never being quite fully clean.
Also have what I can only describe as an easily irritated perineum, some areas of soreness and numbness vaginally. For some reason, I also have discomfort further forward where I didn't tear in the clitoral area. It's not there all the time but is sensitive to touch- maybe this is vulvodynia? . So dtd is not pleasant and hence I don't bother. I get some pain when we try near the entrance and the numbness doesn't help internally!. It feels like the scar tissue pushes into my rectum when we do try! I've had the endo anal scans etc and my pelvic floor muscles are ok strength wise. But it saddens me that I can't enjoy a physical relationship with my DH.

MajorClanger123 Wed 19-Apr-17 22:07:08

Hi cactus the pressure tests were (from memory!) fine - I turned up 25 weeks pregnant & not expecting any tests at all, so it was a slight shock to begin with!
From what I recall, they inserted a small tube up my bottom and pumped varying amounts of water up there to see how much I could hold (so started off with not much and got progressively more). They found I couldn't hold as much as somebody of my age should hold (I was 32 at the time, now 38), but it wasn't a bad or uncomfortable experience at all. I think I wet myself though during the procedure as I had very damp trousers after wards (but I did have bad pregnancy stress incontinence), and they never let you take your bottoms off - just sort of pull them down to knees.

I'm a little worried about the sigmoidoscopy enema procedure - I have been sent a huge bottle to squirt up my bottom before doing a mega bowel emptying then drive an hour to hospital for an 8.45am appointment shock. I hope all is fine internally, I'm guessing it's to rule out anything else untoward, but I'm not too worried at the mo.

Let me know how your appt goes. I'm ok about no surgery at the moment, but am worried about what might happen / how it might worsen later down the line. I don't want to be fecally incontinent by the time I'm 45 shock

CactusPlant2017 Wed 19-Apr-17 21:23:22

Hi MajorClanger123, sorry you're here.

I have had a sigmoidoscopy and the results were fine. The procedure was quite quick-if that's any kind of comfort to you.

On Wednesday I shall be having an ultrasound and the anal pressure tests. Any information that you have about the pressure test would be great. It has already been confirmed that I have a gap in my sphincter muscle so it's just to determine how much damage has been done. 😭😭

How do you feel about not having surgery?

Keep us posted with your progress. 😊

MajorClanger123 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:59:04

Hi ladies, can I join you? I've had 3 babies - first 2 were vaginal with 3rd (bordering on 4th) degree tears (one was a forceps delivery). Third baby (5.5 yrs ago) was elective c-section due to concerns over my already ragged bits and ever increasing baby sizes potentially causing even more damage if I were to deliver naturally.

I have exactly as cactus describes - trouble holding in wind, wiping issues etc. Just been to see a colorectal surgeon who says I have lots of scaring around my back passage. She has arranged a flexible sigmoidoscopy to check internal bowels are healthy plus an anal ultrasound. I've already had anal pressure tests to see how much fluid my back passage could hold (did whilst 25 weeks pregnant with baby no3 in order to decide whether I should have a c-section).

Ultimately, consultant told me this week that they will try to control symptoms rather than go for surgery at the moment, due to the low success rate of surgery. She has prescribed me liquid Imodium to firm up my stools in the hope they won't 'leak' or need loads of wiping which makes me sore. Another physio friend I spoke to said to ask for referral to a woman's health physio.
I will update again once I've had sigmoidoscopy and anal US. Sorry we're all in this situation but comforting to know not alone sad

CactusPlant2017 Wed 19-Apr-17 18:14:23

I'm terrified that they will say that there is no solution and I will be left this way. It's having a huge impact on my life. Socially I have really withdrawn. Passing wind involuntarily is so embarrassing!

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