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Bladder prolapse misery after childbirth

(25 Posts)
Ncbecauseiambulging Tue 20-Jan-15 12:36:27

Dd3 was born 4 months ago. The delivery was difficult and recovery painful and took a good few weeks. I was pretty psychologically damaged at my mutilated lady bits too. I had an episiotomy with first dc, it was tough but I was younger and bounced back quicker. Second delivery was quick with no tearing. But this last experience has really knocked me. My bladder has prolapsed and I can feel it at the entry to my vagina. My bowel has slightly prolapsed too making it a bit more difficult to go to the loo. I feel 'bulgey' down there all the time. Im trying to do pelvic floor exercises but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I don't want to have sex because I don't want dh to know my vagina is ruined. Im quite certain he wouldn't give a monkeys and he's very supportive but I feel so depressed over this. Gp has just referred me to gynae clinic. Apparently this could still ve considered normal at this stage. I'm taking laxatives as im scared to go to the toilet if I have to strain.

I can't talk to anyone in rl. Its too personal. I'm becoming obsessed by this. I don't think I'm over the traumatic childbirth either but feel like I should have moved on by now.

Has anybody else had this and its gotten better? Feeling pretty low about it today.

FlossieTreadlight Tue 20-Jan-15 12:47:01

You poor thing. I don't have a prolapse but did have a traumatic birth and found attending a Birth Stories (might be called something different with you) session with a MW hugely helpful. Give your community MW office a call. Hope your referral comes through very quickly x

Ncbecauseiambulging Tue 20-Jan-15 13:09:28

Thanks Flossie, can I ask what Birth Stories entails? Part of me thinks unless I was at death's door my experience couldn't have been that bad. But I certainly feel differently.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 20-Jan-15 13:14:36

Have a look at the "Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support (POPS)" Group on Facebook. Its a closed group so you'll need to request to Jon, but it has loads of members with all sorts of prolapses, and lots of people who really know their stuff.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 20-Jan-15 13:15:29

Request to join

FlossieTreadlight Tue 20-Jan-15 21:28:48

In my Birth Stories session, a senior MW broke the ice, then went through my delivery notes, then asked some open Q's about how I was feeling. Very relaxed, non judgemental and non- defensive (I was angry about some aspects of my care - post natal in particular). It didn't 100% solve anything but it helped me put some things to bed and a few weeks later felt that I had been able to move on a little, because of the session. Best of luck with it all.

EllieFredrickson Tue 20-Jan-15 22:24:07

I'm not in quite the same position as I discovered my prolapse a couple of years ago - so about 9 years after my last birth but I can empathise about how it makes you feel.

When I first found out I was obsessed by it too and I'll still go through periods when it's at the front of my mind - but there are times when I can manage it fine and don't notice it too much.

If you can afford it (or have private health insurance) have you thought about seeing a private women's physio. Mine was absolutely brilliant and made a real difference. Lots of exercises (i couldn't feel my pelvic floor much either) but progressive each session and also an ear to listen and reassure you.

4 months doesn't seem long since the birth, but to you it must feel like a age.

PeaStalks Wed 21-Jan-15 14:13:39

I had the same experience many years ago after my second baby.
I saw a specialist physio who gave me PVEs and she did say that things would improve when I stopped BFing.
To be honest they did, but not much. Only surgery is a complete fix and then it may relapse. I decided not to go ahead with that.

Yes from me to the POPS group on FB too, an amazing bunch of ladies all over the world with a huge amount of knowledge and experience, a few physios etc in the group too. I've been a member for a couple of years, they are brilliant.

It's good that your GP has referred you to gynae, start keeping a note of exactly how it is all affecting you so you don't forget anything at your appointment. It is still relatively early days and there may well be some healing still to go, but a women's health physio (either private or NHS) is a very good place to start.

Ncbecauseiambulging Wed 21-Jan-15 21:46:11

Sorry for not replying sooner, 3 DCs is time consuming! Thanks for your posts, will give the fb group a go. I do have some private insurance company through work so thank you for suggesting, I will see how it goes with the gynae clinic first.

Ncbecauseiambulging Wed 21-Jan-15 21:55:12

Pressed post too soon.
I looked up the surgery option and it doesn't seem worth it at all. Lots of women saying the prolapse returned, or was even worse after!

I think I need to mourn the loss of my normal vagina (lol at saying that in a sentence) and come to terms with the new bulge variety.

Me thinks No more children for me.

The surgery is also successful for a lot of women (me included, I'm 2.5 years post-op with mine). However it is major surgery and not to be undertaken lightly, you need to commit to avoiding even moderately heavy lifting for a good few weeks which is not easy with young DCs. Some surgeons won't operate if you intend to have more babies either - although it sounds as though that's how you are thinking now, it's a big decision too.

What I would do straight away as a measure to prevent things getting any worse is your pelvic floor exercises, and try and engage those muscles when you are lifting, try and use good manual handling techniques generally (if it's bad for your back it's probably bad for your PF). Also as you have said, avoiding constipation is very important, you might want to take advice from a pharmacist or your GP about long term laxative use though. Finally, if you have returned to exercise, strong core work and high impact exercise are not good if your PF isn't strong, I would hold off until you can see a women's health physio, walking and swimming are good though.

I know it's horrible, been there, done that, but there is help out there and you've taken the right first steps. I would say try and educate yourself as much as you can, I know Dr Google can be depressing and misleading, but really, go to that FB group and read the other posts, start a thread yourself, they are a great bunch with a lot of experience.

NormHonal Wed 21-Jan-15 22:35:42

flowers OP.

I've had a partial prolapse myself and currently living with it, managing the symptoms through lots of pelvic floor exercises, and trying to avoid surgery.

I would recommend the thread mentioned above.

It's important to know that, as my gynae told me, until at least 9 months after birth, or more likely after you stop breastfeeding, the lovely hormones making your joints and muscles relax will continue to flow.

So no gynae/surgeon worth their salt should consider you for surgery, unless your case is severe, until you are past all of that.

IME, I could really feel a difference after I stopped breastfeeding, but I still bf past a year with my DC2 because that was more important for me.

The other advice I've had is that the longer I can delay surgery, the better. I'm currently 40yo, and have been told that if I had surgery now, I would be likely to need more in my 60s. So better to wait as long as possible, and continue with the pelvic floor exercises.

A pelvic floor Physio is worth their weight in gold, if you can access one via your GP/gynae.

Lastly - this is so, so common. Honestly. I've been quite open with friends about my trials and tribulations and the majority of us DO have problems of some kind after childbirth.

That's true, the last two people I've mentioned it to have said, oh yes, me too.

Itwontletmenamechange Thu 22-Jan-15 20:03:35


I had this as well after dc2 and for a few months was obsessed by it and it really got me down. I read everything I could and got myself all worked up but a couple of years on and as the pp said most days I hardly notice it although I do go to the toilet more regularly than normal. I went to a specialist womens physio once I stopped bf'ing and she gave me very targeted exercises but also suggested pilates as if you can strengthen your core it helps. I avoid high impact exercise and focus instead on core strength and cycling/swimming for cardio and try not to lift heavy things (nigh in impossible with young DC) it hasn't gone but I don't feel it's getting worse and I'm awful at doing my PFE's. Oh anther important thing my dr told me was to keep fibre intake Hugh to help BM's and avoid pushing. Physio also advised keeping feet raised in a stool when on the loo.

PeaStalks Fri 23-Jan-15 10:08:28

NormHonal I'm currently 40yo, and have been told that if I had surgery now, I would be likely to need more in my 60s. So better to wait as long as possible, and continue with the pelvic floor exercises
That is exactly what my gynaecologist said to me. I was 40 and had just had a baby.I also have asthma which means lots of chest infections (and coughing). I'm 56 now and I've learned to live with it. I wondered whether it would get worse post menopause but it hasn't.

Ncbecauseiambulging Fri 23-Jan-15 14:33:36

Ok spoke to GP and the laxatives I'm taking are ok for long term use(thank you WhoKnows). Am about to book my gynae appointment and I will ask for a referral to women's physio. Started trying to do PFEs whenever it occurs to me.

I am mixed feeding currently, two bottles a day and bf the rest of the time. Thank you Norm for pointing out it can get better after stopping bf.

Bit confused about the core strength tbh, does this make it worse or does it help? My friend gave me a yoga DVD recently which I was going to attempt doing to help tone everything up after having dd but now I'm not so sure..

I spoke to DH last night and told him about the prolapse. And how I was worried about sex etc... He was fantastic. I think he's a bit clueless, as am I about this, but he could see I was upset and it was nice to finally tell him something that's been on my mind for months. He's a good DH. I'm feeling fortunate today to be married to a good 'un.

flowers flowers flowers to you all for sharing and giving advice. Off to google high fibre foods now. All bran anyone?

Ncbecauseiambulging Fri 23-Jan-15 14:36:52

And a bit scared to join the fb group as I'm not on fb and would only be signing up to join the group. I'm barely ok with posting anonymously about this, not sure about joining a group with my real name. Yes I know that's silly. I have issues.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 23-Jan-15 14:45:31

Not silly
:D I only ever lurk on the FB group....

Generally strong core good, but crunches/sit ups bad.

Have a look at the Hab-it website - there is lots of really good info on there. You can also buy the Hab-it DVD, exercises increasing in difficulty to gradually increase your strength safely

You could sign up to FB under a false name.

Yes to Hab-it, also google Michelle Kenway, she has a great website about prlvic floor health. A strong core does help, but you need to go about it safely, crunches put a lot of pressure on the PF, others such as planks do too, but you can build up to them gradually.

Lweji Fri 23-Jan-15 16:19:36

I have recently been to the urologist about urine loss. It looks like I have prolapse caused by efforts and pressure like coughing and jumping.
Still, he thinks it's bad enough so that pelvic floor exercises won't help much and he recommended surgery. It seems that they can do a walk in-walk out surgery with just tiny holes, but it will mean 3 months of no strains.
If you can get a referral to urology as well as gynaecology and get two different opinions about it.

Lweji Fri 23-Jan-15 16:21:32

BTW I need to follow my own advice and get a second opinion too. grin

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 23-Jan-15 16:28:41

Do. From what Ive been reading (various sources) surgery should be an absolute last resort. It may be a keyhole on the outside but it is pretty major on the outside. Many people seem to have to have repairs repaired every ten years or so, and with every repair there is less good tissue to work with.

Definitely have a look at Hab-It / see a good physio and at least see if other non-invasive options eg pelvic floor & core exercises (done properly), or pessary can help to alleviate your symptoms first.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 23-Jan-15 16:30:10

Oh, and apparently the right person to see about a prolapse is a urogyn...

GettingFiggyWithIt Fri 23-Jan-15 16:39:27

Another one who needs to see GP and is Ostriching It.
flowers to you all Xxx

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