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Prolapse- terrified, please calm me down

(48 Posts)
Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 04:39:24

I'm early 40s and pretty sure I have developed a prolapse. The pain/discomfort is overwhelming. Usually I'm really active - walk 6/7 miles a day, lots of yoga etc but it's now all too much. I can vaguely get relief by lying down but even then I'm aware of it/ have some discomfort.

I am completely struggling mentally and think it's tipped me into huge anxiety/depression- can't sleep, crying etc. I know I need to get a grip for the children at least.

I'm a lone parent to 2 small-ish DC with very little support. I am totally panicking about loss of independence- from what I've read, I won't be able to ever lift over 6kg again, and the impact of surgery and long recovery time and limited success rates.

Along with the pain, I seem to have developed incontinence issues. Have been doing OLD but feel that I can't do that now. Have a FWB that I've been seeing a while and I've really enjoyed having a sex life again after being single for so long. I feel that's out the window too due to the pain and incontinence. I feel too embarrassed to tell him about the prolapse.

I'm certain the prolapse has arisen because I recently hired a personal trainer and he really put me through my paces with heavy lifting and squatting so much so I developed other injuries. So I feel even more depressed that I've brought all this on myself.

I feel like I've gone from a strong, independent woman overnight to a sobbing invalid that won't be able to care properly for my kids. I feel I've let them down and wrecked my body.

Is anyone awake to talk me down? Any advice on pain management?

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Sun 21-May-17 06:16:36

Oh bless you, you've done exactly what I do and for yourself into a total tailspin. I'm not sure what the cure for a prolapse is, hysterectomy? Try not panic, it might be 6 weeks being out of action - have you got any support?

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 06:22:15

Thanks for posting. Yes, total tail spin is right. The anxiety / not eating/ sleeping just starts off a spiral it's hard to pull out of and blaming myself makes it worse.

Don't have any family nearby but could ask a school mum to take the girls for a few hours today. Though that makes me guilty I can't look after them. They are worrying about me which is wrong. DH died very suddenly so the DCs get very twitchy if I'm ill.

Jenijena Sun 21-May-17 06:24:42

Right, I developed one after having DS2 (a bladder one) and though it's there the it's lots better than it was. I remember the sheer panic.

There's a great Facebook group called pelvic organ prolapse support which has thousands of members, they'll help and hold your hand.

Get to a doctor, get referred to a urogybaecologist and they may also refer you to physio. There are things that can be done without the operation, physio and inserts and stuff.

It's not nice, but it is common. If you want to exercise still, see if you can get a pelvic floor aware fitness person. Nearby there's a Pilates practitioner who does pelvic floor training classes, for example, and will work around your issues.

Above all, a hand hold. It's not nice, but it will one day feel better.

Iris65 Sun 21-May-17 06:25:13

Please don't panic. There are treatments available and you will be OK. The first thing to do is to book an appointment with your GP and find out exactly what is happening.
If you can't get a GP appointment then go to the sexual health clinic (used to be called GUM). I used to work in one as a counsellor and we saw people with all kinds of problems. The advantage of the sexual health clinic is its often quicker than your GP and they can make referrals and do tests quicker too.
Depending on your DC and your job you could go when they are at school tomorrow. 💐💐

troodiedoo Sun 21-May-17 06:28:35

I have no advice but I'm thinking of you and hope it gets better for you. There is a lot of support here, elsewhere and in real life flowers

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 06:38:50

Thank you all. I'm lying here in floods of tears thinking I'll be like this forever.

Jenijena- do you mind me asking, did you have surgery? How did you deal with the initial discomfort/pain? I am constantly aware of it which means my mind doesn't get a break.

I better join Facebook. I must be the only person not on it.

gaggiagirl Sun 21-May-17 06:38:56

Just wanted to say, It happened to me after dc3. I felt exactly like you. You're not alone.

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 07:03:25

Thanks gaggiagirl. Do you feel better/differently now?

I feel I've aged 30 years overnight.

picklemepopcorn Sun 21-May-17 07:13:05

I had surgery! I wasn't in pain beforehand, like you though.

The surgery and recovery was fine. The thing you will find hard is that you can't lift anything heavier than a kettle, squat to do laundry etc. You do very little for twelve weeks. Depending on the age of your children, that is tough!

Don't feel silly- the personal trainer pushed you too hard! It's worth getting advice from a different PT as to whether you were badly trained. Tell the PT how bad your injury is, they need to know not to do it to anyone else!

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 07:22:25

Pickle me, do you feel back to normal now? Did you have to wait long for surgery? What surgery did you have? So many questions sorry. The procedures I've been reading about seem to have so many risks.

I do feel so bad about the whole personal trainer thing. I wish I could turn back the clock. Thought I was helping my fitness and ironically my fitness levels will be much worse than ever due to needing to rest up.

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 07:23:55

Oh and another question for you pickle me. How do you feel post recovery?

Just wondering if I'll feel that I can live 'normally' ( and have sex again!)

MollyHuaCha Sun 21-May-17 08:01:42

You will be fine flowers. The damage was probably caused by your training regime which certainly seems unfair when you were trying to get fit and strong! Was your PT a man or a childless woman by any chance? You are not alone, this is a really common problem in women who have given birth, sometimes not showing up till months or years later. Ok, there are at least four things you can do:

- make a GP appointment
- immediately stop all squatting and lifting (don't even lift heavy shopping)
- if you are overweight, aim to sensibly lose excess pounds through eating healthily
- Google pelvic floor exercises and do them several times a day

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 08:09:29

Yes- PT is a young, very fit man. He's manager of the gym so I thought he knew what he was doing but clearly not. Feel so foolish trusting him.

Have got a GP appt for Tuesday anyway ( to sort out the hernia I've also developed from the training) so at least I can raise this then. The hernia is now least of my worries.

The not lifting is tough with the DC but will have to try. Am frantically doing pelvic floor exercises. I thought my pelvic floor was OK from yoga but clearly not.

Sierra259 Sun 21-May-17 08:13:55

There are lots of things you can do to help this problem. First of all, get an appointment with a specialist women's health physio - either through your GP or search online (make sure they're HCPC registered and preferably a member of POGP). I know a couple in south London if you're down that way? In the meantime, have a look at the POGP website, that's physios with a special interest in Women's Health and they have lots of resources on there.

In the first instance they look to manage symptoms with pelvic floor training and dealing with things that can make a prolapse worse like constipation. There's a ring called a pessary which can be fitted non-surgically - it basically holds the prolapse up. Surgery would be the final option and the results are best if you've done at least 6 months of pelvic floor exercises first. flowers

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 08:26:36

I'm in London so would be great if you could send me those details, thanks. Will check out that website.

Can the pessary be used long term do you know? Keen to put off surgery as long as possible. Can you have sex with the pessary in?

Penhacked Sun 21-May-17 08:45:00

My mum had surgery and it got rid of that feeling of something hanging out finally. She knew it was impossible for physio to really do that. She still tries to take it easy and on the days she does too much, he feels it again but it is not a second prolapse, just a bit of the scar tissue. It is bloody awful but do some the advice and don't put ff surgery if they advise surgery. You need to be honest with those around you so they can help you. It is nothing disgusting or shameful, it is an illness like any other!! I feel very very sorry for you xxx

Penhacked Sun 21-May-17 08:46:47

My mum also took photos to show gp as she didn't want to get naked with him, he was fine with that and referred her from that

Funnyonion17 Sun 21-May-17 08:48:43

It happened to me after dc2, it luckily fixed itself and I've never had incontinence etc. There's plenty of ways to deal with them so try not think the worst smile

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 08:56:56

Thank you. I do feel really ashamed by it. I continence is not something people tend to talk about. The thought of taking it easy forever more though is really daunting. I've tried so hard to rebuild myself after DH died and keeping fit and active is the way I cope mentally. Plus as the only adult in the house, I really do need to be fit. I've been sobbing that I can't take the kids on holiday again as I won't be able to lift suitcases for example. Wanted to sit in the garden just now as thought fresh air might help but can't lift the chair outside. It's made me feel like I've lost my independence. And staying home resting up is making me feel more isolated- also not good for my fragile mental health. My poor DC had years of me crying after DC died and now this. My youngest has just said she wants happy mummy back sad

sadie9 Sun 21-May-17 09:36:05

Hi Clawdeen, sorry you are experiencing this. Prolapses are frightening especially when they make themselves known, all of a sudden. Sounds like you were in a place where you were pushing yourself very hard on a number of levels.
There is a difference being a fit and healthy mum and being a triathalon athlete.
The prolapse can feel worse also depending on what time of the month it is. After a trip to the GP, a specialist women's physio is a great idea too. They can really help and advise with the continence issues too. And will give practical advise about lifting etc.
You won't have to 'take it easy' like an elderly person, you really won't. You just might have to be more selective about the forms of exercise you do. No squats, no weightlifting.
Regarding suitcases, you can use the ones with 360 wheels and just use two smaller ones instead of the massive ones weighing a ton, and kind of lever them onto the trolleys. When your kids are older they can lift their own suitcase onto a trolley. On the plane you can ask someone to lift a very heavy bag up. No more than anyone with a back injury problem would. You are not doing that because you 'can't' lift it, you are doing that to maintain quality of life for yourself.
The thought you have about never being able to take them on holiday again is a scary thought, but it's actually not the truth in reality.
I know it seems bad but try to remember prolapses are not life threatening in any way.
Your life is not in danger from it, your kids lives won't be impacted by it in any significant way.
Inconvenient, yes, and impacts quality of life, yes. But there are worse things you could sitting outside the GP's office waiting to hear. I'm not minimising it, because I've been where you are, I'm trying to put a ceiling somewhere at the top of your worries about it.
Our minds do tend to take an idea and fly with it. You can lift a kitchen outside, but maybe not try to push the sofa across the room.
Once you've stopped the intense exercise regime, it might actually settle back down a little. Before my operation, my prolapse would make itself known, then get okay again for a while, etc.
Personal trainers in gyms generally don't have the indepth knowledge of the pelvic region. I found doing yoga even made me more aware of mine.
I had surgery 3 years ago and I am barely ever aware of any prolapse now.

sadie9 Sun 21-May-17 09:37:46

*kitchen chair!

olliegarchy99 Sun 21-May-17 09:46:30

I had surgery - hysterectomy - 6 years ago aged 64 as pelvic floor exercises were doing nothing for the dragging feeling of a prolapsed uterus. I blamed it on years of growing up on a farm (lifting heavy bales etc) and living as a single parent and doing everything that needed to be done for my family because I was so damned independent.
Yes if surgery is necessary it means 6 - 8 weeks of lifting nothing heavy and not driving but as you are young it may well not be necessary to have a hysterectomy especially as you are still pre-menopause.
I still have been doing things I should not do - i.e. lifting etc and the only thing that is stopping me in my tracks (slightly) is being diagnosed with angina - that has made me re-think what is important and grit my teeth and admit sometimes I need help to carry on. Good luck OP

Clawdeen Sun 21-May-17 10:12:14

Thank you, I'm now crying as you've all been so kind.

I think you're right about asking for help, and a very valid point about not lifting things because I can't but to maintain quality of life. I think I've always muddled along on my own as didn't want to appear lazy or precious. Need to change that mindset.

And Sadie- you are right, and actually is helpful to remind myself that it's not life threatening. Even if it does feel like all my inwards are going to spill out of my vagina onto the kitchen floor!

picklemepopcorn Sun 21-May-17 12:58:28

Sorry, back now.
Yes I feel completely normal. The initial very light duties things is to help the muscles knit back together. Once they are healed, just gradually build up to your usual self. A Physio will advise on how to protect yourself in future. Basically, activate your core before lifting. It's a bit disconcerting at first, until you are in the habit.

So, clench before you squat or lift or shove!

Try not to fret, it happens to so many of us! I feel much better now everything has been tucked back into place!

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