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Please help! Too embarrased to talk to anyone and feel like I'm going mad.

(24 Posts)
Bubblyb00b Tue 13-Aug-13 13:54:26

First time posting here.. Hope I will get some answers and reassurance as I feel I'm going completely crazy. Also - TMI warning (sorry in advance)..

I gave birth almost five months ago, to a lovely little boy. I'm 38 and its my first (and the last) baby. The birth was horrendous, long and painful, and ended up with forceps in the theater. I had a third degree tear but at the time wasn't too bothered as was too happy...

First time I noticed something was wrong when I was washing myself about six weeks after giving birth. My vagina felt HUGE and there was a lot of stuff down there that wasn't there before... I went to see my GP, I've seen a few midwifes and a specialist - all said there is "nothing wrong" with me - that all the damage I have down there is something to be expected (one of the doctors even said "well, you're not 25 anymore!")... and reassured me that, given enough time and Kegels, all will be back to normal.

Now, five month on, its still the same. I have a prolapse which feels like I have something stuck inside me, my vaginal opening is about three times its normal size (basically it extends from the front all the way to my bum), it has a lot of stuff sticking out of it, and there are "skin tags" near my bum which are as ugly as hell. Insides of my vagina stick to my underpants, and I have to use baby wipes every time I go to the toilet. Worse of all - I can't have sex as I can't feel anything and I'm too embarrassed of my partner (who said that I look fine down there and haven't touched me since)...We tried to have sex two times after I gave birth (I was drunk and brave) and it felt like nothing. My partner could not come, we stopped and I felt completely humiliated. Hard to think that before I got pregnant (and even during my pregnancy) we had fun and fulfilling sex life.

I feel totally frustrated as everyone seem to tell me that my problem is "cosmetic"; the specialist I've seen told me to do Kegels and sent me to the physiotherapist who also told me to do Kegels. Though my physio did say the damage I sustain can not be repaired with Kegels, no one is offering me anything else.

I really struggle to accept all this. That I will never go back to normal and this is, well, my new normal. I read about women who had several kids and who say they did not suffer any damage down there and I feel like screaming. I'm not even 40 yet and I feel like I will never have sex again, my partner tells me its ok but he wont touch me, my relationship is getting ruined, I'm stressed and hating myself - and I know why. Please help.

blibblibs Tue 13-Aug-13 19:49:58

I'm afraid I have no advice but I'm bumping for you for the evening crowd...

MonstersDontCry Tue 13-Aug-13 20:03:35

You poor thing. I'm so sorry I really don't have any advice for you but didn't want to read and not post. Is there another GP you could see and explain to them how much this is affecting you?

MonstersDontCry Tue 13-Aug-13 22:05:14

Bumping for you.

Roshbegosh Tue 13-Aug-13 22:07:57

Bump. I hope someone can suggest something x

Roshbegosh Tue 13-Aug-13 23:05:44

Sorry no one seems to be able to help. I think you have to go back to the GP and be really persistent. There must be someone you can be referred to for help with this. Do you have trouble with incontinence as if you do Boots do some cone things that work really well. PM me if you want more info. So sorry to hear of this horrible situation and I really hope it can be sorted out.

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 10:46:45

thanks so much for the messages. I had incontinence to start with (both types) but it seems to be better now, though I try not to experiment and not go out without going to the toilet.

what I find hard to understand is why it happened to me - was it a doctor's mistake, or is there something wrong with the way I heal? my old gp told me all women have these issues, which I really struggle to believe! and reading stuff on the internet it seems everyone is more or less back to normal a few months down the line - everyone says your vagina stretches and then springs back? so why mine didn't? I feel so alone, like some sort of a freak...

5madthings Wed 14-Aug-13 10:58:16

err this certainly doesnt sound normal. bollocks to you are not 25 anymore.

seriously insist on a referral.

there is a thread on here called ragged bits? or something. long running over a few threads but its other womem who.have had issues since childbirth and their treatments etc.

PotteringAlong Wed 14-Aug-13 11:02:42

i think this might be the ragged bits thread!

5madthings Wed 14-Aug-13 11:11:00

yes thats it pottering well done!

op the ladies on there seem quite knowledgable about stuff so hopefully they can help you.

in the meantime keep talking with your dh, he should be supportive but perhaps he is upset/scared and prob feeling a bit useless and maybe also he feela bad that having his baby has caused this damage, irrational but not unusual. i think if you say you arent happy and you are pushing for help etc and get him to support you.

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 11:18:14

thank you so much. will go and read the thread now.
my parner is really nice and is trying to support me, and of course won't admit to me that something is wrong. but he also is not trying to have sex with me at all... I'm too scared to really talk to him about it as he said he was scared to look at me down there as he did not know what to expect.
the worst irony is that I lost all the baby weight and have no stretch marks and generally look good, but feel so ugly...

5madthings Wed 14-Aug-13 11:25:57

OK glad he is supportive, its OK for him to be scared, am guessing you are scared and upset too. Keep talking and even if you don't have piv sex you can cuddle and do other stuff and maintain intimacy.

You are not ugly, you have medical problems that need fixing, I really hope the thread helps, I know other posters on there have had further surgery etc to 'fix' things.

There seems to be a bit of a crap attitude from some gps and drs about women's issues who think we should just put up with it angry keep pushing until you get someone who will listen to you and take your concerns seriously. Xx

MumnGran Wed 14-Aug-13 11:33:34

I think that it is time to make an appointment with a sympathetic GP at your surgery, and tell them that you want a referral because the 'cosmetic' issue is causing a huge problem in your sex life, and is not something which you can simply brush off any longer. If you can go back directly to the consultant, then obviously go that route

Essentially, you need to really start making a fuss about the way this is affecting your life. And your marriage.
Would you have the funds to go privately?

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 12:47:41

I was thinking about private surgery, I have a bit of money saved for a deposit to buy a place to live (renting at the moment). my partner is against it though, as he says I don't need surgery.
the specialist I've seen said that I have to wait untill I stop breastfeeding, it seems no one would even listen to me untill then. she also said hormonally my body is going through something similar to a menopause?...
My new gp is very good, but I still have one more appointment with a specialist in hospital. I don't know whether to go or not - last time she was very dismissive and put into my notes that I have psychological issues rather then real physical problem.

MumnGran Wed 14-Aug-13 13:33:43

I am pleased you have a specialist appointment still available for you. It might be that you 'feel' that the changes are worse than they look to the consultant - or to your husband ( I don't think that is unusual ) but if that is so, and the specialist repeats that, then you need to ask her for a referral that can help. Don't let it just slide by as a remark.

It might be useful for you to ask your DH to actually write down what he feels the issues are, including if he feels things have changed sexually? You could then give this to the consultant, to show that your worries are own view. Or if he writes that he thinks things are OK, then that may help towards the consultant giving you a referral to a different department.

What is important is that you leave this 'last' appointment with a strategy to help, not a dismissal of how you feel....because it is affecting you deeply. So make sure you ask for that strategy, if the appointment looks like coming to an end without an outcome you feel is positive for you.

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 15:07:26

thank you for the advice. I was offered to go and "speak to someone" about my issues and about coming to terms with what happened to me during labor; and yes, a couple of midwifes (and a specialist) said its not as bad as I think. this is the most frustrating part for me. how can it be normal?! my vagina doesn't even look human anymore. I can feel it in a weird way, its wide open and wet and I get air inside which makes a farting noise when I walk. I would have laughed about it if I could.
my partner (we are not married) won't say anything other than he's tired, baby is crying, etc. which is of course rubbish. he says its him... but I found out he's talking to a couple of his ex flings (he says for no reason). that makes me think its a bit more than just tiredness...

Itsme1974 Wed 14-Aug-13 16:02:01

Hi - have you been diagnosed with a prolapse or is it something you think you may have?

After childbirth things can take up to 2 years to get back to normal and your body will still be healing. Breastfeeding also reduces the amount of oestrogen in your body which can make things "looser".

Sounds like you need a more sympathetic dr though. Hopefully the specialist will be more helpful.......I think you can use oestrogen cream to firm things up a bit.

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 16:17:27

I have been diagnosed with rectal prolapse, it looks like a purple egg sticking out (sorry, gross, I know). my mum has one, so I know what its like.
I changed my gp after "you're not 25 anymore" comment from my old one. this one seems good but I haven't discussed anything with her in any detail...
I know I might get tighter, but I can't see how the opening might shrink? its all healed the way it is.

Itsme1974 Wed 14-Aug-13 16:36:49

A rectal prolapse or a rectocele? .....I'm a little obsessed with all things prolapse related at the moment as I recently thought I may have one! The gynae says not but am seeing him again next week.

I really feel for you....I know that my opening is bigger, but it's not too bad. I hope you get some more help at you next appointment smile

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 17:18:32

I can't remember the exact wording, I'm sure it says prolapse. what's the difference?

Itsme1974 Wed 14-Aug-13 17:25:14

From what I know, a rectal prolapse would be something coming out of your bum, a rectocele is your rectum pushing into your vagina xx

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 18:52:28

the second one. ah, I see what you mean. I probably got the terminology wrond

Itsme1974 Wed 14-Aug-13 20:35:12

Have you ever looked on the prolapse health site? The forum is really good and helpful - - there is one specifically for those who have recently given birth. There's a wealth of info on there about how to treat prolapse without surgery.......I know that you have other issues which may need to be sorted with surgery, but there are tips to make yourself more comfortable Ight want to have a look, there's a lot of positive info on there xx

Bubblyb00b Wed 14-Aug-13 21:08:48

thank you very much. all the best to you, too!

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