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Impact of birth injuries/prolapse etc

(244 Posts)
QuentinSummers Sat 30-Dec-17 19:08:13

Just read this article in the Guardian and am shocked by just how prevalent prolapse are. This is a feminist issue surely?
Timely for me because I have some kind of issue and don't want to go to the doctor blush
amp.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2017/dec/28/vaginal-health-post-partum-maternity-rectocele

Thermostatpolice Sat 30-Dec-17 19:26:00

Definitely a feminist issue. The possible effects of childbirth on mothers are totally minimised IMO. Women are expected to just spring back from childbirth and carry on as normal without complaining. So these things don't get talked about.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 30-Dec-17 19:28:36

Definitely a feminist issue. And one that is not discussed. And worse in the majority world. There's a great charity for women who suffer fistulae and are ostracized. sad

KiaOraAura Sat 30-Dec-17 19:28:47

Agree with both of you. Seeing adverts for Tena Lady gives me the rage. Never mind dear, just walk round with a urine sodden pad in your pants....

Treatment for every level of birth injuries should be freely available to all women.

QuentinSummers Sat 30-Dec-17 19:29:39

I also found her paragraph about all the focus on labiaplasty etc but nothing on the "maternal vagina" very thought provoking.
We just don't talk about this. I had a third degree tear with my first, had no idea what it was or what had happened to me and was discharged with a leaflet explaining I may be faecally incontinent or lose faeces during sex. Terrifying.
Why don't we talk about this stuff? Why is all the vagina convo about whether or not to wax?

MacaroonMama Sat 30-Dec-17 19:29:44

Yes definitely a feminist issue. I am quite sure if this happened to men, there would be lots of lovely big clinics offering a multitude of services!

I also have 'issues' following the birth of my third (and last!) child, who was in quite a rush and weighed 9lb 4oz... I saw my GP who was v nice and did a v gentle exam then recommended I go to the Bladder & Bowel Clinic. I did, and saw another equally kind and gentle specialist nurse - but it turns out she was the wrong person to see as I have no incontinence issues (well, not yet!), just bulges and things feeling all wrong. So am waiting for another referral to a urogynaecologist (I think that is right!) Please do go to your GP if you can - ask for a female doctor, a chaperone or take a friend perhaps? I was v reassuring (and I am someone who absolutely freaks out before smear tests). Good luck xx

KatyMac Sat 30-Dec-17 19:29:57

But I think it goes hand in hand with doctors (both male & fmale sadly) who think that period issues should just be put up with. Pain/excessive bleeding/other issues are all 'normal' and you are making a fuss to complain

ALunerExplorer Sat 30-Dec-17 19:30:51

Absolutely, and if you need to go and see the doc and need support, don't hesitate.

The lack of education, research, etc in terms of prolapse, endo, etc is shockingly absent. Has been since before I had my hysterectomy almost 18 years ago (the lot out, had menopause in my early 30's).

QuentinSummers Sat 30-Dec-17 19:32:10

Thank you macaroon! flowers
I am most worried they are going to tell me to stop doing sport. And I've had my bits faffed about with enough.
Bloody babies angry

PocketCoffeeEspresso Sat 30-Dec-17 19:32:12

https://www.fistulafoundation.org/

I've seen this for fistulas, but not something specifically for prolapse.

I just remember an embarrassing bodies episode where a poor woman had a massive prolapse she'd just been living with for years. Of course now it's doubly awful, because I bet she had that vaginal mesh surgery which has caused so many women such pain as well.

MacaroonMama Sat 30-Dec-17 19:33:34

And also I have had conversations with friends and my cousin who are GPs who opted for C sections because they had seen the damage done! shock Shows how ingrained the culture is of childbirth = irreparable physical damage. It was like they knew something I didn't! Not saying C sections are the magic solution btw just that there is no French-style recovery programme for our poor shattered vaginas.

PocketCoffeeEspresso Sat 30-Dec-17 19:35:40

I remember with my second (I've never managed the conventional route - 2 EMCS), the midwife (who I'd never seen before - we get shuffled around various clinics across the county) asked how I was at DS2's 2 week (or so) check, and I mentioned that my vulva was incredibly lumpy - like varicose veins all over, and rather tender (despite having had nothing traumatic happen at all to it!)

She was more embarrassed than me, which was weird, prodded, and just told me to raise it again if it was still there in 6 weeks (it wasn't. Neither were DS2's little boobs).

Sometimes I feel like they don't really know what's going on, and are guessing much more than they should be.

MacaroonMama Sat 30-Dec-17 19:36:16

Quentin yes I hear you re: sport. I used to love playing football with my two eldest but now if I played for long, I feel like my insides would soon be outside! I worry when I run for the bus even. Sad.

QuentinSummers Sat 30-Dec-17 19:37:23

I've had a section too after 2 bad tears. It was not fun either. Solution for me is no more babies....i am not very sympathetic to men complaining they are scared of vasectomy however.
But yes I wish I'd known more beforehand. In fact everything you read says the vagina is so elastic it will go back to as before. Errr not quite!
Also the comments under the article are interesting. Some very sympathetic, some bordering on victim blaming saying the woman must 've given birth in the wrong position, should have had an episiotomy, had a bad diet etc etc

Bitlost Sat 30-Dec-17 19:37:29

Definitely a feminist issue. My GP (female) refused to examine me, told me this was to be expected and never wrote me the referral letter I needed. My private physio nearly exploded with rage when I told her.

megletthesecond Sat 30-Dec-17 19:37:37

I know this isn't AIBU but YANBU.

I'm horrified at friends who breezily chat about problems that they think they have to put up with.

TuftedLadyGrotto Sat 30-Dec-17 19:38:13

I've had prolapse repair surgery this year. After 8 years. For the last few years I have continually gone back to GP with issues and given endless antibiotics and other stuff.

I was eventually referred to a Urogynocologist and she immediately diagnosed front and back prolapse and scheduled surgery.

I can't believe how many years of discomfort, embarrassment etc I went through.

hazeyjane Sat 30-Dec-17 19:38:24

I think there is also a lack of care about problems that can occur after a C-section. I had a section for my 3rd birth because of 3rd and 2nd degree tears in the first 2 births. The C-section was bloody awful, and it seemed impossible to find out information about it afterwards.

hazeyjane Sat 30-Dec-17 19:38:25

I think there is also a lack of care about problems that can occur after a C-section. I had a section for my 3rd birth because of 3rd and 2nd degree tears in the first 2 births. The C-section was bloody awful, and it seemed impossible to find out information about it afterwards.

MacaroonMama Sat 30-Dec-17 19:39:23

Oh Espresso the mesh! I am so worried I will be told I need one. I just want a lovely soft bamboo hammock to gently sail at the top of my vagina, and remind my cervix, pelvic floor etc that they need to hold up all the other bits. Mesh be damned, I have read that for some women they are great, but the idea of all that plastic growing into my body makes me feel very strange.

TuftedLadyGrotto Sat 30-Dec-17 19:40:08

Mesh isn't the only option. My surgery didn't involve mesh.

frogsoup Sat 30-Dec-17 19:40:16

I read that article the other day and realised I may have a prolapse!!! I had no bloody idea until that point, but I had a feel and there's a big bulge on one side!! It makes sense of some symptoms too. Youngest child is nearly 4, but I think it has only appeared recently. I'm also putting off going to the doctor, but it has to be done doesn't it. I'll go if you do grin

MacaroonMama Sat 30-Dec-17 19:41:20

Bitlost that is disgraceful. Really awful. Did you feel able to complain at all?

LadyGrotto do you mind me asking what surgery you had?

guardianfree Sat 30-Dec-17 19:42:01

The lack of attention (and funding) paid to women's issues post pregnancy are shocking. The vaginal mesh issue is horrifying - so many women are affected.
It seems so strange that we are spending all this funding on cosmetic issues but basic good quality health care for women is so lacking sad

frogsoup Sat 30-Dec-17 19:42:31

I suspect damage is actually from my first v traumatic delivery 10 years ago. I'm a bit horrified that I've only just recently realised that problems can occur years down the line, I thought if you were ok after the birth you'd got away with it blush

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