Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Support Thread - Page 73
Sadly, I think I'm here. I'm 7 weeks pp with my second. Both births were (induced but) normal. 2 hours pushing the first time, maybe 5-10 minutes the second. This last time around I just pushed and pushed - didn't really have noticeable contractions anymore (just constant one). Maybe that was bad. Anyway, both kids were small (5.9 and 6.11).
I first looked at my vagina and it just seemed really open and big. That was pretty shortly after birth. It freaked me out and I had some tearing and stitches (just first degree) so I didn't feel around or look. At my 6 week appt the midwife didn't say anything, but I also didn't know to ask anything.
Shortly after my appt I took a look at my vagina for the first time, really. Still looked really open, and there seemed to be vaginal wall not too far behind the opening (when looking while squatting or sitting). Did some research and sounds like a cystocele. Would you guys agree? It's like a bulge I guess under my uretha, and then below that the hole that goes up to my uterus.
I hadn't noticed any symptoms except that I do have some stress incontinence (no different than after my first kid, and def better than third tri pregnancy!) and it seems like I have to stand up to wipe when I go pee to completely empty my bladder I guess. Reading that some of the symptoms are a tampon not in all the way feeling, I guess I feel that a lot but I had chalked it up to healing/weird vagina/tears. Thinking back though I was never able to comfortably use the diva cup after my first pregnancy.
So does this sound like cystocele to you? I'd go back and see the midwives but we're about to leave town for a month. I got a referral for pelvic floor pt at my 6 week pp appt because the midwife said I didn't have much pelvic floor tone (she said that after my first kid - why did I not try to fix it then??). I can't get in to do pt though until we get back - I'll be 13 weeks pp then. Is that too late? What can I do in the meantime - I'm so paranoid I'll do something that'll make it worse. Seems like there's lots of conflicting info out there.
Oh and has anyone heard of Katy Bowman and used her "Down there for women" DVD? Sounds like it could be helpful.
We're hoping to space our next kids 3 years apart, so I hope to get healthy and strong again before my next preg. I'd love to run again like I used to before kids!
Thanks for all your wisdom and advice, mamas!
I'm new to this site. I have some questions. I have a grade 2 cystocele that causes me a lot of discomfort. The docs can't believe I have the symptoms I do because they say it doesn't look so bad. Anyhow, it took a year for them to fit me correctly with a pessary, and that has helped more than anything. I'm now pregnant with my 2nd (very early - 5 weeks). The docs say the cystocele "shouldn't" get worse. But now I've just stumbled on this site and want to ask the women in the know.
1) Anybody out there have pregnancies after a cystocele or other prolapse? Did it get worse? Stay the same? Any advice on what to do to prepare for the pregnancy and birth? Books/DVDs to read/view?
2) Has anybody gotten the Whole Woman "First Aid for Prolapse" and/or "Saving the Whole Woman" DVDs? Have they helped?
3) I'd like to know what may have contributed to our prolapse. Every doctor I ask has no answer. One wanted to insist I had constipation my whole life. I know it's not the same for all of us, but did most of us have a) a long labor and b) a long pushing stage or a possibility of pushing too early or c) an epidural?
4) Does anybody run out there with POP? I used to run before childbirth, and the few times I've run since, it feels terribly uncomfortable, even with a pessary. Docs say I should run and that it won't cause any problems but I believe running may have caused a bit of temporary incontinence just afterwards when sneezing/coughing.
Thanks for any advice/insight!
I developed POP *during* my first pregnancy. At about 30 weeks, I was running with my sled dogs and felt a painful sort of popping. I actually knew immediately what had happened, ran home and squatted over a mirror and cried. Called the midwife, yadda, yadda. I had no risk factors, was slightly underweight, first pregnancy, 24 years old, etc, etc. However, I subsequently found out that there is a very, very strong family history of POP in women in my family. As in, nearly all the women on both sides have dealt with it. Also, in my belief that pregnancy is simply a variation on normal, I didn't ease up my activity at all. I was still handling racing sled dogs (try harnessing a crazed, excited, 50lbs animal who has a single goal: pull!), riding my bike all over the place, hiking difficult trails, etc, etc. Had I known about the family history, I would have taken it a LOT easier. That said, I also had a long second stage (4+ hours). No epidural though.
Pregnancy #2, the POP felt worse, but it was largely due to the increased blood flow to the area, I think. Everything felt swollen, and heavier. End result was pretty much the same though. I would say the POP is maybe very slightly worse post baby #2.
I am not a fan of running, but did do it pre-babies. I wear a pessary now, and do NOT run anymore. I also don't jump on trampolines. I danced professionally until my first pregnancy, and still haven't taken a class (in 3.5 years!) because the center jumping exercises make me want to hold my crotch and cry. For real. I can push out about five jumps, and they're all awful - I throw my bum out to avoid taking the impact on my pelvic floor. Jumps were my forte. Sadness. Anyway, yes, drs tell you a pessary should fix you right up, but that has not been my experience, and my lifestyle is different/limited. I will have corrective surgery when I am finished with the baby-growing part of my life.
I have no real advice, 'cause I've found that POP is so, so different for everybody. But, if you aren't comfortable with something (running?), then maybe it's time to explore something else. And don't be afraid of another pregnancy. My (mostly anecdotal) readings have been that things don't tend to get too much worse, if they do at all.
Would be neat if this thread started seeing a little more action again...
I'm pregnant again (#3) and so far not finding the POP to be any different than before.
I had a chronic cough for the first 17 years of my life. Like, coughing until I threw up. I was eventually diagnosed with asthma, but so incorrectly medicated as to be completely useless until I was 17 and nearly died from an asthma attack. I actually think the years of coughing might have played a role in the POP. Any other coughers out there?
I think we might be able to have one more baby after this one, maybe, but I see surgery down the live for me. I've done some more research on pessaries, and the "life time" of them seems to average about 7 years. As in, on average, once you hit that mark, fairly severe side effects, like fistula, seem to develop. Apparently removing and cleaning regularly (once a day to several times a week) can help, but it sounds like, worn long enough, people develop other problems. Lovely.
I talked to an aunt of mine who had a severe uterine prolapse after her 2nd. She went on to have 6 more children (all home birth) afterward. All of them had big heads and they were large babies. She said that she didn't remember what she did to correct anything. She does heavy lifting and hard work to this day. She can rival any man. She was always an extremely hard worker.
She finds that she has little problems with any sort of prolapse. I found that encouraging. I just wish that I knew what she did...I would pass it on to you all too...
I have been doing Tasha Mulligan's Hab-it dvd for 5 months or so now and have definitely noticed improvement. I'm now doing her advanced workout, which you can subscribe to on her website. I have a grade 1 bladder prolapse. I used to feel the prolapse sitting there all day long and now do not notice it except when I'm ovulating. I'm still breastfeeding and hope to see more improvement as I begin to gradually wean (my period returned only recently, my daughter is 13 months). Tasha has a blog (Ask Tasha) where you can ask her questions, and in addition to being extremely knowledgeable, she has a very straightforward, positive, kind attitude that is a blessing when you are dealing with a sensitive issue such as this one.
I tried Whole Woman but no longer visit her site or do her DVD for several reasons. For one, I found her exercise DVD poorly made (despite being extremely expensive) and not challenging enough for someone who is athletic. If I'm going to have to do these exercises every day, I'd better enjoy them! I also found that her site (and dvd) really aggravated my depression and feeling of self worth, which had an impact on my recovery. Sadly, it tends to be a very negative site. Others have said this as well. Any views of other treatment methods other than "Whole Woman" are not welcome AT ALL. I think that Whole Woman would actually gain more interest if it were not so restrictive in this way. Whole Woman is now a sponsor for Mothering, so it is promoted a lot around here recently. I think that her postural recommendations work for some. I actually don't think that they are THAT different from what Tasha recommends postural-wise. My point really is that you should find out what works for you. It does get better!
Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share, Vanni. I appreciate it very much.
I am self diagnosed. Mine is either 1 or 2. I am not sure which it is for sure. I am leaning toward 2.
I first read about prolapse by reading what Whole Woman offered, and yes, it was depressing, but all that I had heard of. I didn't yet know that I would discover that I had it until a couple of months later. When I started to feel the "egg" (I described it as a bubble) the day after carrying my older toddler a long distance, then I started to get concerned and wanted to research further. Through doing more research on here, I found out about Katy (don't remember her last name), then about the Hab-It DVD. I like the balanced approach that Tasha gives, and that I can actually have a life. I was so scared, but now I have hope. My husband has been very supportive, and for that, I am very thankful. I am doing some postural changes (he helps remind me to not lift heavy things at this point, and will do it for me) and have found some videos online suggesting exercises. I am noticing a difference. It now comes and goes instead of just staying. It is encouraging, but I want to do more. I will be breastfeeding for another year and a half unless I find that I am expecting again, and if that is the case, I want to be ready anyway. I have certainly decided that I want to pursue getting the Hab-It DVD.
lol I wanted to get some cocoa nibs and try to make some of my own dark chocolate with them using some of my Christmas money that I get from the relatives. Instead, I will be getting the DVD. I am sure that the kids will be disappointed, but I would rather have this fixed than wait. I CAN wait on the chocolate (I am crying inside as I say that, though. I LOVE dark chocolate). Oh well, if I don't take action and for once take care of myself, I won't be of much use to anyone. I am sure that my baby will appreciate me doing exercise instead of eating lots of chocolate (which would hurt her small tummy) anyway. :)
After baby 3..seven months PP, Im feeling hopeless. My OB states Im not as bad as others!
I had a 2nd degree tear with sutures that disolved too soon, leaving me very open.
My Urethra is bulging out of me Vagina by the end of th# day and my Cervix has dropped down to just inside of my Vagina.
Sex is awful. I also suffered nerve damage. Is this it? I am desperate. Does anyone have advice for me...
You know, I have been walking and sitting with what is suggested as the Whole Woman posture (so hard to do), squatting when going to the bathroom and whenever I need to bend down.
My walking has worked up to about a 40 minute walk and I have been doing this for almost 2 weeks. It has been helping some. I still have bad days and really bad moments. I feels uncomfortable when I walk, but I notice the most change the next morning.
I won't be able to go out as much over the next while, as it is getting really cold, but hope to do some crawling, a tiny bit of walking at the very least, and try some reverse cat stretches and whatever I can find that might help. I am also starting to drink red raspberry leaf tea again. It looks as though it will be cold for some time now. :( And I was just getting into walking too.
I have found information on different herbs, douches, etc. but am not sure what to do yet. I know that I can't afford a PT and I can't get the DVDs either at this point. I am very much winging it.
Any suggestions on free things to try indoors...I am all ears.
AlaaJ, I wonder if it is when I found the site, that I found it depressing. It took some reading about what was going on and realizing that I actually had something that was not curable, and was my fault. That certainly was depressing reading that. I still feel badly. I wish that other women had told me the dangers of doing certain things. I had no idea and would have corrected these things had I known. I did suspect that I had something when I was pg, considering how constipated I was, but I had no indication of the bladder problem. Afterward, I did dribble some when I thought I was done, but then that seemed to resolve itself, and I thought that I was entering greener pastures, when about 8 weeks pp, I had to carry my heavy toddler quite a ways. The next day, I sure noticed a huge change. It was very, very unsettling.
Now, I feel like there must be a balance in all of the advice that everyone (who's selling something) gives. Everyone is right...everything works, but not everything works for everyone just the same...sometimes it makes it all worse! I can't afford one thing, let alone many DVDs or books. I don't know what advice I can trust, not even if it is from a physiotherapist because they can't agree either. Nobody agrees on anything except walking, and I don't know, but that seems to have to be a very daily thing, and it helps somewhat, but if I miss a day or do something (not sure what) different, I pay for it. Like today, things are threatening to fall out and it is sore. I will walk today, even though it is extremely cold and most people with any sense would not be out today. I really just don't know what else to do. Money is tight. I wish that I had some to figure things out with.
I have found that there are old recipes for douches, teas, etc. available. Even supplement suggestions. The thing is, I find that most of these (or all, really) are for uterine prolapse, which thankfully at this moment, I don't think that I have. I have the other two, however, and no suggestions for those.
I also need to know if I can actually have more babies. I would like at least one more. I read that I can, but then am I facing it getting worse, guaranteed? If not, how do I make sure that things stay better...if I can get it all corrected in time? What do I do when I am extremely sick and hardly eating? What do I do for maintenance then? I will not do surgery, and a pessary sounds like future additional trouble, so I don't want to go there.
I just wish someone had some clear answers. I am getting very frustrated with it all.
Thank you for listening to my whining. If anyone has something for me...and something that I can do indoors when it is freezing cold...I would appreciate it and so would my kids and husband.
hatchling - you CAN have more babies, this will get better, and your opinions on surgery/pessaries may change...
You are so close to developing your prolapse. A little time and distance, and it won't make you feel quite so frantic. It's crappy, beyond crappy, and I wish there was a magic fix. I wish there were more scientific, researched, peer-reviewed options (and, oh, if men's bladders were trying to fall out of their penises, you can guarantee there would be more options!). I know it feels desperate and hopeless and crippling now, but you will find ways to cope, and someday, it will not make you cry every time you think about it. Promise.
I developed a bladder prolapse during my first pregnancy, around 30 weeks, and the bowel followed by 37/38 weeks. My uterus was never overly affected either. I went on to have subsequent pregnancies, and things really didn't change very much. My uterine prolapse has gotten slightly worse, but, honestly, it has not put me over any sort of edge. The bladder and the bowel are the primary problem, and the more minor uterine issue doesn't even really register! The first trimester is unpleasant, because the uterus is heavy in your pelvis and makes the bladder issues worse. ie: I have to stand with my bum higher than my torso to void (almost) completely. Everything feels awesome after the first trimester though! I think the uterus lifting out might actually help pull everything a little bit higher.
Pessaries do have long-term side effects, but those can be largely mitigated by removing it every evening, washing it, and re-inserting it in the morning. It is also recommended that you get a new one every year or so. I've completely done a 360 on the surgery issue too. I'll have it when I'm finished with pregnancies and breastfeeding. Nothing else will work, and surgery might, so, there it is. It doesn't scare me anymore. You might get to that point too. It's not the end of the world.
Anyway, all the best. Wish I had some pointers for you, but it will get better.
I am soooo grateful I found this thread. I have only read about the first 2 pages of posts (from '07) and then skipped to this back page, from about June '12 -- but so far, I already feel encouraged!
I first noticed feeling 'weird' just before my 6 wk PP appt with my 2nd baby. It was the morning of the appt, and I felt a bulge in the shower and was utterly shocked to actually see something coming out of me in the mirror. Totally FREAKED ME OUT! My doc said it was prolapse and that there was nothing I could do about it until I was sure I was done having babies. Love that one-sided approach, right?
[BTW I told my mom about it after my appt and she said, oh yeah, that runs in our family. Ummm ... do you think you coulda told me that before NOW??]
I think it happened at the birth of my 2nd baby, as I didn't really notice anything prior to that. All of my babies have been posterior (sunny-side up) and pretty big (9lb,2oz, 8lb,12oz, 9lb,7oz) and my 2nd was born with her hand by her face, which resulted in a 2nd degree tear.
At about 15 months PP, it started getting really worse. Like I wanted to pull my hair out by the end of the day. I hated that I wasn't able to be active with my very active firstborn (DS) and my mood was in the dumps. Not fun. So I heard from a friend about Hab-It. Ordered it right away and really started noticing a difference after about 3 days. Seriously.
Well, then I became pregnant with baby #3 (surprise!) when baby #2 was about 17 months, and like quantumleap said, it got worse at first, but then got waaaay better. I seriously loved being pregnant because I couldn't feel my prolapse anymore!
Fastforward to now ... baby #3 is almost 15 months, and I'm at that point again where it's getting really bad. I'd say worse than with baby #2, but not by a whole lot. I asked my midwife to check it last year at my 6 wk PP appt and I think she said it was bladder & a little rectal, which I'm pretty sure is still the case.
Anyway, out of desperation today, I made an appt with an OB/GYN (which I don't normally do, since I have homebirths w/ midwives) to see if she can recommend something to help me but I'm just so desperate to feel better. We don't currently have insurance so I have no idea how we'll pay for much of anything. I HATE the idea of surgery (and I'd really like to have one more baby next year or later) but I'm seriously entertaining the idea of surgery if it will improve my quality of life. I feel miserable! And I want to be able to vacuum my house without feeling like my body is turning inside out.
I think I'm gonna try the Hab-it DVD again. It really gave me hope ... I just don't feel like I can afford the time for it. But I also feel like it's my only hope right now. Ugh. Sorry for venting/complaining. :)
From all that I have read, it isn't about running in the family, it is a part of our cushy lifestyle. Slouching, bad birthing positions (not always the cause, but doesn't help), not being taught correct posture, picking things up incorrectly, picking up things that are too heavy, straining when you "sit." These make the most sense to me...most of the other ones don't hold water, because people will tell you different things, such as you are too fat, runs in the family, big baby, birthed too fast, etc. Yes, and most of the medical profession takes a one sided approach, unfortunately. I also agree. It should be talked about just like birthing or anything else.
DON'T do surgery. I have read consistently that their idea of a successful surgery is 1 year. Then you need to go in again and again... With a pessary, you are possibly looking at fistulas, which can be life threatening. I know it is tempting, but I hear once you go down that road, you don't ever really come back. Even if it is awful (and don't I understand that!), it is not life threatening as is, so why make that a possibility?
I have been finding that walking daily, up to 1 1/2 miles (40 min.), and/or doing lunges, squats, and using the squatty potty technique (and NO straining...yes, it really is possible) is *starting* to help. I feel improvement in my urine elimination and other, my legs are strengthening, and I am losing 1 lb./wk as a bonus. It has taken 3 wks to get here. When I can't walk (like when there is extreme cold...-41* windchill), I have found that adding a cat stretch (kind of like a bow) and crawling around with a bowed back and my bum in the air, has helped. I am hoping to go to a PT one day, but I don't know when that will be possible. I know that you can do some of these things...they are all gentle. I would say start with the crawling and cat stretches here and there in your day, with the potty thing, then move on to lunges, squats, then walking. The first two things don't take much time. The potty position makes you feel odd for the first while, but you get used to it. This may be TMI for you, but when I wipe, I use moist wipes, After getting the main off with paper, I squat on the floor and use those. I squat in any situation that I can think of, and I think that I am finally seeing some results. I can't wait for the warmer temps to come back this weekend, so I can walk again.
I have heard that for vacuuming, consider getting and using a canister style, because the pulling back of the upright vacuum pulls on the pelvic region. I have been wondering about a hand held one lately. We only have one large area rug to do.
Please try the Hab-It DVD again. You said that it helped last time. I want to know how you find it this time. I think the key is to continue doing exercise...every day and not just until you feel better. You have to take the time for it if you are to be of use to your family. Don't feel guilty about taking time to take care of you. I don't anymore. I used to.
Someone on here or somewhere else mentioned how the enzymes from eating some of her placenta helped hike everything up, and how everything fell again when she ran out. I plan on taking what is left of mine (powdered, encapsulated) when I hit menopause and take sheep placenta capsules when those are done, but not while I am breastfeeding or wanting to have more babies. I found them online, recommended by someone. They are pure, from grass grazed sheep. I have to say, though, that I feel badly for those lambs who are not getting that good stuff from their mom. They are actually recommended to help with menopause symptoms, and somehow I think it will help this too: http://shop.placentabenefits.info/placenta_capsules.asp?utm_source=PBi+News&utm_campaign=1187cf7c1e-JUL_2012_News-20120717&utm_medium=email Huh, now after reading it I wonder if I should try it anyway.
I am not panicked, just frustrated that nobody agrees and as much as some say ___ works, there are still the naysayers who say differently.
I will not change my mind on pessaries/surgery. What I have now is certainly already prolapse, just not stage 4. My aunt had stage 4 uterine prolapse. It was hanging out. She since has had 5 babies with & without midwives at home (oldest of those is 17, youngest is 10), and she is a hard worker and lifts heavy things. She says she does not remember what she did to correct it, and that it was before she had midwifery care. She says it hasn't bothered her since. I try to keep that in mind as a positive hope.
Don't believe what "they" tell you. They don't give you permanent hope, but are all doom and gloom, and they will follow through making it that way if you let them, giving you bits of false hope along the way. Did you know that even ripped ligaments can heal? My husband has experienced that in his hand. Why can't ours in our bodies? Take charge, give yourself hope and fight for your body. Give it all you have. Don't give up. I have fought for my body and health in the past (with homebirthing...no inducing, cancer, other things...), and will continue to do so.
I will have good and bad days, but I won't give up, and neither should you. We CAN beat this into submission.
Hey, sorry I misunderstood/assumed your feelings. Sorry you're feeling discouraged. Sounds like you've got it under control though, so all is well.
I feel the need to point out that the prognosis for surgery is NOT that it will last for one year at the best. Not even close. Yes, there is a failure rate, but it is NOT crazy high (it's higher for people who have had it multiple times, with other mitigating factors such as obesity, etc). Also, the average life span is 10-15 years, NOT 1. Some people last much longer than that, and, obviously, some also last less than that, that's why it's an average, but it is not all doom and gloom.
And, pessaries are not ideal, but they are a choice, and they do not automatically lead to fistulas (which are not automatically life threatening. not that you'd want to have one). The literature says that, on average, women are likely to develop a fistula after 7 years of daily pessary use. These studies look at older women, who have their pessary inserted by a care provider and then have it removed and cleaned once every three months by their care provider. There isn't any literature, at least not any I can find, that studies young women who do their own insertions and cleaning, and who may not wear their pessary every day, etc, etc. Yes, fistula is a risk, but it is not a guarantee, and it is not something that is going to develop three days after you use one for the first time.
I'm not saying that everyone needs a pessary and surgery. I'm saying that they are choices, and that there are options, and that there's a lot of fear mongering out there surrounding an issue that is highly emotional for the women who deal with it.
I'm also saying that, with time, sometimes our opinions change. I always swore my kids would *never* whine, and they would *never* be crazy in public. And then I had children. And then I mellowed out a bit and my opinions changed. Maybe there really are parents out there with "perfect" children, who still manage to parent AP 100% of the time, but I am not one of those parents. I don't see the world as so black and white these days, there are a lot more shades of grey, and that's just where I am on my journey. Not everyone is in the same place, but no one should be making decisions based on fear and inaccurate information.
I am not a fan of the medical system. I could tell you many, many personal stories that might make you distrust too if they happened to you...and I used to trust them fully. I personally know of many others who used to trust and no longer do...just like me. I prefer to do things myself now and will even fight the doctors if need be (SO not my personality), unless it involves things that would be obviously stupid to do, like obvious necessary cutting...I will NOT do surgery unless it is a life threatening situation. I am not afraid, I just don't trust them, they have given me so much inaccurate information and lied outright in the past, that to blindly go with what they say would be very foolish in my mind. They will tell you it is fact every time.
I don't know where I read 1 year. If I remembered, I would post the link. I know that I read it more than once or twice and it was not an opinionated list type of thing. Somehow I think that it was on a medical site, but I could be wrong. Either way, if there is any risk, I prefer to leave that alone.
I didn't mean to sound harsh, I am just letting my side of things go on record and why I choose to believe that way. I will fight for my body and choose to not have it opened up by anyone if I can help it.