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Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Support Thread - Page 74

post #1461 of 1498

Hi Again,


So 24 hours later, I feel like I've been talked down off the cliff. :) After I posted my laments about my depressing (seemingly hopeless) condition, I found the Hab-it website and blog again and started reading. It gave me great encouragement again to try the exercises and be aware of my posture and activity level. So today, I consciously took note of my posture, avoided any heavy lifting (even abstaining from lifting my 42lb 3yo on/off the potty - she's fully capable!!), and did my Hab-it workout. I feel like I have hope again. I know it's only been one day, but I feel like taking this proactive approach (albeit difficult and tiresome at first) will pay off big time in the long run. 


Hatchling - I want to thank you so much for your encouragement! I too am not a fan of Western Medicine and would try just about anything before considering surgery. I hope and pray I never need surgery ever again (the ones I DID have were somewhat elective - def not life-threatening). And like I said, after reading some of Tasha's blog and Q/A, I was highly encouraged that I can actively take charge of my destiny (so to speak) and correct my situation by creating healthier habits (but MAN that posture thing is hard and tiring!)


Anyway, not sure if you've read any of her posts, but here's a great one on posture: http://hab-it.com/blog/?p=319


And her comparison of her program vs. Whole Woman: http://hab-it.com/blog/?p=212


And a YouTube video of how to have correct neutral spine posture (taken from the DVD - which I wish everyone could have!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcTEUKp7zsY


She really does provide a lot of great info for free. It's worth checking out!


After all my reading (including your reply, Hatchling) I agree that this issue of prolapse (and diastasis recti - which I also have to a small degree) are definitely a result of poor habits, perhaps compounded by other factors, but are more a lifestyle problem than anything else. I also think we (as humans) want to choose the path of least resistance and therefore do not want to put forth the effort to 'fix' the problem ourselves. But I know it'll be worth it. 


Please keep me updated on your progress. Would love to hear how you come along. 


PS thanks for the tips on the exercises! I live in the SW US (desert) and have amazing weather right now (low 80s today) so walking is a perfect activity for me and the kiddos! ;)

post #1462 of 1498

The almost 10,000 women on the Whole Woman site are beyond wonderful and supportive. Whole Woman was around long before Tasha and Katy, in the days when no one else was calling for an end to a surgical specialty (urogynecology) that performs surgery based on anatomical misconception. To say that the women at WW would blame another woman for developing prolapse is pure fantasy. Unfortunately, WW has strong opposition (due to inevitable political, emotional, etc. factors) and there are people actively working against what Whole Woman has brought to the world. It is such a pity that not only does WW have to confront a surgical system that truly does not know the error of its ways, but it has to be dogged by certain women who hold grudges of their own making.


In any case, please learn about how your body truly works! Tasha teaches a "neutral" pelvis - the science of which has been completely debunked. Unfortunately, the army of PTs who bought into the theory are so invested in it that they cannot let it go.This is not about anybody's particular exercise programs or products, but that you have a human female genetic structure that works best within certain biomechanical parameters. 

post #1463 of 1498

@ Jinxymama: Yes, go walk! I can't wait for the weekend. It is supposed to warm up quite a bit. Still cold, but at least exposed skin won't freeze in 7-10 min.! 80


Full disclosure here, I am using the whole woman's suggestion on posture. I am not fully sure where I found the advice on the other exercises, but they sounded good and easy. It is hard to keep it, esp. while nursing or just going around the house. It hurts while walking until your muscles get retrained to hold things in place. I have found that when I forget, those muscles remind me.


Moonspinner, I am not sure if you are referring to something I said or something from  the previous post to yours? I know that somewhere online, the blame WAS put on the woman (not just someone accusing someone about saying it)...it was all the fault of the one who owned the body...but I really don't know where I read that. Wherever it was, it sure was offensive at the time. I have to agree to some extent, though, we do choose what we do and how we do it, and as Jinxymama said, we tend to take the easy way out. Sometimes the truth hurts. The other side of it though, is older women knowing and never passing on knowledge that this can happen and those who have had success beating it, not passing that knowledge on So, we collectively can take the blame. Our responsibility in all of this is then to figure out what works and encourage others not to give up, but fight to get better, and then TELL others how to prevent/heal their problem.


Anyway, I am glad that I am seeing some relief. It is nice. I plan to fight, as I said, until I am not able to. I guess that means until I die. lol Thanks for the feedback, Jinxymama. I am glad that I can inspire someone else. I am still very new to this all, but if nothing else is accomplished in my ongoing saga here, I am encouraged to be used to help others on their way.


I think accusatory comments are best left alone. I have a feeling that the arguments will never end, considering that nobody agrees. Positive, supportive comments are more productive for all.

post #1464 of 1498

Hi Moonspinner (aka Christine Kent :) I'm sorry if I offended you (or anyone else) by anything that I said. I'm still not sure if you were just making a blanket statement or were directing your comment to me or anyone in particular. I highly, highly value everything you have done / are doing to educate everyone on this all-important topic. I also highly value others that are trying to make a difference, as well. I think Hatchling said it best:

Originally Posted by hatchling View Post

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. 


I also think education and support for one another is vital, and in my most recent post, I was simply trying to educate people on things I found helpful, which is the point of this thread. I know I am already super encouraged by what I've read from other contributors and have hope again. (That's HUGE!!) No one in my circle of friends have issues with this, and my mom (one of my best friends/confidants) is pushing me towards surgery. 


You all are helping me see the light. Thank you!!!

post #1465 of 1498

I completely commend your decision to seek alternatives to surgery for your POP. If you look on this website women are facing irreparable complications from their mesh and bladder slings. You're at risk for loss of copulation, damage to your internal organs, scarring etc. The FTC announced that even multiple surgeries may not fix the damage the sling can cause. Thousands of women are filing settlements against the companies that produce mesh, but a large sum of money couldn't replace a quality of life. 



That article holds some good information talking about what kind of women and problems are best suited for mesh or surgical intervention. But of course there is always a risk with such a serious procedure

post #1466 of 1498

Insurance will cover visit and treatment t the Pelvic Floor Clinic. Any large hospital  will have one nearby. They do a wonderful job with biofeedback training. Ifall fails, surgery to pelvic organ prolapse can be very effective and life changing. Sometime conservative treatment is not enougth

post #1467 of 1498
No one has posted here in a while so I'm not sure if anyone still reads this. I have had a grade 2 cystocele for about 3 months. It was actually a grade one for about a year and half pp, but I didn't know what it was. I have tried pelvic floor physical therapy biofeedback, a pessary, Pilates exercises prescribed by a PT, and visceral manipulation. Of everything, visceral manipulation has made the most difference. After my last session, I actually had 4 to 5 days of significant relief and did not need to wear my pessary. My symptoms are back now, because I have to do so much sitting and standing transitions for my job right now which really aggravates things. Getting up and down off of the ground is really hard, even with using pelvic floor bracing. But the improvements that I had were promising, and I would recommend looking at this website if anyone is interested in trying visceral manipulation:
post #1468 of 1498
post #1469 of 1498

Thank you for yet another option to look into. I am disappointed that the sessions sound like they could be expensive. It doesn't matter anyway for me...the closest practitioner of it is well over a good day's drive from me anyway, which makes it out of reach.


I have found that over time, What I am feeling gets better, bets worse, gets better, and on it goes...BUT the better times seem to be longer lasting. I find that somewhat encouraging. Maybe what I have discovered is actually starting to work. At least I would like to think so.


I am for the most part still walking daily. If things get worse, I do a lot of the stretches that I mentioned previously, and make sure that I DO get out to walk every day. I also sit on a tennis ball when I am sitting on the floor to change the toddlers diaper and things of that nature. I have at times had up to 2 weeks of feeling better, but then it gets like old times. I do not know what is going on in those times where I feel relief. I know it is still there. I would like to think that it improves, but I am not sure when it goes back. What should I do to keep it feeling good and actually get better to stayÉ What did I do wrong to make it go backÉ These are the things that I would like to know. I still do not have my answers. If something feels wrong, I do not do it. I try to figure out a different way and try to take note to not do it the other way again. I do forget, and that could be part of it... (sorry, my question mark button (É) and my apostrophe (è) are acting up.)


I went to a PT finally to see what she could do, as I was curious. It was the only one in the city trained in a technique where they feel where things are placed inside and test muscle strength and then give suggestions on how to exercise inner muscles that are weak. I know that it was mentioned somewhere on this thread, but I do not remember right now what it is called.


My experience:

I was told that my core muscles and ligaments are my issue and are super weak (not a surprise)...not other ones that are dealing with my uterus...I was told that they were firm but would that not be part of my problem...are they too firmÉ


I left the appointment now newly aware how closely linked a PT is to the doctor's system. I had wondered if they were and hoped that it could be kept separate...they nicely insisted that a report be given to my doctor...I don't have one, but they wanted to send a report to my local hospital for just anyone (doctor wise) to look at. Really? I do not trust any of them, and they almost never treat me with respect because I question them and do not hang on their every word as final. I never went to one in the first place about this because they had nothing to offer me in anyway and would just tell me I should have had all of my babies in the hospital to avoid this...that is the controlling garbage that I generally get from them. Sigh. Also, the PT claimed that my prolapse was not as bad as I had thought, although she did the exam with me laying down and not standing up. She said that she was very encouraged that I could correct my problem, but...keep reading... My understanding is that lying down doesn't always give a clear picture of the issue. She said that she does do the exam with some of the women standing...well, why not me too... She sort of listened to what I said I was doing as far as exercises, and said that they were okay, but never to squat. Also, she winced at the mention of the WW posture, which I have found to be quite helpful in me being able to get much relief from hunching over from nursing a growing baby and carrying the heavy breast weight. I will continue that, even though she winced. ;) It works for me. She said to never go on a trampoline. Well, we do not have one, and I already had read that. As well, when I started to do the exercises that she prescribed, it felt as though I was pushing everything out. She wondered why I might do squatting if it didn't feel so great (I still do some, but not excessively), and yet what she prescribed felt worse. I could feel the pushing immediately and the next day, everything felt worse. Hmmm... maybe it would work better if I was laying upside down (putting everything in a better out of the way position) and not sitting up and standing? Also, one of the exercises felt very much like a Kegel, but supposedly if I touched the side that needed work, the muscle would do more work, but the other side wouldn't. I asked if she felt that other side move when learning it, and she said that she didn't know...she was only feeling the side that she wanted me to work. That sounded not quite right to me. How does she know that it is not working too much... I was also told that I should not be afraid to lift anything. Just tighten up my core muscles and lift....um, if everything is so weak in that area, how am I to do that...I found a lot of inconsistency. She is the only PT in my area that deals with anything prolapse. Thoughts on this anyoneÉ


What I was really hoping for was suggestions on what I was doing wrong throughout my day and how to do these things better as well as some exercises to incorporate throughout my day. I got none. I was also hoping that these inner muscle exercises would feel like they were making things better, not worse.


Okay, enough thinking out loud & complaining for now. I just thought that I would post an update. Too bad it turned into a book. I suppose that I just needed to get it out. lol

post #1470 of 1498
I had cystocele and rectocele surgery on May 3rd. My first symptoms were the usual pain and that feeling that something was falling out - but most prevalent to me was a new large brain looking thing/ball (an inch and half to two inches) at the entrance of my vagina (not the bladder it self).This was traumatizing to me and disgusting which of course is a horrible way to view ones body non the less your sexuality (I am 44 and have been married 13 years - known him for 15). So after the surgery my doctor said that everything should go back into place including that brain looking thing. Two months later, the pain has gone away - and I do not feel like anything is falling out however - I still have that huge ugly brain thing at the entrance of my vagina. When I go to the bathroom I can feel it protruding so much that it is right below my clitoris. It feels so fat and huge. I am freaking out - please tell me it will go away! Has someone been in the same boat (I have looked for this specific issue online but haven't found the answers). How long until it goes away? Will sex help it go into place? What can I do to get this thing gone! 
post #1471 of 1498
hatchling...I'm not sure I understand the exercises the PT gave you. I have seen a PT as well, who gave me exercises to do. Keigel exercises while focusing on contracting both the vagina and anus (because for me, unless I do that, I don't really get a strong contraction in the perineum). Also I have to focus on fully relaxing the perineum at the end of the Keigel, because of pelvic floor tension. I also have some Yoga/Pilates exercises - doing modified bridge pose with a small ball between my knees to help engage the adductor muscles in the inner thighs, and then 3 different exercises where I am engaging my core with my knees bent & sliding one heel straight & then back to a bent knee position
post #1472 of 1498
Whoops, didn't mean to send that yet...continuing...
post #1473 of 1498
lifting 1 leg straight and then bending it again, etc. hard to explain without the visuals! Anyway, she told me to do them every day, but I feel like that aggravates things, and it's better if I do them every other day or every third day. Basically I feel like a person has to find a balance between trusting their own body and following what a professional thinks they should do. because even though they might have training and know more about the condition than I do, I still know my own body, and they can't really feel all the things that I feel when I'm doing different activities.
the PT I saw told me my prolapse wasn't that bad, either, but considering that I had had to miss a lot of work because I could hardly stand to be upright, I don't think she really knew what she was talking about. when I saw the visceral manipulation therapist, he said that my bladder and uterus were being pulled to the left side and twisted that way, which explains a lot of the pain and really tight and sharp pains that I get about my pelvic bone.
post #1474 of 1498
the adjustment that he did really helped for about 4 to 5 days, so I know there's something to it. I really wish that it was a quick and easy fix though. It is really frustrating to feel better and then feel worse again.
I wish there was someone closer to you, so that you could try it. Where do you live? Are there any acupuncturists near you?

Whoah...I don't know for sure, but I think it is the tissue of the vaginal wall that separates the bladder and the vagina that you are seeing protruding.
post #1475 of 1498

Hi mamas! I'm new to this thread, trying to work my way through it to see what I can learn, but for now I figured I'd introduce myself.


 I'm 11 days postpartum with baby #2 (who was 9lbs9oz) and still healing up, but I'm pretty sure I have pelvic prolapse, specifically rectocele. I actually think I had a mild case of it after my first (she wasn't a particularly big baby at 7lbs12oz, but was a posterior presentation and I spend 2.5 hours "purple pushing" in a semi-reclined position.) At the time I had no idea that pelvic prolapse was even a thing. I just know that since having her 3.5 yrs ago I sometimes found myself placing a wad of toilet paper slightly inside my vagina and pushing back toward my rectal wall while having a BM (sorry if that's way TMI!) I didn't need to do it every time, but when I did I noticed that it really helped me void completely. There was no pain and my sex life didn't suffer at all, so I never mentioned anything to my gyn. So now after pushing out a 9 and a half pound baby, I'm pretty sure I've made it worse. Thankfully I didn't tear at all, because I've read that can make it much much worse, but I did STREETCH an awful lot, obviously. Nothing is protruding from the vagina, but it is definitely swollen into (what used to be) my vaginal canal. When I'm coughing or laughing, or after standing for extended periods of time, I tend to feel a bit "bulgey" down there and my entire pelvic area gets achey. I also get mild lower-back aches from too much walking or standing (not that I do very much standing or walking at all. I DO spend a good majority of the time relaxing on the couch or in bed!)



Any other mamas--especially mamas of many--experience this? I'm hoping that it's just something that takes a few weeks to improve on its own and won't necessarily need treatment.

post #1476 of 1498

Kitteh, I saw your post in the due date club and I realized I have it also. I saw a little bulgy thing inside my vagina a few days after the delivery but didn't make anything of it until I saw your post. Mine looks to be a 1st grade cystocele, doesn't bother me for now. I will start researching about it.


 From what I have read just now, it looks like there are excercises that we can do, is that correct?

post #1477 of 1498
Cuau...I was given exercises by a PT who works with pelvic floor rehab. Apparently stabilizing the pelvic floor can help. I've currently had the most success with Visceral Manipulation but it's taking some time.
post #1478 of 1498
I went back to my cystocele/rectocele surgeon to ask her about this - she said that's my urethra - it's normal there is nothing I can do about it - which was so weird because it is not normal for me - I used to have a tiny hole for urinating but now it's a big old brain looking thing - someone on one of the other boards said it may be Urethrocele which fits with all of this. Is there surgery to fix this - it is really in my way bulging out of the vaginal entrance. If you can have surgery what is it like? And what else can be done?
post #1479 of 1498

So I've been slowly working my way through this thread--I'm a little over half way through--and I've been gaining a lot of really valuable information. Which is extremely important for me, because it looks as if any treatment I may need down the road is going to have to be self-administered. I'm currently receiving pregnancy-related Medi-Cal, but it only covers me through my 6 week checkup. Other than that I don't currently have health insurance (terrible, I know.)


The rest of this is going to be full-on TMI territory!


Yesterday I saw my midwife for a 3 week PP checkup, and I brought up my concerns with her. Basically, I'm pretty sure I have some degree of all 3 prolapse issues. The night before my appt I actually decided to do a little internal check (I've pretty much stopped bleeding and though I know that I'm still in the NOTHING IN THE VAGINA stage of postpartum recovery, I just had to know what was going on in there. I washed my hands thoroughly beforehand!) Anyhow, I feel like the rectocele bulge is the most obvious, with a possible cytocele and then when I put a finger in I felt my cervix really low, like less than half a finger's width up. So I told the MW this, and she had me lie down to do an internal check. She claimed that everything looked pretty normal (though I was flat on my back.) She did confirm a mild cytocele, said she could feel stool through my vaginal wall but did not confirm rectocele (though this is the one I'm most certain of) and said my cervix was reasonably high. All in all, I felt rather brushed off by her. I really respect her as a midwife and don't think she is ignoring my concerns on purpose, but maybe she's just not terribly familiar with this stuff?


She asked if I'm leaking urine and I said no (though yesterday after I'd gone pee and went to stand up I guess I wasn't fully done and I leaked all over my underpants! That was interesting.) I told her that I have been "splinting" during some BMs ever since the birth of my first, 3.5 years ago. She seemed to think that was a terrible idea and told me not to do it any more, which kind of made me lose faith in her judgement regarding these issues. Everything I've read says that splinting is a very common thing for women with rectocele. I don't have to do it often, maybe 25% of the time, tops? But those times that I do are absolutely necessary, and I started doing it sort of instinctively years ago, I had no idea that it was a "thing" or that there were any implications behind it (I'd never even HEARD of POP then!) Right now I'm having trouble having BMs, I feel like I'm constipated but when I finally go my stool is very very soft. But I can sort of feel the pressure building up for hours or a day or so, without being able to pass anything. And that makes the whole area down there feel achey and sore.


So, basically I think I'm on my own with this stuff, I don't think my care providers are going to be of any use. Luckily I do think that I've got a fairly mild case, and the fact that I'm still only 3 weeks postpartum gives me hope that a lot of this will heal naturally with time. But I do want to make sure that I'm doing everything in my power to help that healing, and that I don't make any mistakes during this recovery phase that might make things worse. I'm an avid runner, I was running 30+ miles a week before getting pregnant and continued to run through my pregnancy, stopping around 33 weeks. I ran a half-marathon at 17 weeks! But now I'm wondering if maybe that contributed to the weakening of my pelvic floor? I only pushed for 45 minutes this time and it was a water birth, but my dd was over 9.5 lbs at birth. I'm really hoping to be able to return to running eventually, and we're still open to the idea of having a third child, but I'm kind of afraid of doing more damage to myself, with both of those things!

post #1480 of 1498
Wow. I will have to pick a quiet Sunday to read everything posted here.
I was diagnosed with a grade 1 cystocele and rectocele, as well as grade 1-2 uterine prolapse last year, almost 3 years pp. I had almost no symptoms until I was in the shower "checking things out" one day and found that my cervix was sagging way down into my vaginal vault. Looking back, I had been experiencing some minor to moderate urinary leakage and was constipated at least 1-2 times a week. I had been splinting without knowing the term!
I had no insurance at the time but was able to see my former OB, who diagnosed me but wanted to do a pelvic u/s to rule out anything more ominous. When that came back clean I got back on insurance, which unfortunately was Kaiser Permanente, but had no other options. The OB was male and confirmed the diagnosis but attitude was night and day -- even though my primary concern was the uterine prolapse, he immediately pushed for anti-incontinence meds, which I refused d/t thd plethora of side effects and the fact that I was managing well enough. And whereas the female OB had been very receptive to discussing non-surgical treatment (pessaries, etc.), male good ol' boy OB immediately dismissed that with a quick "most women don't like them. Surgery is the best option if it gets worse", which I knew from researching the methods and failure rates would only ever be last resort.
So, like a lot of women here, I've been finding my own way of dealing with it. I found the Whole Woman book and eventually the website, which was really eye-opening as far as how common prolapse is. I am still taken aback by the lack of education, and all I can figure is that because there is no pill to sell nor high-success-rate surgery, where's the incentive for medical community. Also, I think women are still shamed enough by it that we just aren't making it a priority in the medical arena.
I'm curious about the sheer numbers of women who have some degree of pelvic prolapse; and have concocted my own theory that maybe this is a "normal" progression for the childbearing human female. I say "normal" in the sense that the evolutionary flaw that got us walking upright made childbirth so much harder on our bodies and that giving birth is a roll of the dice!
That being said, I think there's definitely some genetic factors at work, too. My maternal grandmother, who had not seen a gynecologist since my mother, her youngest was born, had been living with a COMPLETE uterine prolapse for over 40 years, unbeknownst to anyone in the family. My mom is the youngest of five children and as my grandmother had still a few more childbearing years and did not use birth control, we often wondered what stopped her from having more. But I myself also have some mixed connective tissue disease and wonder if that contributed to my prolapse. I have also just developed an umbilical hernia which is also common in pp ladies.
So far everything is managable and I'm just hoping everything stays inside until I have no use for any of it anymore! I think the hardest part for me is the psychological aspect of not feeling "whole", but having groups like this is wonderful therapy:)
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