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#1 of 8 Old 03-30-2006, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice from someone with knowledge about cystoseles (fallen bladder). I was diagnosed with a stage 3 cystosele this morning (protruding into the vagina) and am a bit shell shocked so forgive me if I ramble. I figure the midwives here might have some valuable information.

My third son is currently 7 months old and breastfeeding. Not so much during the day, but all night long. Enough so that I have not had a return of my cycle yet. The doctor mentioned that when I do wean him, it might help my condition because my estrogen levels will return to normal. I was hoping to nurse until he is 1 years old. But in doing a google search on cytoseles I'm a bit freaked out.

I'm not in any pain. It feels almost exactly as if I am wearing a tampon. That amount of pressure in just that same place. It does not interfere with intercourse at all. So the doctor recommended a wait-and-see approach with the knowledge that once I hit menopause (again because of low estrogen) it will most likely worsen and need surgery.

I am wondering if weaning early will help prevent the need for surgery (it's a very involved surgery requiring a long stay in the hopsital and 6 weeks to recover). My google search indicated that by stage 3 keegles can't help any longer

I have only 3 kids and none of them came quickly or were overly large (8 pounds 7 ounces was the biggest). BUT, I did conceive the second while nursing the first one with no return of cycle in between. Then conceived the third while nursing the second after only 3 cycles, which started when the second was 14 months old. So maybe because I kept my estrogen levels low through the pregnancies and nursing that increased my risk??? I'm just kind of at a loss.

I don't want to wean my baby but I don't want to make this condition any worse. I have read that it can end up being very painful. That surgery can oftern make intercourse painful too. I am freaked out that my bladder is falling out of my body.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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#2 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 12:53 AM
 
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cystocele is a very common pelvic floor injury. you might consider looking into finding a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation to help with strengthening your pelvic floor in order to stabilize it and prevent it from "falling" further and causing discomfort. surgery seems like a very, very, VERY last resort option, from what i know of cystocele, and for me would have to be significantly affecting my day-to-day life in order for me to consider.

and although initial research showed that long pushing stages of labor, "purple-pushing", or particular presentations (posterior comes to mind) of baby during birth were the cause of pelvic floor injuries, pregnancy itself and sometimes even bad posture or positioning of the body during life activities may be the causes of these injuries as well.

you can do a search of the health & healing forums for pelvic rehabilitation and look for posts from tinyshoes who had this physical therapy done for her and posted about her experiences to share.

~claudia
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#3 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 03:09 AM
 
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many women - i would venture to say a vast majority - have some phase of a cystocele after birth. it's not a bad thing.

i would only consider doing something interventive if it was causing you problems - hygenically or sexually. otherwise, i'd give it time and start kegeling and like Claudia recommended, seeing a physical therapist skilled in pelvic floor issues.
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#4 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your replies! I was not expecting to have such an emotional reaction to this (maybe I'm still just overly hormonal??). But it is good to know it is not as dire as I was thinking it might be. I will go do that search for tinyshoes and her experiences with this
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#5 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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(well, hi Turbo! How come we're always hangin' out on these types of threads? LOL!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Softmama
I need some advice from someone with knowledge about cystoseles (fallen bladder). I was diagnosed with a stage 3 cystosele this morning (protruding into the vagina) and am a bit shell shocked so forgive me if I ramble.
My dear Softmama . I, too, Googled about cystoceles after a 4-month post-partum trip to my CNM, and I freaked out. Furthermore, I have a mother who chose to have a hysterectomy to correct her cystocele. I thought I was doomed and cursed with a stupid broken-down body.

THEN

I realized, hey, do I really care that my bladder is saggin' a wee bit? It didn't bother me, it didn't bother my dh, it didn't interfere w/ relations.

It does look different than a young nulliparus bladder/vagina. Sure. (And holy smokes, who's even looking!??!)

It might look like the cystocele examples on the pages of the OB/GYN textbooks.

But what does that have to do with me??!?!?

So, as TurboClaudia mentioned, after a few visits to a pelvic floor physical therapist, I learned a whole heckuvalot about pelvic floor muscles and ligaments, and supringly, how crappy posture and weak abs can affect the pelvic floor and make a cystocele more pronounced.

And after all of my research, I have come to the conclusion that my mother made a mistake, to have her womb surgically removed to "correct" her body. Sure, she did purple-faced-pushing & on-her-back "delivery" when birthing me and my brothers, she also has poor posture, but I sure don't think she needed surgery; amputation of her most feminine part.

It's scary to learn that we're "broken" from someone as trusted as a doctor. I would encourage you to hear what your care provider told you, i.e., "you have a stage 3 cystocle" and then evaluate what that really means to you.

I'm tired of the "women's bodies are disasters waiting to happen" attitude so prevalent in this culture. We dread our periods, we agonize during pregnancy and seek refuge with expert doctors and the expertly staffed hosptial to prevent hell from breaking loose between our legs. Then we turn into old hags that lack hormones. Really? Every granny in the old folks' home needs gynocological surgery. Come on.

Played out.

Interesting that cystoceles are a common post-partum fact of existance, Pam. Thank you for sharing that factoid. I feel less like gyno-wierdo, and more like a memeber of the club.
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#6 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Tinyshoes! Thanks for your reply. How did you find a pelvic floor therapist? Are those Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist or just completely different all together?
My doc mentioned anything that strains my abs would make it worse. Which made me think I should give up Pilates. But if you say strengthening the abs should help, then Pilates might be a godsend.
You're right. I have to evaluate what this means to me. I guess right now I am just missing my "old" body. The one I had before I became a mother. The cute, young, unused one
Somewhere on one of these threads that I was searching through it said something about walking every night and also losing weight. Any experience with that? I am probably 30 pounds over ideal body weight. So as much as I hate to think of it, I could probably make a concerted effort to get that under control.
So my current plan:
1. accept my "mother" body
2. kegel like crazy
3. walk every night
4. start the losing weight process
5. keep doing pilates for ab strength
6. focus on proper posture
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#7 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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hi tinyshoes! i guess we find ourselves on these kinds of threads because we have a shared passion for the integrity of women's vaginas???

softmama, my suggestions to find a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor work would be first to ask any midwives, doulas, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists or other alternative/complementary practitioners you know (and maybe even your ob/gyn) for any referrals. if you don't know many or if they have no suggestions, try googling "pelvic floor" + "physical therapist" + _name of your city or nearby major city plus the state_ make sure you include the quotation marks and plus signs on the first parts.

glad you are not quite as freaked out anymore as you were right after the visit, and your strategy for maintaining and improving your pelvic floor sounds great!



~claudia
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#8 of 8 Old 03-31-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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dear Softmama, I like your 6-point plan!!! And I think that a part of accepting our mother bodies is going ahead and grieving for that young maiden we all once were. You get to pout, you get to whine....you get to be sad and wish you didn't have a buldgy bladder. (However, you don't get to freak out and sign up for surgery ASAP, )

TurboCrotch I mean TurboClaudia offered great suggestions to seek out your new best friend: your Physical Therapist Specializing in the Pelvic Floor. Personally, I got my referral from my CNM (certified nurse midwife.) She and this PT were pals. I don't know the difference between an occupational therapist vs. a physical therapist.

Your pilates and the lifting.....hmmmmmm..... I do know a lot, but I am not an expert. But there is a wierd thing that happens, when post-partum mamas are squishy and lack muscle tone (like me!)....muscles can take on suprising tasks.

For example: I went to this physical therapist complaining of a weak pelvic floor (not so much my cystocele, though it was there.) After learning some pro kegel techniques from my pt, like to always exhale when clenching my muscles, doing different routines, my pelvic floor muscles were getting stronger...but then, their strength plateaued.

It was determined that my pelvic floor muscles couldn't get any stronger because they were doing the work of a thousand men--namely, holding me upright! Instead of using my abs, my back, my hamstrings, and my quads (front of thighs) to walk around, go up stairs, get out of a chair, I was using: only my quads and my pelvic floor.

Completely dysfunctional.

However, the diagnosis was not "do 100 sit-ups"--oh no.....that would make things worse, by inviting my ab 6-pack to work--when really, deeper ab muscles needed to be working again. Also, various butt-muscles needed activation, with complicated exercises going up stairs a certain way and squeezing a ball between my legs on a chair doing XYZ with my arms and a therapy band, etc., yadda yadda....

In fact, my care changed from pelvic floor PT to her coworker, full-body mechanics PT, because mine was such a big ol' problem. I also had quite the separated abs during my second pregnancy--and a truly herniated bellybutton...ouch!

It is my understanding that extra weight can cause more stress on that pelvic floor, so perhaps even weight loss would cause a "grade 3" to calm down to a "grade 2". Again, this points out how silly I think it is to go removing women's sex organs...seriously--revamping the diet and getting out and walking, now that it's springtime and you can put your baby in the stroller...that could make a real difference. How completely silly for an MD to suggest surgery when a method to improve your quality of life could be that easy?

Anyway, good luck to you as you adapt to your mommy body and get okay with what your body is like now. Is it any wonder we were all hormonal and mental when we were teenagers, with puberty morphing our bodies!!! And now we morph again, as mothers.
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