Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Support Thread - Page 40 - Mothering Forums
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Healing Birth Trauma > Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Support Thread
Jules112's Avatar Jules112 11:42 AM 06-05-2010
Just wanted to update that I have been using the 'stims' machine (works by sending pulses to contract your pelvic floor muscles) for 2 weeks now and I can already notice a huge difference in my pelvic floor strength. I have this macine for 4 more weeks then have to return it to the physio.. I will update my progress when she does my assessment when i return it.

My doc also mentioned I might like to try acupuncture for prolapses (even though she thinks they are perfectly normal for someone whos given birth vaginally and she has mild prolapses herself), has anyone tried acupuncture???

Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 12:28 AM 06-06-2010
Wow, Jules - accupuncture? Interesting. I would try it.

I finally found a gyno I like, but got news I did not. Well, confirmation anyway. Apparently I do have cystocele. Grr...

***My gyno said weight lifting at the gym was fine...and he seemed very knowledgeable about my condition...what do you guys think?***

He also recommended I go back to physical therapy...I did it last fall, but she only stretched me out (to relieve discomfort). I got a few exercises to do, but we didn't really work on tone. He said he's seen great results with PT/strengthening that area.

I cried all day yesterday after my appt (um, and a little during), even though I have had this for 19 months or so (since the birth of my last one). It doesn't matter what anyone says, I feel SO GUILTY and like I didn't do anything right during my last pregnancy and delivery and that's why this happened. And I'm mostly asymptomatic! It's such a head-game to hear that you have something that is not going to get better.

Actually, on that note, I am pretty sure I've heard that others who have had cystoceles have improved their conditions, not just maintained. Did I misread? I think I am only a grade 1, but when I bear down, it's visible. I do not currently have IC issues - but I do have difficulty wearing tampons sometimes (I switched to OBs which helped).

Thanks for reading this far! I feel so broken, and reading this thread helps me feel less alone.
mouso's Avatar mouso 01:15 AM 06-06-2010
Mamasweetpotato- I'm sorry you cried. I think that even with the less severe POP it's still really tough psychologically. When it was confirmed for me it was all I thought about (obsessed over, more like) for a few weeks.

Anyone feel like they have a rectocele that they can only feel when there's poop in there? Like if I'm constipated I can feel it (and have had to splint). But I was diagnosed with a cystocele and they couldn't feel a rectocele (Lying down, of course ). I can only feel it when I'm constipated, but it feels like it's falling out of my vagina.

And then, as an extra question, sorry if TMI, but there's pretty much no TMI on this thread when DH and I have tried sex from behind it's just awful. Painful, tight, like something in the way. Weird, and that never happened before POP- could it be the rectocele bulging?

Jules- Let us know how you are doing!

lilmama- Hugs. It sucks. That bump- I know there is a common type of bump that can appear on a cervix. Nabothian cysts - that's it. Is probably normal, but maybe ask a doc.

Baby crying- will try to be back to type some more soon!
Hi to all the mamas who are here- unfortunately.
Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 06:19 PM 06-06-2010
Does anyone think that doing PT after having cystocele for approx 19 mos is too late to make a difference? My gyno seemed to think it would be great for me, but I'm looking for real life experiences.

I am 99.9% symptom free. VERY rarely a little leak when I sneeze or hold it too long (I have two little ones and sometimes my bathroom needs get pushed aside!).

I am having trouble doing kegals - I totally can't do the elevator one - anyone else have trouble when they started?

Also - nothing is sacred in here, right? Oy, okay - after a bm, I noticed several hours later (or the next morning) it looks like I didn't clean myself very well. It varies in the degree. Will PT be able to help this at all? I do not currently suffer from constipation. I have also (very recently) been having a problem with incomplete elimination. My gyno did not say I had a rectocele. Of course, once you have one, it's hard not to dx yourself with everything.

He did say that my uterus was very well supported (go me).

Ahhhhh, boy, isn't it great to be a woman?!
Jules112's Avatar Jules112 09:20 PM 06-06-2010
Mamasweetpotato - Sorry to hear about your cystocele, but the good news is that yes weightlifting at the gym is fine, its important to brace your pelvic floor muscles when lifting though, increasing your core strength is excellent.
And i am 7 months pp and my cystocele was right at the opening of my vagina when i was 2 weeks pp, but now its improved heaps, i dont really notice it. I truely believe its NORMAL to have a mild cystocele after having a baby, I think you'll find that most women have one but dont realise it, they just accept that things did not go back to the way they were after a baby.
And in answer to your question, no its never too late to do PT, maybe you could ask them if they have a machine like the one my PT gave me, its called a stims machine and it works by inserting it into your vagina and it contracts your pelvic floor muscles for you, the point of it is to strengthen your pelvic floor and to teach you where the muscles are that you are meant to be contracting. you use it for 20mins a day for 6 weeks. Its worth a try right?

Mouso - I can totally relate to the things you are saying, I can only notice my rectocele (even though gyno thinks I do not have one) when theres a poop in there, its worse when im constipated, i can feel it when im walking around.. not nice lol .. you're not alone
And as for the sex from behing, im right there with you, it is painful, I actually thought it was just me, im guessing gravity would make the rectocele bulge in that position, the pain is hard to describe. I also have to control how deep he penetrates now because its almost as if my vagina is shorter now and when it hits the back wall it hurts.
scottishmommy's Avatar scottishmommy 09:36 PM 06-06-2010
Uh yeah I cried for WEEKS after I discovered my prolapse. Ugh, those are dark, dark days. Now I'm convinced that prolapsed are totally normal, annoying, but totally normal. We humans put A LOT of pressure on our pelvic floors, you add birth to that and voila! prolapse central. There are some things you can do to help minimize the symptoms. PT is great. I love pt for prolapse. I also love using sea sponges as a pessary. I buy these little ones (slightly larger than a tampon) and they work great. They are called "cosmetic sponges" at natural beauty stores. At first I was totally bummed about using "devices" to control symptoms. I just wanted to have a normal yoni! But now I'm over the diagnosis, I just want to get on with my life symptom free.
Yeah I only notice my rectocele (actually, I technically have a pseudo rectocele, or perineocele) when I have to go poo poo. You know what has helped a lot with that? Chiropractic. It turns out that my sacrum is totally out of whack, and after an adjustment I don't notice constipation for a long time. Also little sea sponges help me a great deal.
Hugs to all the new prolapse mamas!
Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 11:22 PM 06-06-2010
mouso, Jules112, scottishmommy - THANK YOU for your supportive words.

I'm heading to bed now, because when I'm overtired, everything seems like the end of the world - but I just wanted to let you know that i read everything you wrote and appreciate this thread more than ever.
Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 11:28 PM 06-06-2010
Actually, just a couple things that might help someone (I hope)?

I know a lot of us have difficulty with tampons...have others tried OB tampons? They are about half the length of the regular ones and there's no applicator. Now if I'm not paying attention, I've put them in sideways, and they are not ALWAYS comfy - but I tell you, I was 42 kinds of relieved when I discovered them. I wear an OB tampon and a thin pad (to catch leaks) - but to me, it's better than a maxi pad alone.

pain during sex
Also - pain during sex. I had PT last fall for this - well, I hoped it was for strengthening the area, too, but that didn't end up being the focus. Prior to PT sex had become very painful, but afterwards - just like I didn't have a cystocele at all - yay! So perhaps look into that? Despite not having good muscle tone, apparently I was also having some tightness/muscle spasms in that area - she also massaged the scar tissue from my tears. Hurt sometimes, but omg, what a difference.
lizzylou's Avatar lizzylou 10:55 PM 06-08-2010
Has anyone tried the DVD Down There For Women?

I read about it on this blog.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 11:17 PM 06-08-2010
Just joing really quick before I go back and read. I just discovered a rectocele. I am just so dreadfully depressed now, as if I wasn't already in a good mood. Just seriously down and out. I've never felt good about my girl parts anyhow after an abusive ex, but now it's just...too much. THey aren't protruding outside of the labia, but enough that I think it's stage II or so.

I never went to an OBGYN after I had #4 and did not have a rectocele before having her. I've had 4 vaginal births and #4 was a UC-posterior and just 2 oz. more than the last kid so she wasn't huge and the pushing was actually not as bad as with my 1st who was a 3 hour pushing stage. I'm afraid to go to a gyn after my traumatic retained placenta piece removal. They were so rough and mean and after having sexual trauma in the past, that's why I haven't gone in 2.5 years.

I have a midwife now but am afraid to bring it up-I haven't had any internal exams and would like to keep it that way. I guess i should wait until post-delivery and go to a gyn? I'm thinking biofeedback in the office maybe. Or can you do PT or biofeedback (stims?) when you are pregnant?

I have decent pelvic floor muscles. I kegel and can *feel* that they are strong, but apparently not enough.

I'm glad to hear that chiro or acupuncture (though we don't have one here) might help. I do have sacrum issues and a wonky hip, so maybe that will help. I had noticed the rectocele awhile back after having #4 but just looked today to find out after watching this to see what mine really looked like nowadays. (TMI Sorry!)

I don't have symptoms other than seeing it when my labia are spread and feeling a little "loose" after having dd. I guess I do have the same issue as mamasweetpotato, and very rare "accidents" when I sneeze or cough. But no sexual pain or anything else.

I had never even heard of this as a problem for women except some patients I had years ago when I was in healthcare-but they were all very old. I wish that I would have heard about these things before now or could have done something.

I am young and now just feel so old and ugly like I have this train wreck of a vagina. Please tell me it gets better!

My mw is in another state and not licensed here-we have no midwife or hb friendly providers here. And our family doc just moved. How would I go about getting a referral if I can even go to pt for this while pg?

What about exercise? I have a prenatal exercise video but it's all stretching and weight training including kegels. I do walk and bike a lot, though, and wanting to start back jogging post-baby. I do belly dance but haven't since finding out I was pg.
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 11:43 PM 06-08-2010
quikie before bed...

I've only ever used OB tampons or sea sponge... applicators just give me the willies. And sadly, I can't use either ob or sponges. I think it's probably the scar tissue in my case and not the pop, but I don't know for sure. Just that tampons/sponges HURT like nothing else, they fall out, and I feel cruddy after trying them.

I thin it's NEVER to late for PT. Just find a good one who works with pelvic floor health.

Crying- it stinks. POP stinks. I think we all cry. I'm so sorry you're facing this and honestly, sorry I'm here too. It gets better, and the edges get worn down, but it still stinks. I wish I could be more upbeat, but there it is. It DOES get better though. I promise.
Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 11:19 AM 06-09-2010
Regarding people saying they wish they had known about this because they "could have done something..." (to prevent it?)...

My gyno assured me (through my tears) that I hadn't done ANYTHING wrong, and that I couldn't have prevented it...that it's one of the mysteries of POP that it can happen to anyone - people who've birthed vaginally, people who have c/s and people who haven't had babies at all.

I guess I'm kind of clinging to that because although I had a super rough second delivery, I carry a lot of guilt because I didn't practice my hypno-birthing techniques nearly as much for the second one.

I will certainly inform my daughters about this condition at the right time, and encourage them to watch out for their pelvic health, but at the same time, leting them know that whatever happens, it's not their fault and things CAN improve. (Well, that's what gets me to sleep anyway!)

ETA: This is clearly MY hot button issue re: POP and I hope no one feels they can't express themselves exactly as they want to, because that is not my intention. Hugs to all!
scottishmommy's Avatar scottishmommy 03:35 PM 06-09-2010
Yes, there isn't much you can do to prevent POP. Even women who've never been pregnant will eventually relax down there a little.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 04:26 PM 06-09-2010


Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 09:54 PM 06-09-2010
okay, two days ago I would have said I did not have rectecele (and my gyno did not mention it). Now I am constipated (stress??) and I felt a huge bulge where you don't want to feel one - haha. So, what, now I have rectecele? I mean, wtf! If you are constipated...I mean it has to be stuffed up somewhere...can't it just be nice, normal constipation without having to be a prolapse? Pretty please???
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 10:05 PM 06-09-2010
So know that feeling. Have you taken a look?
eclipse's Avatar eclipse 10:19 PM 06-09-2010
Originally Posted by Mamasweetpotato View Post
okay, two days ago I would have said I did not have rectecele (and my gyno did not mention it). Now I am constipated (stress??) and I felt a huge bulge where you don't want to feel one - haha. So, what, now I have rectecele? I mean, wtf! If you are constipated...I mean it has to be stuffed up somewhere...can't it just be nice, normal constipation without having to be a prolapse? Pretty please???
If you're feeling the buldge in your vagina, it's a rectocele. Sorry . I know how much it sucks.

Speaking of that, I've been having huge issues with my rectocele these days. I was supposed to have an appointment with a gyn to have it looked at the begining of last month (because the urologist I saw for my cystocele said I had one, but not bad enough to operate at this point, but that the rectocele was much worse and might be making the cystocele feel worse. But, he doesn't fix rectoceles, so he sent me to gyn), but my MIL had a stroke at the end of April. Aside from being worried about her, she was also my child care to go to the appointment. There are a lot of doctor's appointments I don't mind taking my kids to, but I'd rather not have them there when I get fingers stuck up my rear! So, I need to get back in. But the constipation has been really bad. Sometimes I get stuck for days, and it's very uncomfortable vaginally. I'm getting tons of fiber, I'm taking stool softeners, and it's still bad (though it gets even worse if I stop the stool softeners). Sigh. and whine.
Mamasweetpotato's Avatar Mamasweetpotato 10:24 PM 06-09-2010
I don't think I want to look! HA

I could feel the bulge with my thumb...when I splinted, it seemed to just go away (although I did not have a bm).

Man, I hate this sometimes. I am going to give the Internet a rest now and go veg in front of the tv.

Before I go though, some proactive things I have done/am doing:

* ordered Tupler Technique DVD (can't make heads or tails of the book)
* had an Activia yogurt (to help with regularity)
* drinking tons of water
* NOT googling anything else tonight!!!
* Working out tomorrow night at the gym
* Put both my babies to bed with hugs and kisses

YEAH! We can do this!!!
eclipse's Avatar eclipse 10:29 PM 06-09-2010
Mamasweetpotato, splinting doesn't much help me either. Sometimes it is even painful. It usually makes the bulge go away for a bit, but rarely does it lead to a bowel movement.
mouso's Avatar mouso 10:41 PM 06-09-2010
Yeah, that's how I figured out I have a rectocele too. Only feel it when I'm constipated, though. I do have to splint if I'm constipated.
Cystocele I feel a lot of the time. It used to be constant, so at least that's improving.

MamSwtPotato: Good for you getting stuff done and feeling good!
Jules112's Avatar Jules112 02:54 AM 06-11-2010
Ive been doing a bit of research on the pain I experience during intercourse (right at the back when it hits), and all i can come up with is the symptoms for a tilted uterus. It would be logical if that was the case, i could understand why i have pain.
But is it possible for your uterus to become tilted after birth, when it wasnt before???
My gyno didnt mention anything to me about a tilted uterus, and i know for sure it had always been in the right position before..

I wish i just had a reason for the pain instead of it being just there with no explaination.

I've exhausted all resources, basically the gyno, dr and PT said seeing as theres no medical reason for the pain, its just something i am going to have to learn to deal with.

Jules112's Avatar Jules112 03:01 AM 06-11-2010
I am a nurse and honestly i was blisfully unaware that so much could go wrong with your pelvic area after having a baby vaginally.
I wish id known about POP before and i wish id known there would pain some painful sex afterward, i know im not the norm, and im in a mood now and so angry still about the fact that i was booked for a repeat c-section for my second bub and they wouldnt do it until 39 weeks, i KNEW he would come earlier, i told them i knew, but they didnt budge. And then what do you know, i went into labour at 38 weeks and it was so quick that there was not time for a c-section. No, instead I had forceps shoved in there and a cut made and then POP to follow, and now even though my POP doesnt cause me much probs, i have the issue of painful sex (whether its caused by POP or something else - who knows) im so depressed right now. My partner and i have no sex life, no intimacy anymore.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 04:24 PM 06-11-2010
C-section moms have prolapses, too. It's pregnancy in general that seems to be the biggest factor-not method of birth, though being supine and using forceps and such do increase your odds.

I have a tilted uterus and never had painful sex issues. I didn't even know I had one until right before I got pg with #4. It seemed to have been a new issue-I had had lapys and myomectomy in the past, so I would have known before then. It didn't seem to be tilted after I had her, either. Weird.
MummyGreen's Avatar MummyGreen 07:32 AM 06-12-2010
Hello ladies
What a great thread.
I am 7.5 months PP and have some serious pelvic floor issues. Started with some mild stress incontinence but at about 5 months PP I developed symptoms of prolapse after an episode lifting a heavy twin buggy (with kids in) up a high step. Sigh. What was I thinking? Felt something 'sink' and then in the days that followed I began all the symptoms that I now have all the time: aching down below, feeling of utter weakness in the area, feeling something in the vagina when my bowels are full (which goes away after a BM). On a good day I can do some level of activity with just a strong ache in the pubic bone, but on a bad day like today I can hardly walk, the whole area just feels so shaky and weak.
I am also super stiff, always have been, find it difficult to even sit with legs crossed or outstretched, so I guess that is the opposite of hypermobile...? I have always had a bad back but the pain has been very bad since 1st pregnancy, ranging from sacrum pain to thoracic pain. If I so much as attempt any exercise (including pilates, yoga, whole woman workout) I feel worse.

I have seen 3 women's GPs, 1 gynae, 2 physios. The official gynae diagnosis was some slight descent of the vaginal walls. And that's it! Two of the three GPs also said 'lax vaginal walls' normal after childbirth. I don't get how my symptoms could be so extreme then. The other GP said 'moderate to severe rectocele'. I have looked and looked with the mirror, and I can see the anterior vaginal wall angled up inside the vagina and sometimes at the end of the day some very small round fleshy bits that peek out. But only when I really squat and open the labia and poke around. When I feel around in there the back wall feels like a billowing parachute (does this sound like rectocele?) and the front section feels all different from before birth of DS last year - angle of entry is different and there is a bit of a lump if I feel in to the 'g spot' area IFKWIM.

I have a bit of a voiding issue with urine that has been there since the birth - apparently I may have some nerve damage - but was emptying normally in ultrasound. Bowel movements... every day, but range between no urge and waiting for ages to urgent and have to go in a big hurry.

The physios worked on my PF using traditional exercises etc and it got stronger. But I feel worried that doing the exercises somehow exacerbates the symptoms.
Sex - only tried once (!!) and it was very painful on the pubic bone.

I am searching and hoping that something will help. Just can't imagine living the next 50 years like this. I spent the first few weeks non stop crying, I guess I am past that stage now, but still my life and that of my husband and family seems forever altered by the fact that after 5pm every day I have to lie down. Can't even really lift my baby as so scared it will all get worse. I have no real life outside the house and street in which I live.

Can't imagine what it would be like without the internet!

Anyway hello to all of you.
Jules112's Avatar Jules112 09:01 AM 06-12-2010
Hi Mummygreen,
Glad you found us, my DS is an october 09 bub too, although i have had prolapses since 2 weeks pp when i got a bit constipated and pushed too hard.
After my Prolapses happened I felt the whole achy thing you are describing for about 2-3 months.. Seeing as you disovered yours not long ago i would assume the feels you are having are your body adjusting to things not being where they used to be.
I remember feeling SO achy by the end of the day that it was a major effort to walk or stand up. Pain relief didnt help. After walking for 20mins at the shops i would be hobbling. I remember feeling the exact same way you described. As I said, those feelings stopped around 3 months after getting my prolapses.
Sounds like you have a rectocele, i know what you are describing, i have the 'parachute' at the back, although i must say its way better than it was before - it seems to get worse if i have been constipated, but if i keep myself regular i wouldnt even notice it there. The 'lump' you feel near your g-spot sounds like your cervix, mine is there too. Although I have noticed at various stages of my cycle it is within reach and other times its out of reach. Thats only gotton better since my period returned a month or so ago.

You WILL improve, believe me. I have days where i feel so let down by my body but compared to how I was when i discovered my POP I am 90% better. My only issue now is sex = pain, which i think is unrelated to the prolapses.

Have you started getting serious with your pelvic floor exercises (kegels)?
just for info, The things I have tried over the past 7 months are:

- physio from 6 weeks pp (5 sets of 5 kegels a day, holding for 4-6 secs each)
- Sepia homeopathic tabs from the herbal shop - i believe these helped with the achy feeling -took them for about 2 weeks
- Oestrogen tabs which you insert into the vagina daily (HUGE improvement as soon as i started these, pain went and things healed better) I used them for about 4-6 weeks.
- continued physio, same amount of kegels
- tried kegel balls from the sex shop, they are weighted however i couldnt feel anything inside or any weight so i stopped.
- now im using the stims machine - biofeedback by sending elecrical pulses, this is helping the strength of my muscles.
Jules112's Avatar Jules112 09:05 AM 06-12-2010
A personal question....

does anyone have majorly decreased sensation inside the vagina? Outside is fine but inside i really cant feel whats going on in there when somethings inside (besides the pain at the back)- i know i had a rough delivery but it was 7.5 months ago and things still feel 'stretched' and for example the stims machine which i am using is pretty heavy but i cant even feel the heaviness inside, only the pulses.
Its like theres no nerves inside or something.
does this sound strange, will it get back to normal ever??
Ive only had one vaginal birth (forceps).

I cant believe i never asked this before - only just thought of it now!
MummyGreen's Avatar MummyGreen 10:22 AM 06-12-2010
Thanks so much Jules112. So reassuring to have somebody to talk to. Congrats too on having an Oct 09 bub, this is such a gorgeous age isn't it? I am trying to focus on my baby boy as much as possible to get me through this. I wonder why I only developed the prolapse later who knows. Anyway thanks very much I am keen to try some of your tips and strategies. Actually I am taking the oestrogen pessaries but as of 3 weeks currently no improvement. Well there was I thought but then yesterday and today back to 'bad'. Right off to try to get some sleep in between the night waking!
mouso's Avatar mouso 12:15 PM 06-12-2010
MummyGreen- Jules gave great advice but I will second the idea that since you just developed these fairly recently it will most likely improve from here on out- at least somewhat.
The first 4-5 months were the worst and then it began to improve in tiny increments. Just keep on resting as much as possible and doing your exercises.
I know it sucks so badly, and it's rough psychologically, many hugs.
KikaKika's Avatar KikaKika 12:30 PM 06-12-2010

I've just recently found 2 really interesting articles re: pelvic floor & Kegels, I hope it's ok to leave link here:

(2nd and 3rd from top)
quantumleap's Avatar quantumleap 12:40 PM 06-12-2010
Originally Posted by Jules112 View Post
I am a nurse and honestly i was blisfully unaware that so much could go wrong with your pelvic area after having a baby vaginally.
I wish id known about POP before and i wish id known there would pain some painful sex afterward, i know im not the norm, and im in a mood now and so angry still about the fact that i was booked for a repeat c-section for my second bub and they wouldnt do it until 39 weeks, i KNEW he would come earlier, i told them i knew, but they didnt budge. And then what do you know, i went into labour at 38 weeks and it was so quick that there was not time for a c-section. No, instead I had forceps shoved in there and a cut made and then POP to follow, and now even though my POP doesnt cause me much probs, i have the issue of painful sex (whether its caused by POP or something else - who knows) im so depressed right now. My partner and i have no sex life, no intimacy anymore.
I have pain with intercourse now too. My POP has changed since I've gotten pregnant again, and while I don't notice the rectocele being much worse than before, I do link it to that. The only time I have pain is when the positioning is dp on top (whoa, tmi). We just have to use other positions!
Jules, is your pain consistent no matter the angle? Have you brought it up with your pcp? It *could* be related to pop, but it could also be something else, and many women have success with things like estrogen cream.
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