Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Support Thread - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 1505 Old 12-07-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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justthatgirl- I'm glad you found us (though not glad you need us!)

In terms of a single website that pulls together everything...well...there really isn't one. You can find a lot of basic info here: http://www.womenshealthlondon.org.uk...proliving.html

Basically, get to and maintain a healthy weight, avoid straining and "downward" pushing activities, strengthen your core muscles (wellwoman exercises, the tupler technique, pilates on the reformer, certain forms of yoga), do kegels and other pelvic floor exercises, maintain good posture especially when lifting things, eat a nutritionally dense diet with a variety of fresh foods and "good" fats. And stay positive I guess!

If you're curious you can search pubmed for "nonsurgical" "pelvic" "prolapse". You'll find a number of studies and papers mostly supporting the use of hrt, kegel, and general exercise/diet improvement to relieve mild prolapse.

Hang in there...I hope you find the info you need.

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#242 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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Hey gals -

So, I've been doing my Pilates twice a week and I've never felt stronger in the pelvic area, but... either I improperly lifted a case of water at the grocery store or we did too much work on the abs at Pilates - or maybe something else is going on that I don't know about (hormones?) - but, I feel my prolapse again and it's making me irritable, annoyed and sad.

Specifically, what's making me most frustrated is the fact that I really think/thought things were being strengthened and I was healing, but then to have it go back to how it felt 10 months ago, it just feels hopeless, like how can all my work be erased by something really minor? And, will it be like this my whole life... will I do (and pay for) Pilates twice a week for the rest of my life and then say I get a bad cough one week and ALL that work (and money) is down the drain because the coughing worsens my prolapse? Or, do you think that even though I can feel the prolapse when these minor things happen (lifting wrong, ab work, etc.), the fact that I have been strengthening the muscles will make it heal quicker and go back to where it was when things were good? What's the point in doing all of the work if it's ALWAYS going to be like this?

I know I'm asking you to be psychic here (and we haven't even met!), but what are your thoughts or experiences? TIA
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#243 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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During my cold my prolapse felt like it dd months ago...but after my cold went away it seemed to "rebound" back to the better condition. So maybe all the ground isn't lost by this sort of setback? I don't know.

I do know that in the tupler technique books when she talks about resolving a diastasis recti she does basically say "you'll have to do this for the rest of your life...if you do XYZ you really will move backwards" but I think the positive side is that with he exercises you'll be at a better staring point, you'll know when you're moving back, you'll move back less, and you'll know how to fix the damage faster/better.

So it may be a life long liability, but it wont be as bad maybe? I'm sorry you're feeling so down. This whole situation just sucks, doesn't it?

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#244 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 10:24 AM
 
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Probably the best thing to do, is make sure you don't have to strain. And, lift your butt up off the seat when you go poo. Eat enough fiber so everything stays soft.
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#245 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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So I did some self-checking... It appears not to be bladder, but my cervix. I admit, it's been awhile since I checked and I don't know my insides as well as I should, really.

So I'm going to google that...

Ugh. Figures -- found nothing. It's all specific to uterine prolapse but I don't have that because there is no bulge. It is strictly the cervix that's so low. Nothing is protruding from my body, but it's uncomfortable. Early in the thread someone described it as a tampon that's not in properly -- perfect description! That's exactly how I'm feeling.

What should I expect when dh and I finally decide to be intimate again?

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#246 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 08:08 PM
 
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It's all specific to uterine prolapse but I don't have that because there is no bulge. It is strictly the cervix that's so low. Nothing is protruding from my body, but it's uncomfortable. Early in the thread someone described it as a tampon that's not in properly -- perfect description! That's exactly how I'm feeling.

What should I expect when dh and I finally decide to be intimate again?
Sorry to hear about your troubles!

Is there supposed to be a bulge with uterine prolapse? A prolapsing uterus wouldn't press into the sides of your vaginal walls like a prolapsing bladder and rectum do -- those definitely cause a bulge! The uterus is right above the vagina, so as it prolapses it simply enters the vagina.

Anyway, my understanding is that the main symptom of a uterine prolapse IS a low-hanging cervix -- after all, the cervix is the lowest part of the uterus. And it doesn't have to actually hang OUT of your body to be prolapsed. A stage 1 uterine prolapse means the cervix is anywhere from the lower third of the vagina to right at the vaginal entrance.

That's where I'm at right now. As far as sex, that's when I don't notice my prolapse at all! Seriously, I don't notice any difference, and my husband swears he doesn't either. Especially if I'm on my back (sorry, TMI) things sort of slump back into place, especially when there's something helping to shove it out of the way (ahem, ahem).
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#247 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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If you google "cystocele" you'll find information on bladder prolapse (that's what I have). If your cervix is really low (how far "in/up" is your cervix?) then it could be a uterine prolapse. And it's really really common to have more than one prolapsed organ...

This site http://women.webmd.com/tc/pelvic-org...topic-overview has really nice "pictures" of the different types of prolapses (very non-gory illustrated images...very helpful for me as a reference during self checks).

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#248 of 1505 Old 12-08-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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Ok, I'll do some more googling of cystocele and see where that takes me. Thanks for the link.

I thought that the uterus would come out of the cervix. Yikes. Ok... Guess I'll have to do some more feeling around.

I'm 5 wks PP and the birth was very fast, very intense. I wonder if that had something to do with it. I would just be crushed if this meant no more kids. I get horribly ill (hyperemesis gravidarum) with pregnancy anyway, but I still would try again because we love children and we want more. I hope this doesn't mean we're done.

what kind of doctor do I need to look for to get this checked out? What's a good time frame to see if it'll fix itself? I don't want to wait too long! OTOH, I don't wanna jump the gun.

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#249 of 1505 Old 12-09-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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Prolapse doesn't mean no more kiddos! It can add a layer of complication but it really depends on how much impact your prolapse has on your quality of life. Some estimates are that 30-40% of women have some degree of prolapse and for most of them they don't even notice it.

My Obs say "wait at least 6 months" to see how your body is going to adjust. And some schools of thought are that you really can't determine what degree of prolapse is "permanent" until at least a year post partum. Surgery usually has to wait 6-12 months after birth too (though some surgeons will operate sooner if there is a sever prolapse). At 5 weeks post partum your body is moving A LOT of stuff...things that are droopy or misaligned right now may have moved significantly in a few months.

You can ask your OB or Midwife to check at your 6 week post partum visit...just make sure they check while you're standing upright! And if you didn't have a care provider for this birth then your regular doctor, an OB, a midwife, etc can check. If you're diagnosed with a prolapse you may be refered to physical therapy or they might tell you to "wait and kegel".

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#250 of 1505 Old 12-09-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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I did a workout today. Lots of core muscle work and a few exercises that help strengthen lower abs. I felt better and things seemed to be higher up than usual.

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#251 of 1505 Old 12-09-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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I did a workout today. Lots of core muscle work and a few exercises that help strengthen lower abs. I felt better and things seemed to be higher up than usual.
That is so awesome! I rememebr feeling so relieved when I stopped noticing it.
I think mine was mild and is improving with time, I do find it feels like it pushes down with a bowel movement. Will this go away too? I am almost 5 months PP.
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#252 of 1505 Old 12-09-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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Just curious - has anyone stopped breastfeeding and noticed a difference in their prolapse? I know that once you stop breastfeeding your muscles and joints aren't as loose anymore, so I'm hoping that that will help. DS is 11 months old and I'm still breastfeeding.
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#253 of 1505 Old 12-10-2007, 02:39 AM
 
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Just curious - has anyone stopped breastfeeding and noticed a difference in their prolapse? I know that once you stop breastfeeding your muscles and joints aren't as loose anymore, so I'm hoping that that will help. DS is 11 months old and I'm still breastfeeding.
I've been breastfeeding non stop for 7yrs! I noticed prolapse for the first time after my last delivery. I'm really starting to get better! Breastfeeding an 8mo old right now. Not sure if that has much to do with it.
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#254 of 1505 Old 12-10-2007, 03:00 AM
 
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Specifically, what's making me most frustrated is the fact that I really think/thought things were being strengthened and I was healing, but then to have it go back to how it felt 10 months ago, it just feels hopeless, like how can all my work be erased by something really minor? And, will it be like this my whole life... will I do (and pay for) Pilates twice a week for the rest of my life and then say I get a bad cough one week and ALL that work (and money) is down the drain because the coughing worsens my prolapse? Or, do you think that even though I can feel the prolapse when these minor things happen (lifting wrong, ab work, etc.), the fact that I have been strengthening the muscles will make it heal quicker and go back to where it was when things were good? What's the point in doing all of the work if it's ALWAYS going to be like this?

I know I'm asking you to be psychic here (and we haven't even met!), but what are your thoughts or experiences? TIA
I wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about this question, and I don't have an answer for it. I haven't really tried to improve my prolapse(s), which was a huge mistake, because I'm sure it's gotten worse with inactivity and poor habits.

I knew something was wrong pretty much ever since my son was born 27 months ago -- at one point about three months postpartum I made an emergency appointment with my OB's office because I was freaking out about it -- but with the medical reassurances that nothing was wrong : I managed to stay in denial. It's only been the last few months that I began to have real physical symptoms that caused me discomfort, and now I'm ready to face facts and start doing the exercises to try to make things better -- as soon as I get a physical therapist to help me do them right.

My appointment with the OB is this Wednesday. I'm weirdly looking forward to it. I want to know just how bad things are.
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#255 of 1505 Old 12-10-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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I wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about this question, and I don't have an answer for it. I haven't really tried to improve my prolapse(s), which was a huge mistake, because I'm sure it's gotten worse with inactivity and poor habits.

I knew something was wrong pretty much ever since my son was born 27 months ago -- at one point about three months postpartum I made an emergency appointment with my OB's office because I was freaking out about it -- but with the medical reassurances that nothing was wrong : I managed to stay in denial. It's only been the last few months that I began to have real physical symptoms that caused me discomfort, and now I'm ready to face facts and start doing the exercises to try to make things better -- as soon as I get a physical therapist to help me do them right.

My appointment with the OB is this Wednesday. I'm weirdly looking forward to it. I want to know just how bad things are.
Hopefully your diagnosis will be really mild (if anything at all). I was sure mine would have been worse because it literally felt like my cervix was coming out of me, but my physical therapist told me it was a grade 1. It reminded me of how sometimes if I feel a pimple, it feels HUGE but then when I look at it, I'm surprised at how small it is. I don't blame you for looking forward to your appointment. I always like to know how bad a situation is rather than not know at all.

I still am not sure why I have been feeling my prolapse more lately. Nothing really seems that different in terms of what I'm doing, lifting, etc. And, I am specifically feeling the pressure in the front more than the back - like closer to my clitoris than to my perineum. Does anyone else feel this? I also have a little hemmerhoid (lucky me) that has been hanging around (sorry, that wasn't meant to be funny) lately too. So, things are all out of whack here!

I also don't like how irritated feeling my prolapse makes me. I'll be going along with life fine and then I'll feel that pressure and it will literally make me do a 180 with my mood. I know I need to not let it get me angry, but I'm so mad that I now have this nuisance and might have it forever no matter how many kegels and Pilates sessions I do. :

On a brighter note, my DS has been sleeping and napping better - maybe he senses how I feel about my prolapse and he's giving me a break!
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#256 of 1505 Old 12-10-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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In terms of emotional balance, I've been giving tapping a try (http://www.tapping.com/). It's free and often gets mentioned in c/s recovery threads here at mdc... I don't know if it will help, but I like the guy's voice and it doesn't take a lot of time so it's not hurting anything.

My books came from amazon today! I'll hopefully look through them tonight and be able to "report" on them in a few weeks.

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#257 of 1505 Old 12-12-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I had my prolapse diagnosis appointment with my OB this morning. She examined me lying down at first and declared everything "normal" -- as she did at my annual exam just two months ago. Then she had me stand up, and she said that my uterus was prolapsed (my cervix was 3/4 of an inch inside my vaginal opening), that my bladder was prolapsed as well, and that I need to be very careful not to get constipated, because my rectal wall is very thin and if I strain too much my rectum could end up prolapsing as well. (She didn't mention it, but I bet that the rectum goes during my next pregnancy and birth ...)

I'm trying to remember what else she said. My uterine prolapse is somewhere between a stage 1 and stage 2 -- not quite sticking out of me yet, but close! She offered me a pessary if I want one, although she said that some people find it uncomfortable. She said that when I have all the children I want, I might consider a hysterectomy (!!). (No mention of less radical surgical options.) She said I should go ahead and get pregnant, and that I would probably feel MORE comfortable when I was pregnant, due to the uterus moving up in the body -- except for the first trimester, of course, when I would probably feel LESS comfortable. I asked if pregnant women could wear pessaries, and she said it has been done, typically to support twin pregnancies, but that it's "off label" because there have been no studies.

She gave me a referral for eight sessions of physical therapy (the first appointment is way off in March!), but said that studies show that while pelvic floor rehabilitation is helpful for urinary incontinence and vaginal wall strength, it is not very helpful for uterine prolapse. She rated my Kegeling as only grade C, so I could stand improvement there.

So good news -- I finally got my diagnosis, the OB doesn't think pregnancy will be complicated, and I got my PT referral. And bad news -- the OB theorized that I'm one of those people with genetically weak connective tissue so it seems unlikely that it's going to go away on its own, it's likely that it will get worse after a second pregnancy and birth, and I have to wait three months to see the PT.

I guess I'll start eating more fiber, to begin with.
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#258 of 1505 Old 12-12-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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I had my prolapse diagnosis appointment with my OB this morning. She examined me lying down at first and declared everything "normal" -- as she did at my annual exam just two months ago. Then she had me stand up, and she said that my uterus was prolapsed (my cervix was 3/4 of an inch inside my vaginal opening), that my bladder was prolapsed as well, and that I need to be very careful not to get constipated, because my rectal wall is very thin and if I strain too much my rectum could end up prolapsing as well. (She didn't mention it, but I bet that the rectum goes during my next pregnancy and birth ...)

I'm trying to remember what else she said. My uterine prolapse is somewhere between a stage 1 and stage 2 -- not quite sticking out of me yet, but close! She offered me a pessary if I want one, although she said that some people find it uncomfortable. She said that when I have all the children I want, I might consider a hysterectomy (!!). (No mention of less radical surgical options.) She said I should go ahead and get pregnant, and that I would probably feel MORE comfortable when I was pregnant, due to the uterus moving up in the body -- except for the first trimester, of course, when I would probably feel LESS comfortable. I asked if pregnant women could wear pessaries, and she said it has been done, typically to support twin pregnancies, but that it's "off label" because there have been no studies.

She gave me a referral for eight sessions of physical therapy (the first appointment is way off in March!), but said that studies show that while pelvic floor rehabilitation is helpful for urinary incontinence and vaginal wall strength, it is not very helpful for uterine prolapse. She rated my Kegeling as only grade C, so I could stand improvement there.

So good news -- I finally got my diagnosis, the OB doesn't think pregnancy will be complicated, and I got my PT referral. And bad news -- the OB theorized that I'm one of those people with genetically weak connective tissue so it seems unlikely that it's going to go away on its own, it's likely that it will get worse after a second pregnancy and birth, and I have to wait three months to see the PT.

I guess I'll start eating more fiber, to begin with.
Sound like the appointment went okay. My OB had a similar spiel - hysterectomy, PT not likely to help - but I found that PT helped me immensely for my uterine prolapse. Hopefully it will for you, too.

I posted a bowel-healthy recipe my PT gave me a while back if you're looking for fiber. And I would consider looking for a specialist (urogynecologist) in your area for another opinion. If you do want to get fitted for a pessary, a specialist might be able to get you a better fit.
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#259 of 1505 Old 12-12-2007, 10:23 PM
 
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Sound like the appointment went okay. My OB had a similar spiel - hysterectomy, PT not likely to help - but I found that PT helped me immensely for my uterine prolapse. Hopefully it will for you, too.

I posted a bowel-healthy recipe my PT gave me a while back if you're looking for fiber. And I would consider looking for a specialist (urogynecologist) in your area for another opinion. If you do want to get fitted for a pessary, a specialist might be able to get you a better fit.
Thanks for the hopeful message! And thanks for the good advice, too. Hooray for this support thread!

But I'm getting kind of angry that I didn't get this diagnosis two years ago when I went to see the midwife in my OB's office specifically with prolapse fears. If I'd known more then, I would have insisted that she examine me standing up -- but the whole topic freaked me out so much, I could hardly stand to read about it, let alone investigate my own body. But if I'd had these past two years to work on it, I would be a lot healthier now, and more prepared for a second pregnancy. My husband suggested a malpractice suit, but I think I'd need to be in worse shape for that to be effective -- it's not like I'm dead, or injured, or disabled. Maybe I'll write a strong letter of complaint instead!
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#260 of 1505 Old 12-12-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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I had my prolapse diagnosis appointment with my OB this morning. She examined me lying down at first and declared everything "normal" -- as she did at my annual exam just two months ago. Then she had me stand up, and she said that my uterus was prolapsed (my cervix was 3/4 of an inch inside my vaginal opening), that my bladder was prolapsed as well, and that I need to be very careful not to get constipated, because my rectal wall is very thin and if I strain too much my rectum could end up prolapsing as well. (She didn't mention it, but I bet that the rectum goes during my next pregnancy and birth ...)

I'm trying to remember what else she said. My uterine prolapse is somewhere between a stage 1 and stage 2 -- not quite sticking out of me yet, but close! She offered me a pessary if I want one, although she said that some people find it uncomfortable. She said that when I have all the children I want, I might consider a hysterectomy (!!). (No mention of less radical surgical options.) She said I should go ahead and get pregnant, and that I would probably feel MORE comfortable when I was pregnant, due to the uterus moving up in the body -- except for the first trimester, of course, when I would probably feel LESS comfortable. I asked if pregnant women could wear pessaries, and she said it has been done, typically to support twin pregnancies, but that it's "off label" because there have been no studies.

She gave me a referral for eight sessions of physical therapy (the first appointment is way off in March!), but said that studies show that while pelvic floor rehabilitation is helpful for urinary incontinence and vaginal wall strength, it is not very helpful for uterine prolapse. She rated my Kegeling as only grade C, so I could stand improvement there.

So good news -- I finally got my diagnosis, the OB doesn't think pregnancy will be complicated, and I got my PT referral. And bad news -- the OB theorized that I'm one of those people with genetically weak connective tissue so it seems unlikely that it's going to go away on its own, it's likely that it will get worse after a second pregnancy and birth, and I have to wait three months to see the PT.

I guess I'll start eating more fiber, to begin with.

I'm glad you saw your OB and at least know the lowdown. Wow, it really shows how standing up vs. lying down can give a different reading - thanks for telling us about that. And, thanks to the poster who told us all about that (sorry I can't remember who right now). Also, that's good news that she said that you might even feel more comfortable pregnant because I had imagined that when I get pregnant next, it was going to feel like a whole baby coming out of me, not just a cervix! It's unfortunate that she believes that physical therapy won't help the uterine prolapse - if muscles and connective tissue are what hold all of our organs (and bones) in place, how can making them stronger NOT help?? And, I wouldn't listen to her theorizing about you being someone with genetically weak connective tissue. I'm bummed that she even planted that seed in your head because either way - whether it's true or not - how is her telling you that going to do anything but make you feel a bit defeated to begin with? To me, that's like those OBs who tell women that they are carrying large babies, the women get all freaked out and then it turns out that the babies are average, if not smaller than average. Sorry for the rant - I'm glad that you got things looked at and that it was good news in terms of TTC and you don't have to wait

Oh and about your midwife not noticing your prolapse earlier - it could've been that she A. examined you while lying down and/or B. maybe it wasn't as bad back then. Of course, it could've also been negligence. I had two midwives and one of them knew about prolapse and the other one didn't and she's been a midwife for while, so it could also just be that your midwife had never dealt with it (not that that's a good reason for her not be able to recognize it, though - she should be aware of things even if she hasn't dealt with them personally). I think that my prolapse was due to one of midwives repeating, "The baby's head has been out for XXX minutes..." during my birth and it freaked me out because I thought, "They wouldn't be saying that to each other if it wasn't a problem," and so I gave one GIANT, prolapse-inducing push to get him out. I found out later that the time thing was no big deal and they usually say it quietly to each other, but the other midwife couldn't hear the first time, so she had to repeat it.

I posted about it before - I've been feeling my prolapse (especially in the "front" more) lately and I'm not quite sure why. Yesterday, I had another Pilates appt. and told my trailer that I didn't want to do any tough ab work and only work the pelvic floor. I left there feeling awesome with no prolapseness and it lasted until mid-day today. I am just theorizing here, but my DS is walking now and I have been bending over a lot to help him and also lunging and bending toward him when he's about to fall forward and I'm wondering if that motion of bending (quickly sometimes) isn't affecting the prolaspe in a bady way. Did any of you notice your prolapse being more irritable during this stage of your baby's development? I have been thinking about bringing my DS to one of my Pilates sessions and having my trainer watch me with him (carrying him, walking with him, etc.) to see if she sees any bad form that could be adding to it. It doesn't help that he's a big guy and I'm a small lady.

Wombatclay - I checked out the Tapping website and found it really interesting. I did the little demo and I DID feel better about my prolapse afterwards. I'm not sure if it was because of the actual tapping (which did give me a buzzy feeling) or because I mentally knew that I had just done the tapping and therefore I SHOULD feel better, but regardless, I felt better, so thank you. It could have also been because DS was out with DH and I was getting a much-deserved little break.
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#261 of 1505 Old 12-12-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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Has anyone tried/used an IUD with a prolapse? I'm thinking family planning here and an IUD is an option my OB suggested. She knows I have the bladder prolapse and minor cervical prolapse and still suggested it, but I don't know. IUDs sort of freak me out a tiny bit anyway and I'm wondering if anyone has had IUD success with a uterine prolapse?

Glad the tapping seemed to help. Personally I think I just like the guy's voice! But I'll take anything I can get right now.

I haven't had the chance to really read the two books I got from Amazon...the "Beyond Kegels" seems to focus on 4 exercises that strengthen the whole pelvic floor and the muscles around the pelvis. They claim it produces positive results in most users in just a few weeks (in terms of leaking). We'll see! And the "Core" book seems to combine yoga/pilates/tai chi/weight training to strengthen/tone/increase flexibility and balance in the "female core" but I haven't been able to read any of it yet. So I don't know how well it will work or how it should work.

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#262 of 1505 Old 12-13-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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Also, that's good news that she said that you might even feel more comfortable pregnant because I had imagined that when I get pregnant next, it was going to feel like a whole baby coming out of me, not just a cervix!
Yeah, things get comfortable later on, but the first trimester is supposed to feel pretty uncomfortable before things move up above the pelvic bone. But I'm still ready to get pregnant and find out for myself! Hooray!

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And, I wouldn't listen to her theorizing about you being someone with genetically weak connective tissue. I'm bummed that she even planted that seed in your head because either way - whether it's true or not - how is her telling you that going to do anything but make you feel a bit defeated to begin with?
Thanks, that's a good point. I think in her own medical way, the OB was trying to make me feel BETTER -- that there wasn't anything I did wrong to cause the prolapse. (But I'm not sure that's accurate. I've started reading that "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" book and I have done a lot of the things she warns against.)

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Oh and about your midwife not noticing your prolapse earlier - it could've been that she A. examined you while lying down and/or B. maybe it wasn't as bad back then. Of course, it could've also been negligence.
You're right on both counts -- she did only examine me lying down, and it wasn't as bad then (it was mostly a bladder prolapse at that time). But I went to see her BECAUSE I thought I had a prolapse, so why on earth wouldn't she follow proper procedures for examining and diagnosing a prolapse? I just wish she had caught it, or at least warned me that "flabby" pelvic floor muscles (which is what she told me at the time of the exam) have real, lasting, and serious consequences. She had the opportunity to save my health.

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I posted about it before - I've been feeling my prolapse (especially in the "front" more) lately and I'm not quite sure why. Yesterday, I had another Pilates appt. and told my trailer that I didn't want to do any tough ab work and only work the pelvic floor. I left there feeling awesome with no prolapseness and it lasted until mid-day today. I am just theorizing here, but my DS is walking now and I have been bending over a lot to help him and also lunging and bending toward him when he's about to fall forward and I'm wondering if that motion of bending (quickly sometimes) isn't affecting the prolaspe in a bady way. Did any of you notice your prolapse being more irritable during this stage of your baby's development?
I feel an ache and pressure where my cervix is, right inside my vaginal opening, so it isn't at all toward the front. How awesome that your workout helped so much! I forget if you said that your trainer has special pelvic floor expertise, or if all Pilates people know that stuff. My husband feels so bad for me now that I'm officially diagnosed that he's suggesting I see a trainer of some sort.

As far as bending motions making the situation worse, I'm sure they can. That "Mummy Tummy" book says you can undo three weeks worth of improvement simply by jackknifing yourself upright in bed, which is how I sit up each and every morning. My prolapses have gotten worse as my son gets older and heavier, so that might be something for me to consider as well. I'm still nursing him on a Boppy (although he's over three feet tall -- it's quite a sight! ), and I actually lift him up while I'm seated to switch sides! That can't be good for my body.
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#263 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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But I'm getting kind of angry that I didn't get this diagnosis two years ago when I went to see the midwife in my OB's office specifically with prolapse fears. If I'd known more then, I would have insisted that she examine me standing up -- but the whole topic freaked me out so much, I could hardly stand to read about it, let alone investigate my own body. But if I'd had these past two years to work on it, I would be a lot healthier now, and more prepared for a second pregnancy. My husband suggested a malpractice suit, but I think I'd need to be in worse shape for that to be effective -- it's not like I'm dead, or injured, or disabled. Maybe I'll write a strong letter of complaint instead!
I don't blame you for being angry. It seems like OBs have one of two reactions when confronted with prolapse - denial or immediate surgery. Not sure which is worse. I would write a letter - I went back to my doc specifically to tell her how great the physical therapy was because she had never referred anyone before, in the hopes that she would send others.
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#264 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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NicoleR.-

Thanks for the replies! My Pilates trainer doesn't have experience with prolapses, but she is trained in all things pelvic floor-related. I'm not sure if there is a standardized training or what, but she definitely knows her stuff. I am impressed by it every time I see her.

Last time I saw her, I asked her if she could think of any way to have a BM (bowel movement, not breast milk!) without putting pressure on the pelvic floor. TMI, but every time I do, I try to pull up and in with the lower abs and relieve some of the pressure, but it doesn't necessarily help. She thought about it and asked her fiance who is a doctor (not sure what kind) and they both agreed that trying to make a BM is the complete opposite of what we're trying to do in Pilates. So, they were saying that there's no real way to protect the pelvic floor during a BM except for making sure it's as soft as can be so it passes without much pushing/strain. I just thought that was an interesting little tidbit I'd pass on (no pun intended).

The other thing that my trainer said, is that her fiance told her that there is no real way to help a prolapsed uterus except for with surgery. I couldn't believe it, I was so pissed and also a little bummed wondering if he was right. I asked my trainer to ask her fiance why he thought that (especially with a grade 1 prolapse) and if the organs are held together by muscles and connective tissue, how strengthening them couldn't help lift it up. I'll be curious to see what he says next time I see her.

So, the "Lose Your Mummy Tummy" book - is that mostly about prolapses or pelvic health in general? Are you finding it useful? If so, I should probably pick up a copy of it. I'm sure there are things I could be doing in my everyday life to make sure that I'm not hurting myself (like sitting up in the morning like you talked about).
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#265 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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As far as sex, that's when I don't notice my prolapse at all! Seriously, I don't notice any difference, and my husband swears he doesn't either. Especially if I'm on my back (sorry, TMI) things sort of slump back into place, especially when there's something helping to shove it out of the way (ahem, ahem).
I don't notice my prolapse when we dtd in that position, either. On top is another story - we've tried, and it's been too uncomfortable to continue.

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I had my prolapse diagnosis appointment with my OB this morning. She examined me lying down at first and declared everything "normal" -- as she did at my annual exam just two months ago. Then she had me stand up, and she said that my uterus was prolapsed (my cervix was 3/4 of an inch inside my vaginal opening), that my bladder was prolapsed as well, and that I need to be very careful not to get constipated, because my rectal wall is very thin and if I strain too much my rectum could end up prolapsing as well. (She didn't mention it, but I bet that the rectum goes during my next pregnancy and birth ...)
This kind of irritates me. How many women are walking around with prolapse, maybe feeling that things aren't quite right but not knowing why . . . all because doctors check them on their backs and tell them they're "normal"? And meanwhile their prolapse will keep on getting worse because they have no way of knowing what they should and shouldn't be doing. Why don't doctors routinely do postpartum pelvic exams while women are upright? Gah.


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As far as bending motions making the situation worse, I'm sure they can. That "Mummy Tummy" book says you can undo three weeks worth of improvement simply by jackknifing yourself upright in bed, which is how I sit up each and every morning.
Well, that sucks. I try to be so careful about my posture and how I move, but it's a little depressing to know that one wrong movement will set you back so far. I have a 20lb 4mo and a 30lb 2yo and there's just no way I can lift them correctly every single time, you know?

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Last time I saw her, I asked her if she could think of any way to have a BM (bowel movement, not breast milk!) without putting pressure on the pelvic floor. TMI, but every time I do, I try to pull up and in with the lower abs and relieve some of the pressure, but it doesn't necessarily help. She thought about it and asked her fiance who is a doctor (not sure what kind) and they both agreed that trying to make a BM is the complete opposite of what we're trying to do in Pilates. So, they were saying that there's no real way to protect the pelvic floor during a BM except for making sure it's as soft as can be so it passes without much pushing/strain. I just thought that was an interesting little tidbit I'd pass on (no pun intended).

The other thing that my trainer said, is that her fiance told her that there is no real way to help a prolapsed uterus except for with surgery. I couldn't believe it, I was so pissed and also a little bummed wondering if he was right. I asked my trainer to ask her fiance why he thought that (especially with a grade 1 prolapse) and if the organs are held together by muscles and connective tissue, how strengthening them couldn't help lift it up. I'll be curious to see what he says next time I see her.
As far as BMs, I try to wait until the last possible minute when I have to go - as in, omg I'm gonna poop myself. There's zero straining that way. Also, I don't know if it actually helps or if it's just in my head, but I remembered how Ina May Gaskin recommends slackening your jaw to help relax your pelvic floor while birthing . . . it seems to, eh, help pass other things, too.
I'd like to hear what your trainer has to say, too! I mean, you're going to get the most dramatic results with surgery, but if you've only got a mild prolapse, common sense tells you it can improve with strengthening exercises and lifestyle changes.


I've been feeling my prolapse a lot lately, too. Blech. The only thing I can think of is the weather . . . it's been cold and snowy so I'm not getting out for daily walks anymore. Exercise seems to help lift things a lot. Today I had to carry my toddler through the entire mall while wearing the baby - that's 50 lbs of children - which SO did not help the situation.: I miss not having to worry about things like this.

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#266 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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Well I am sort of getting sick of dealing with this issue!

I have an appointment scheduled with my midwife next week. I plan to start there and keep figuring things out.....hopefully!

I am just getting more depressed about the situation. I was planning on starting to work out again soon and my favorite/most effective working out activities are weight training and running. I like having sex on the top. (TMI I know but it is relevant.) I liked my "old" vagina, I don't "like" seeing something there.

Argh, I know I will feel better tomorrow but tonight I am just having a pity party.

Does anyone know if you can weight train with prolapse?

Why is surgery a bad idea? (I am going to need all of the reasons possible here because I likely am going to be in a doctor's office soon!)

I am ordering every book recommended on this thread but my order hasn't come yet so if I am repeating things people already know I am sorry!
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#267 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 08:09 AM
 
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FWIW, my bladder is back to the same place of prolapse less than nine months after pelvic floor reconstruction. My uterus is still high.

I may not read this thread.

So ... my uterus is still high, I'll probably be getting a pessary for the pressure, and I have not been able to lose the 12 or so pounds I gained post surgery that I blame on the antibiotics given to me in IV messing up my gut bacteria.
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#268 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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Random responses-

The mummy tummy book is focused mostly at healing diastasis recti (the seperation of the ab muscles that results in..well..the mummy tummy look). It does this with specifically targeted exercises, posture changes, and by toning the pelvic floor. There's a cheat sheet to the pregnancy version online at http://www.maternalfitness.com/baks_basics.pdf

The book Bounce Back Into Shape After the Baby has a whole chapter on toileting and urinary/fecal incontenance and how to deal with the situation. She has pictures of the ideal posture for BM and other toileting topics, discusses diet and exercise realted to toileting, and basically deals with the whole topic in a very positive/matter of fact way. The book uses a birth ball and teaches exercises to strengthen your core and address common mama problems (poor posture from baby wearing, shoulder aches from breastfeeding, etc). The exercises are pretty easy to do with kids around.

I'll see if I can find my copy (we're moving though so it may be a while) and post what she says about toileting...

Lula- surgery can help. Or it may make the situation worse. The idea on the whole woman site is that you should start with the non-surgical options since you can always go on to surgical options. But if you start with surgery you're opening yourself up to bigger problems (surgical complications, possible increase of damage, the need to heal both the prolapse and the recon, the fact that mny surgeries lead to future surgeries, etc). Prolapse is a quality of life issue and only you can decide when the risk of surgery balances your experience/needs. Ask for a ref to PT first..your dr may scoff but you can tell them you'd like to give it a try. Especially if you plan on more children...many drs will tel you that surgery should wait until you're not going to be stressing the pelvic floor (pregnancy). And some wont to the surgery if you're breastfeeding since the breastfeeding hormones affect tissue strength/elasticity.

pigpokey- I'm sorry. Do the drs think that your bladder might "lift up" over time? Did they offer any specific ideas? Hugs mama

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#269 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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The reason people say that uterine prolapse can only be helped by surgery is that the uterus is suspended by ligaments. When it's prolapsed it's because the ligaments are stretched or torn, and conventional theory is that ligaments can't be tightened/repaired through therapy. Think of all of the ACL surgeries.

Bladder/rectum prolapse is sometimes just because of weak muscles, but also can be because the muscles is torn - like a hernia - so sometimes PT doesn't help in those cases either. But, physical therapy never hurts, so imo it should always be prescribed.

Wombatclay said it well that surgery comes down to a quality of life decision, and should be considered after the other options have been tried. According to the surgeon I met with, it is major surgery with high failure and complication rates. Also, the number of young women who are being diagnosed with POP is increasing, so more surgeries are being done, better techniques are developing and more money should be going into research. I think that in the next 5-10 years surgery will be a better option in terms of success rates and invasiveness.
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#270 of 1505 Old 12-14-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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Does anyone know if you can weight train with prolapse?
Hope you feel better soon. I'm finding that the more I talk about prolapse, the better I feel about it. I've been mentioning mine to everyone I know, and if they don't like me talking about my pelvic organs, too bad! It helps me normalize it -- while before I felt horror and disgust with myself, now I realize while it's uncomfortable and inconvenient, it's not like I have cancer or something. (Sorry to get all Pollyannaish! )

I'm just guessing about weight training, but based on what my OB said and what I've read, it would totally depend on your form. Probably you should make sure your abs and pelvic floor are as strong as possible before getting back into weights, so you don't strain them. And you'd want to be sure you don't hold your breath and bear down while lifting -- the "valsalva maneuver" can blow your innards right out of you.
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