Pelvic Pain Support Network
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Severe Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Hi I'm 71 years old and have always lived an active life and considered myself fit and healthy until about a year ago when, suddenly after having a difficult bowel movement I discovered a lump protruding from in front of my vagina. I went to my GP in total panic where I was told it wasn't uncommon for a woman of my age who had had two fairly difficult births and was given some pelvic floor exercises to do. Cutting a long story short, over the last twelve months I went to see a physiotherapist and also a pilates instructor on a regular basis. I also changed my lifestyle, eating habits, not lifting anything heavy etc. After not seeing any improvement I've purchased a Kegel8 toner. I've been using this for six weeks now and again I'm not seeing any improvement, although they have advised me that it can take several months due to the severity of my prolapse. I REALLY don't want to have surgery so I'm sticking with it for now. What I'd like to know is do any of you have any similar experiences? Have you used the Kegel8 toner? Is it possible to just learn to live with the prolapse? I'm fortunate that I don't have any pain and as I keep reminding myself, it's not life threatening.

I'd be grateful for any feedback, it's just good to communicate with some-one else in a similar situation isn't it?

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Hi Sally,When you say the prolapse in at the front of your virgina,I take it you mean in your virgina.? I bought a Kegel8 some years back because I believe I had a small bowel prolapse,I was told to do pelvic floor exercises,so I thought the Kegal8 would be ideal,but I was told not to use it,now don't ask why,because I never thought to ask why. Consequently it cost me dearly to be stuck in my cupboard. Fortunately I have a good hubby who will always push it back,need be.

I would just like to say I'm 74yrs old. But you sound far fitter than me.

Personally I would push your GP into more questions,so you can avoid operations. That's the best help I can be,maybe someone can help more.

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Hi Gemini71

Thank you so much for replying to my post, it's so good to communicate with some-one who has some idea of my situation. No the bulge isn't in my vagina it's about the size of a golf ball and protrudes in front of the opening to my vagina, a lot of the time actually. The Kegel8 have updated their toner in the last few years. I researched it and could only find positive reviews which is why I've purchased it and maybe I'm being impatient so I will stick with it. My GP is actually very good and I've spoken to her several times. It was her that suggested the pilates and physiotherapist.

Am I right in thinking that you still have the prolapse but have chosen to live with it?

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Yep,Sally it don't cause me much bother at the moment,as it's not that big. It just makes me feel uncomfortable when I've been to the loo.

But I have chronic Pelvic pain,that no one seems to know the cause or what to do about it. In fact I think I've been forgotten. So really that's more my concern. Like you I don't want no ops,or Meds anymore I'm on enough. So like a lot of folk I just have to learn to live with it.

I hope you get the satisfaction you need out of the Kegel8. And I know easier said than done,try not to worry,as long as it's giving you no pain it may go as quickly as it come. Good luck,all the best to you.👍

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Do you know which bit has prolapsed ? If it has gone far enough to actually come out then the Kegel won't do anything, the damage is done.

Pilates helped me but my prolapse (bladder) hadn't gone to far, as in coming out, so the muscles were still able to tighten up. You do need a Pilates teacher who specialises in prolapse otherwise it can do more damage than good, group classes are no good, you need 1to1 lessons.

You could ask your GP about a pessary ring, there are loads of different designs so trial and error finding the right one. Topical hrt like Vagifem help to keep the tissues in good condition and generally tighten things up, it also helps if you suffer from uti's.

It's a horrible thing to have and sadly extremely common, Ive had it for 15 ish years 😕

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My prolapse is also showing through my vagina , it is causing me a lot of problems I have a lot of pressure causing the need to pass urine urgently. I need to get up at least 6 times in the night, I also know it’s too late for any exercise. I am truly scared for a operation but I can see I won’t be able to go on much longer. I haven’t been to my GP as yet . I am also 71

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Hi, Harvey! Has this just happened to you recently? Maybe see a nice GP if you have one and find out what your options are. I don't like to think of you suffering like this all on your own.

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Hi Harvey

Thanks for replying to my post. I hope that like me, although nothing has changed physically since I started this, psychologically I feel so much better from communicating with people in the same situation. If you are really against the idea of an operation my suggestions/advice to you would be

Go to see your GP (hopefully you have a good one) to find out exactly what the situation is. Sometimes guessing what it is, is worse than it turns out to be.

See a physiotherapist who has some experience with prolapse to try the exercises. They may not fix it but could improve the situation.

Pilates exercises may help (you need one to one sessions as some Pilates exercises could make it worse) My thinking is even if they don't fix it they may improve it and even if they don't help my pelvic floor muscles they will improve the rest of my body which in turn should take some of the strain off of my pelvic floor muscles. Hope that makes sense!

Good luck and please keep in touch

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Hello, Sally!

Your situation sounds so like mine! I'd always seen myself as active and healthy, too, and then a few months ago I squatted to pick something off the floor and found a huge lump sticking out, and I too, panicked and went straight to the GP, and a whole new world of uterine prolapse suddenly emerged, where I'd never heard of it before. It's a shock, isn't it? I'm a bit younger, as I was 61 at the time, but with the menopause well behind us, we kind of forget we've got these bits inside us until suddenly they come out to remind us they're still there, don't we?

I find it hard emotionally, and maybe you do, too. I live alone and am very independent; for instance, I'd spotted holes in the roof of my summerhouse and bought a heavy roll of roofing felt intending to climb up and re-roof the thing myself - and suddenly, everyone says no lifting and don't do anything strenuous, and that roll is still lying on the ground while I seem to have turned overnight into some frail old lady instead of just being ME. It's easy for people to say it's not life-threatening and all that, but I'm scared because I feel my life has just - stopped - because I don't want to make things worse.

I'd never heard of kegels until this happened, and not being a medical person I can't advise, but I've read some people say they're no good once the prolapse is that bad. I'm a sceptic, and feel some people are just out to make money out of people's misfortunes. I agree with Bantam and Gemini. I then looked at an article 'Why kegels don't work' and found some alternative exercises, which I now do every day. But it seems there is no cure, and nothing's changed.

Someone on this site kindly suggested a women's physiotherapist might do some good, but when I asked a doctor to refer me to one, she refused, and apparently I can't get one without a referral. Don't know if others have had that problem ...?

I absolutely know where you're coming from regarding surgery, too. My thinking is, and this is just me again, not a medical person, that as prolapse is caused by ligaments - connective tissue - weakening as we age, if they start severing it completely so as to remove an organ, the supportive structures will be gone and everything else will come tumbling down! I think of my uterus as a big vehicle hurtling downhill and for all I know, the bladder and rectum are like two cars trying to overtake it, and it's only the uterus filling up the road that stops them from getting past, so I've talked myself out of hysterectomy, and the mesh is a no-no after what I've read. I desperately want to keep myself whole, with minimum interference.

I've been trying to do as you say and 'just live with the prolapse' but I can't and it's getting me down. Sorry to be so negative. I'm scared of getting ulcerations because of the exposure to the air, and it sometimes feels terribly dry and sore and it's uncomfortable to sit and walk. It just seems wrong, to me, that they say prolapse is so common, yet we get so little help with it. Don't know about you but at times it feels as if I've swallowed concrete and it's setting inside my pelvis, too.

I was told about pessaries, too, but here in the UK they try us on these dreadful, huge, rock hard things. My GP tried to force one into me and she might as well have just punched me with her bare fist for all the good it did. I was in agony. I was referred to hospital after a five-week wait and the same happened, only this time, they forced one in, but the insertion was very painful, and it was like a no entry sign across my vagina with a no exit sign pushing into my rectum so I got the GP to remove it and it tore my surrounding skin so I spent the rest of the day dabbing blood off myself. They make soft, flexible pessaries, apparently, but here we have to wait for them and fight tooth and nail for them, so currently I'm hoping for a trial with these in hospital next month with no promises they'll have any, despite begging for reassurance. If you opt for a pessary, I do recommend you insist on a flexible one! This is important, because we are not 'elastic' post-menopause. You might read that insertion doesn't hurt, but that could only be with regard to these soft ones. I hate the idea of a foreign object 'up there' but so far, it seems to be the only alternative to leaving it hanging out. Let's swap news of how each other are getting on, as I've really loved talking to someone in such a similar situation. Best wishes, friend!

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Hi Beatitude

Thank you so much for replying, we sound like we have a lot in common and think alike. As I said to Harvey, I feel so much better psychologically now than I did before I started this. It's just so good to talk openly to some-one who knows how I feel. I have only told one close friend about this as it's not something you can easily discuss is it? Or is that only me? As sad as it sounds, if I need something heavy lifted now or help in the garden I tend to say that I've pulled a muscle in my back. Well it's easier than explaining the real reason isn't it ha ha! Must keep a sense of humour!

I also live on my own and have always been very independent. Yes I know what you mean about turning into a frail old lady which is why I haven't told my children or grandchildren or actually any of my family about the prolapse because I feel that's what I will turn into for them, if you know what I mean. I'm a keen gardener, I have a very large garden and grow a lot of my own vegetables and fruit. I have changed the way I garden to some extent. I've never done so much gardening on my knees or sitting down! But I NEED to garden for my sanity and actually my very nice GP said that's a good idea to carry on. Apart from gardening I've always enjoyed being active. So my GP suggested that I try to be active for an hour and than find something to do sitting down for an hour.

Why wont your GP refer you to a physiotherapist? It might be worth looking into again. My GP was happy to do that but I seem to remember that if I was willing to pay privately I didn't need a GP's referral, but I could be wrong. You may not want to pay, but it might be worth one appointment to get an opinion and possibly some exercises specifically for you.

I paid to see a Pilates instructor for one to one exercises. As Bantam said, some Pilates exercises can do more harm than good so a group session would not be a good idea. My thinking with the Pilates is that even if they don't "fix" my problem they should help and also strengthen my other muscles so that they support my pelvic floor muscles.

So.......at this moment in time I'm trying everything I can, including the Kegel8 toner to see if I can improve the situation or learn to live with it, without it changing my life too much. If it fails I think I will look into the pessary.

Thank you again so much for your communication Beatitude, I know I'm repeating myself (it's my age!) but I feel so much better than I did before I started this.

Please do keep in touch and let me know how you are getting on.

Best wishes

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Wow your comments felt as if my thoughts were now in writing. In Aug. of 2016 my uterine prolapse started. My gyno had used pessary's on her patients for nearly 30 years. Some of them she stills sees has been using for 18 years. My pessary is a circle that folds in half going in BUT has to come out is full circle, which does stretch and hurt the base of my vagina. My problem when I started was that I started with size 6 but after extreme pain removing, I requested size 5, which still holds uteruse in place, but not as painful. I WAS TOLD that when 1 item starts that eventually everything starts shifting downward, as the trio all support each other.

The most HELP I have had is with WHOLE WOMAN WEBSITE with Christina explaining everything possible you want to know about our NEW SITUATION! I also grew up doing things that most GIRLS don't do, as in lifting heavy objects. I grew up in a large family where construction work was done by all. So this NEW LIFE of only doing (hardly anything) light things seems very weird to me. Sorry to hear that you have to wait for soft pessary as I can't imagine the pain you have suffered. I am now close to 64 and live in Georgia, USA, where I am realizing that everyone doesn't have the easy access to a lot of medical resources that we do. Wish you the best of luck with dealing with our NEW LIFESTYLE!

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The book Saving the Whole Woman is very informative and has a lot of exercises and tips. I have not been to the website but love the book. I am 75 and have just started to prolapse. Have been doing Kegel exercises that seem to be helping. I too have always been active and lifting things and my husband can't seem to get why I need more help now.

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I am new to this site. I am 82 and in England, had this prolapse for some years, just demonstrated itself to me by frequent waking in the night, every 2 hours or so, but suddenly the day before yesterday, heavy! went to gp surgery, got to see a Practioner Nurse, (our new NHS culture developing) same day.. she agreed prolapse of bladder, and inserted a pessary, oooer.. painful, she said I was small inside.. I have had 3 quite easy pregnancies. so she has now ordered a smaller one to be fitted next week.

my tummy feels swollen also, no one here seems to have mentioned that??

I am quite active for my age. and good health for my age also..I am so pleased to have found you all here.

another female discomfort that no one speaks of and no advice available.

thankyou everyone

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I used a flexible silicone pessary for years and it was fine, because it contained estrogen it had to be changed every few months but it was easy and I could do it myself. Made a huge difference and really not uncomfortable unless it slipped a bit in which case it was easily repositioned, had to do it once in M&S loo 🤣

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Hi Bantam12

Thanks for the information regarding a pessary. I've just re-read your post and realised that you've said that you USED a pessary for years. Does that mean you no longer use one and if so, why did you stop?

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I originally had the ring because it was a convenient way to get the hrt I needed and it served two purposes as it also supported the prolapse. I stopped using it at the time Drs were getting twitchy about hrt and my GP suggested a break and I have managed without since although at times I'm tempted to go down the pessary route again. The biggest improvement for me was doing Pilates with an instructor who was experienced in prolapse problems, made a massive difference, sadly it's expensive so after 2 years I had to stop but I can still do some of the exercises at home, just have to find the motivation !

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Hi Beatitude

I'm not sure if you've seen my recent update I posted to Sushke so I'm going to repeat it here.

I was about to update my post anyway. After using the Kegel8 for about four months I accepted that it wasn't helping at all. So I went back to just doing the manual exercises and made an appointment to see my GP which of course took two weeks. I'm fortunate that an hysterectomy has never been suggested. I "just" have a bladder prolapse and means I have this bulge that is out most of the time, it isn't painful, just uncomfortable. After discussing it with her I decided to try the pessary ring which I had fitted this morning. At the moment it feels fine, it's just a case of waiting to see if it's the right size and how I get on with it. I will keep you all updated.

Unfortunately it was too small and the prolapse slipped out after a few hours. It was one of the soft flexible ones so it was easy for me to just remove it. I need to go back to have the next size fitted. I'm lucky that my GP can do it but of course it takes 2 - 3 weeks to get an appointment. But hopefully it will be worth it in the long run.

I'd love to hear how things are going for you Beatitude. I really appreciate your support, it makes it so much easier to know some-one understands how we are feeling doesn't it?

Stay well, best wishes

Sally46

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How nice to hear from you, Sally. My story is that after over six months, three days ago at the time of writing I finally, finally, got a flexible pessary. I am over the moon. Mine slipped half out when I squatted, but that doesn't bother me, because at last I have something I can USE so as to get my bits to stay inside, and I no longer have to think, "What can I use today? How long dare I keep it in before something goes wrong and I have to take it out?" I now have something medically approved, hygienic, and which I can use whenever I want, and that was all I ever wanted. I've done a lot of homework into this, and eliminated at lot of hospitals in Kent, where I live, and discovered there are two that say they do flexible pessaries, so I insisted on a GP referral to one of them and have got an appointment for next month and am hoping that this time they will try me out with different sizes until they find the perfect one. Here, the GPs just don't want to know. You are lucky your GP acknowledges the existence of flexible pessaries. Mid-March I had a gynae appointment and she seemed very nice but said there was a load of 'NHS red tape' to work through to get me a pessary, and it took seven weeks from then, for it to arrive. I just don't GET it. It's just a bit of flaming plastic, after all. What's the big deal, that they left me frantic and in such misery and stress for so long? My prolapse got about a quarter of an inch worse in the last few weeks, so I'm so glad the stress of waiting is all over. It makes me angry that we pluck up the courage to go to a doctor and because the prolapse isn't happening to them, it's 'just' a prolapse and they can mess us about. They wouldn't feel the same if it was theirs, would they? !!! Still, everything seems to be suddenly going right, for me: a follow-up appointment, and a fitting where hopefully they'll try different sizes and shapes.

They wouldn't suggest hysterectomy for a bladder prolapse, but they do for a uterine prolapse which is what I've got. But I feel a lot safer trying a pessary.

The vagina is a closed tube, and the prolapse is an organ that has become trapped inside that tube and seems to want to shunt itself out through the bottom of that tube. If you do exercises, I don't see how they can whizz the prolapse back up and tilt it back to its original position. Personally, I feel a lot more incentive to do any exercises with a pessary in, to give the exercises a helping hand, and do Christine Kent's 'new Kegels' from Whole Woman.

If you get on with the pessary, let's hope both of us get the right fit, and soon, and I hope yours makes you feel as much better as mine does for me. Let me know of any developments.

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wow, I just posted , up above, I got the Practitioner Nurse at our surgery, South West, well Swindon to be exact! and I got to see her the first day, have to wait a week for a smaller pessary to be ordered, and hopefully a good size for me next week..

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I have a ring pessary it's brilliant didn t hurt to be inserted or removed, you just have to be patient as it can take quiet a lot of fittings to find the right size, my life is back to normal

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I think that waiting half a year for a pessary, when it's called 'the first line of treatment' IS being patient. I'm thrilled to have got one at last, and it didn't hurt at all. That's because it was flexible and could be folded up to get it in. I feel back to normal, too, at last, and if it's not exactly the right size, it's a lot better than the nothing, and misery, and stress, and battling with doctors, crying in front of them and telling them that it's available on prescription, to no avail, and finding that manufacturers won't sell direct unless you've had a prescription, and bunging myself up with makeshift substitutes, some of which gave me rashes, infections and itching, and all the hassle I've been through just to get one. So don't anybody tell me to be patient. 189 days of my womb hanging out is no picnic.

I don't know what country you live in, and that makes a difference. I live in England, where very few doctors or hospitals, even the private ones, do flexible pessary fittings. Most of them only do PVC ones made by Portex, and PVC is plumbing pipe, rock hard and rigid, so completely unusable as far as I am concerned. The very smallest size of these is two inches. SOME women might have a vaginal opening that stretches to two inches or more, but mine certainly doesn't, and it's never needed to stretch to such a huge size. I am no virgin but I think the NHS lives in some fantasy-world if they think women are in the habit of being penetrated by things two, three, even four inches wide. I am very angry that I have been discriminated against, because the NHS expects people's vaginas to accommodate these evil monstrosities instead of making pessaries to fit into the human body. Sorry my body's the wrong size for the NHS, and there's nothing I can do about that, but I don't know what part of, "They won't go in," the NHS doesn't understand. First I had a GP punch me with a 2.75 inch PVC one and the violence put me into shock so much I hyperventilated and was trembling so much afterwards that I could hardly stand up. I naively thought they must do something to soften them up first, when I saw it; wrong, as whoever designed them hasn't got a brain-cell to their name and it stood a snowball's chance in hell of going in. Then I had a five-week wait to go to hospital where they pressurised me into accepting a second attempt, this time with a 2.5 inch one, with a sneering, so-called 'gynaecologist' convincing me that she had ways of getting it in, and it was that or nothing. I was bruised, and had my skin torn till it bled. To me, these were two sexual assaults. Then a five MONTH wait to get a flexible one at last, which I can actually use and get my life back. Why these aren't the only ones on the market, I cannot understand, but as long as they MAKE those accursed, cheap PVC ones, people like me are forced to go without any help at all unless we keep fighting for something usable. I am quite happy to wait further for the perfect fit, now that the misery of having nothing is over.

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I also live in England, and I only have to wait a day for a different size pessary. When I said be patient I was referring to getting the right size pessary

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oh gosh beatitude... unbelievable, no it isn`t ! our NHS leaves a lot to be desired. yes, lots of good stuff goes on, but equally, or worse, lots of bad stuff.. I am so sorry to hear this.. to repeat, (I am new here, thank you everyone, had prolapse, ie. frequent urination, every two hours in the night, for years, gp, ie. doctor just told me to exercise inside, ie. put two fingers in vagina to feel that I was doing it correctly, again to doctor at our local surgery, Swindon, he gave me codeine phospate ... now had bad pain a couple of days ago, got to see Practitioner Nurse when I phoned for an appt, the same day! she fitted a pessary, which was too large, she folded a circular thing in half to insert,, is that pvc? or the better ones?

now just have to wait a week for pharmacy to order a smaller one, and appt next week for fitting.

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Thanks for the sympathy! The folding pessaries are made of silicone; they are the better ones. When I found out where the nearest hospital was that kept these in stock I insisted on a referral there and my appointment was 25th June. They gave me a new pessary two sizes up but on examining me they agreed I was sore due to the little one slipping and rubbing and gave me tablets for the soreness and told me not to use the larger one until the soreness had gone. I couldn't wait any longer and tried the new one yesterday. Sorry to be graphic but it dried me out really badly and was caked in gunge and I noticed a red scratch-mark on my cervix, so I think it must be too big and tight so I want to try the in-between size now. The gynae I saw on 25/6 offered me physiotherapy straight away even though the GPs had refused it. It seems like the luck of the draw. But because this hospital was more than an hour's journey from home for me, it was agreed I ask for physio at the nearest hospital, so I am waiting to hear from there. So it's all slowly coming right for me at last. Let's hope you and I both get a pessary that fits! Let me know how you got on with your latest fitting.

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Hi. I have just joined this group and I have been amazed by the messages. I was diagnosed with a bladder prolapse 5 years ago but recently it has become worse. I am having to pass urine more lately and it is becoming embarrassing. I am very interested in the pessary you speak about. How do I go about this.

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I just went to the doctors and asked if I could try the ring pessary

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I also had unexpected prolapse, rectocycle, cystocle and bladder. I am amazed at the number of women now , that are being told about prolapse when it actually happens to us in our later lives. Why have our doctors not told us about the potential for our insides to fall out, simply amazes me. I have had 14 surgeries to try to correct prolapse then the ultimate damage caused. I wish I had taken another route, perhaps use the pessary but it sounds like there are different types. I am in the US so it is may be easier for me to change options. I have been told that there are flexible pessaries that you change yourself without going to the doctor. Of course, at this point that is not an option for me and I live with constant chronic pain as result. I was an active physical 51-year-old when I had prolapse it is now been 10 years since this is been a part of my life. I can no longer work at the job of my dreams and am quickly becoming a frail old lady. It is very Disheartening but I try to remind myself to not get depressed and get up and do something. I think that is critical for any of us especially those who were active. Do not take it “lying down”. I have to find those things that I can do. I do not take the recommended dosage of pain medication because it causes me to be drugged. So I have chosen the level of pain that I have every day So that I can at least function in some capacity mentally.

Now with all of this said I want to add, my doctorintroduced me to a brilliant surgeon in Switzerland. He is trying to correct the damage caused by my many surgeries. I now have pudendal nerve damage. I saw him a year ago where he corrected some of the nerve damage caused by scar tissue. I will be going back to him next month so he can evaluate an additional option to ease the pain. As most of you,I am desperate to regain any of my life that I can. So far I have been happy with the efforts and compassionate care I receive to try to help me.

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Hi Could we have the name of the excellent doctor in Switzerland that improved your situation Hope all is well with you x

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Dr Marc Possover in Zurich. You will find him to be easy to talk to and very understandingly your pain and condition.

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Hi Sally, I'm sorry you are going thru this pain. I truly know something about this. From 2011 until 2015 I thought I was going to die from so much pain. No pain medication helped me at all. I had a wonderful doctor name Dr. Abed. He was very caring a understanding. I had a prolapse bladder. He was giving me prudental injections inside my vagina every 1-2 weeks for about 6 to 9 months at first . I ended up having 5 surgeries in the end. The first to stop my leakage, the second was to lift my bladder back up and tack it in place. The third surgery was because I ended up with a stone because I could never empty my bladder completely. I went to the bathroom literally every 5 to 10 minutes. I couldn't leave my house most of the time. It was embarrassing to visit someone and be in their bathroom modt of the time. Once the stone was removed the pain subsided drastically but running to the restroom was the same. So I switched hospital and met my wonderful doctor that I still have. Her name is Dr. Bartley she suggest I try something called a bladder stem stimulator. So after a 2 week trial with the implant I was feeling like my old self again. Then she implanted it permanently that made the 5th surgery. I don't have pelvic pain like I use to. I may get a share pain every now and then. I do hope you can find someway to get rid of your pain.

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Hi sally I have a grade 3 bladder prolapse and grade 2 rectum and womb prolapses. These were only picked up by a gynecologists when she was looking in my bladder under aneasthetic . I tried a ring pessary which is flexible but this did not help me but I know someone who has found it fantastic, but you may have to be referred to a consultant to get 1 fitted properly. A GP removed mine and hurt me a lot , consultant said I should have left it to her . If you can afford it try to see a pelvic floor physiotherapy, I just googled it and found 1,I live in a UK city in Yorkshire. I think they give you the best information and know what they are doing. Good luck. Helen99

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Hi Sally. I have not experienced this but a dear friend who had three children had this happen to her in her late fifties. She had the surgery and recovered perfectly.

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Hello Sally, your problem sounds so much like mine. I have a cystocele (bladder prolapse). It appeared about 3 years ago. Had 3 difficult births, One very large child and 10 months later twins who pretty large also. Am a small person so I believe those births started the weakening process. I was 21 and 22 at the time. Active work crewing on our boats , which involves a lot of heavy lifting etc. Age 27 I had a historectomy due to cervical cancer. Healed from that and all was well until I was 70. Tried kegals and still do them, but they have not really helped. My doctor says they only help in early stages. Doctor has encouraged me to go for the operation. I do not live in UK, I live I Saint Lucia , so this op cannot be done here. Went to Scotland and saw a uro-gynaecologist in Glasgow. He advised me to try kegals first, he sent me 12 pages of info. Hasn't helped. He did say he would do the op for me but am still juggling with the idea. Right now I have a pessary which is great and is working well. Went through a few before I got the right one, which took a while as they had to come from Puerto Rico. But, No pain and everything back in place. Can't feel it at all. Has to come out every six weeks for a good wash, this I share with my doctor, she does one and I do the next. Only problem I have is that I get the odd Infection which is usually my own fault. Once by removing pessary wrong way and causing abrasions, and secondly from swimming in a hotel swimming pool.

I do a good bit of walking with my dogs , but do an awful lot more when in Scotland. Go every year for varying lengths of time. Am doing Qi Gong every morning on YouTube with Marissa, which is definitely spirit lifting. Also do belly dancing on You Tube which I think might help. Apparently it was started hundreds of years ago in Middle East to prepare women for childbirth. Females started learning this from age 4 to 5. Strengthened all the right muscles etc. On program called femfusion with Dr Bri. It's fun try it. There's one video where she's in a field full of yellow flowers. That's my favourite.

I've had to pay for all my treatments and doctor visits.

Really hope you manage to work all this out , it is an unpleasant business.

I live alone most of the time but have a helper and get tremendous support from my sons.

Keep us informed and take care.

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Hi Grashop45

Thanks for the positive information regarding your experience with the pessary and which one to go for if I need to. It's really made me re think the idea of pessaries.

The Kegel8 Ultra 20 toner is supposed to produce electrical pulses that stimulate the muscles and nerve fibres. So I've decided at the moment I'm using that, completing manual Kegel exercises and Pilates daily for three months. If there's no improvement by then, at least I can say I've tried everything before I try the pessary.

By the way, a very down to earth book I found very informative and helpful is called "Holding The Ball - How I survived Pelvic Organ Prolapse Without Surgery" by Julia F Kaye.

Stay well and I'll let you know how things go.

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Thanks, will order book. Any information is welcome.

Wishing you very good luck and yes, please keep me informed.

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I am 70 and was very fit and walkrd miles. In 2004 i was repaired with mesh for my prolapse and good for 11 years. 2 years ago had pain when walking and told it was the mesh so had it removed and prolapse rerepaired. This failed and 7 months latet had open sacropoplexy. This was successful but over 9 months in more and more pain. Repair was irritating my insides. Had it removed last Wednesday and chopped about with another repair. In awful pain now. Survive with your prolapse if you can😓

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Hi AgonyAnn

I'm so sorry to hear about your awful experiences over the last 2 years and the pain you are in at the moment. Thank you for sharing this with us as I feel the more we know about other people's experiences the easier it is for us to decide what to do. Knowledge is power! I hope things improve for you and my thoughts and good wishes are with you

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Thank you for replying and your kind words. All I want to do is get back to stomping around coastal footpaths but not holding my breath. Xx

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Dear Sally,

It sure is good to read comments and communicate with someone else that is experiencing the same and thank you for your post, and thanks to all who have commented in response to you, below.

I too have been active throughout my life and love doing outdoorsy stuff. I am 63yrs old, have one child - now in her 40's, plus I've always been active and not shied away from physical work: caring for and lifting invalid parents, carrying heavy items: logs, coal, bags of soil... I too enjoy gardening. Carrying items perhaps when I shouldn't have, especially as I have had a back problem since my early 20's...but hey ho....often needs must etc.

During 2017 I realised something was going seriously amiss down below, constantly wanting to wee, night and day, heavy feeling down below and feeling as if my insides were coming out. After visiting the Dr in December, I was told I had a bladder prolapse. I'd never heard of it and after searching google was amazed to find so many women suffering with a similar symptoms. I didn't find this site initially, but the sites that I did find seemed to have good reviews re: a Kegal, so decided to buy one, and have also started doing exercises. Am not sure whether they are the correct exercises, but I felt I had to do something as I couldn't see a Consultant until the end of Feb. 2018.

I saw the Consultant 3 days ago, and didn't know what to expect really. She said it was a severe prolapse, cannot remember the exact word she used, and that I needed a hysterectomy. I was horrified. I don't even like taking tablets unless it is absolutely necessary, nevermind an op. Plus I've heard not such great stories about hysterectomies over the years. Am now looking into all the alternatives as the op. seems so drastic/final... and I don't want to go down that path unless I really have to. Though the Consultant is saying, I should go for it whilst am still relatively young and that the op. could take longer to recover from when am older.

Am sorry I haven't any concrete suggestions to help others, but I do feel that maybe the tightening exercises that am doing down below plus the Kegal might just be helping a tiny bit. Am not weeing so much at night: rather than getting up 4-5 times, it is now just once or twice a night, plus am not constantly feeling as tho' am dropping out below. Somedays are better than others. Though I have also wondered if am just adjusting to the feeling, rather than it being fixed. It is early days tho', so like yourself am going to give it the 12 weeks, as the Kegal book suggests. Hopefully that, plus the exercises: pilates, videos, reading matter or seeing a physiotherapist.....all that has been kindly suggested either by yourself and by other folks posts, will all help my decision at a later date. Maybe if all else fails, I too will then try the pessaries.

I wish you well Sally46 and thank you again for your post. I have felt quite down and old and depressed at times, since all this kicked off. Then felt guilty because it is not life threatening and there are other folk far worse off, but it does affect day to day life. I needed to communicate and it was great to see your words - I felt encouraged. Thank you everso for that. If anything happens: progress or not, I will return to share with you. Also please do keep in touch if you have any news.

Wishing you all, all the best. :)

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Hi Sushke

Your words mirror my thoughts so well. Some how if makes so much difference to know some-one else feels as you do doesn't it?

I too was so surprised to hear how many women suffer from prolapse, why haven't I heard about this before? My Great Grandmother had TEN children! I can't help wondering how her pelvic floor muscles were ha ha

I'm afraid I feel that quite often Consultants automatically suggest surgery as it's the quick and easy solution (for them!)

Thank you all once again for your kinds words and support, nothing may have changed much physically but psychologically I feel a lot better since starting this.

Best wishes to you all

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Dear Sally,

As promised am keeping you updated, and will try to keep it as brief as possible. After our last communication I continued using the Kegal each night, as well doing my pelvic floor exercises during the day, or whenever I could remember i.e feeding the dogs, washing up etc. I felt as tho' the Kegal was helping as I definitely wasn't having to wee as much in the night, and it seemed there was a slight improvement in how long I could hold my muscles tight. But even tho’ am an active soul, I never seemed to feel 100% right and I also seemed to get tired very quickly. Thankfully there was no pain, during the day.... but there was that continual heavy sensation below and some days, for whatever reason, I would also be aware of a protusion below.

As mentioned previously, the consultant had said I had a bladder prolapse, but I now understand I also had a womb prolapse. To recap: the consultant suggested a hysterectomy and anterior repair as my pelvic floor needed to be put back in place.

After my chat with you, I continued to research everything I could on the internet. I compiled a list of questions for the consultant; as when I’d seen her on my first appointment, she was so forthright about the hysterectomy, and as it was the last thing I was expecting her to say, I think I went into shock and a bit brain-dead. I also put a message out to fb friends enquiring if any had ever had a hysterectomy. Four or five folk replied, a couple of buddies, plus a guy who put me in contact with his Mum who had also had the op. I really appreciated being able to quiz each of them. What surprised me the most was that each and everyone... was relatively upbeat about it. Most had the operation years ago, and all for different reasons. None for a prolapsed womb and prolapsed bladder....but even so, they all said I should go for it .....to have done with it - and to get back on enjoying my life.

The conclusion was to take my questions and put them to the consultant face-to-face. Which I did. I was very lucky as I was able to get an appointment to see her the following week. I was extremely anxious, but she answered all my queries in the same matter-of-fact way. She didn’t push for a hysterectomy, and even said we could leave it and see how I got on with pessaries, but in the back of my mind I knew it was something I was going to have to have done at some point, and the logical conclusion was to just get it over and done with. So I asked her to book me in ASAP. Which she did. And I couldn’t believe it because an appointment for the operation came back almost immediately. It gave me just enough time to organise stocking up with food, preparing meals for my the freezer, ordering a load of dog food for the freezer, getting work bits sorted etc and giving the house a good clean so that hubby wouldn't have to do anything major.

And so far so good.... :) I had the operation four days ago and am back home. I feel tired, but the overriding feeling is that I’m just really glad it’s behind me. It feels like onwards and upwards now :) ....rather than treading water? If there are any updates I’ll let you know and if you have any questions please feel free to ask. Hope all is well with you Sally and also hope the above is of help.

Look after yourself.

Best wishes,

Su

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Hi Su

I'm really pleased to hear that things have gone so well for you. Like you said, the worst is over now and it's just a matter of taking care of yourself and you can face life as a new woman now!

I was about to update my post anyway. After using the Kegel8 for about four months I accepted that it wasn't helping at all. So I went back to just doing the manual exercises and made an appointment to see my GP which of course took two weeks. I'm fortunate that an hysterectomy has never been suggested. I "just" have a bladder prolapse and means I have this bulge that is out most of the time, it isn't painful, just uncomfortable. After discussing it with her I decided to try the pessary ring which I had fitted this morning. At the moment it feels fine, it's just a case of waiting to see if it's the right size and how I get on with it. I will keep you all updated.

Best wishes to you all

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Dear Sally,

Super to hear from you and I’m pleased to that all is well. I’m also delighted to hear that you too are moving forward re: issues down below. I really hope the pessary works for you and look forward to hearing that it has the done the trick.

I think we have both been lucky in respect that neither of us have been in pain as such... but the protusion and just being uncomfortable on a daily basis, does wear you down, so I’m pleased that you too have had something done to help alleviate the problem.

Really good to hear from you Sally, and thank you again for your message. Hopefully we are both sorted now but do keep in touch.

Look after yourself,

Wishing you a super summer,

Best wishes,

Su

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Dear Sally,

Great to hear from you and thanks everso for your message. I must admit, today I have felt much perkier psychologically having read your message and written to you last night.... and then to receive your reply. Hopefully we will both have improved in leaps and bounds by the next time we speak. :)

If you find yourself doing something and it is helping, please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know. Likewise, if I feel any benefits from any activity I will give you a ping immediately.

Look after yourself and keep in touch, and look forward to catching up again soon.

Best wishes,

Su

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I suffered from an anterior and posterior prolapse 2 weeks ago, saw my GP who referred me to urogynae but my appointment is not until end June. Luckily the practice nurse at my surgery is trained to fit pessaries so I am having one fitted tomorrow. have spent the last two weeks lying down as too painful to stand up or walk, just hope the pessary helps. Had a vaginal hysterectomy 12 years ago, my uterus was prolapsed after three children, all on the large side. If pessary doesn't work I don't know how I'll manage until surgery with waiting times of abou 39 weeks in my area.

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Hi I had several pessaries fitted all fell out because like you I had hysterectomy so no cervix to hook it on to. December 1st had Anterior and posterior repair and sacrospinous fixation but when I came out of hospital it still didn’t feel right. Guess what the Anterior one has failed I was really upset. I went on choose and book and chose hospital that had the shortest waiting list. What area do you live in x

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so sorry this has happend

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Oh no, that's awful for you. I'm in Oxfordshire x

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Well no luck with the pessary, my body was pushing it out as she was trying to put it in, it was so painful with the smallest and she gave up😞

Just had a feel and anterior has now dropped further, right at entrance to vagina now.

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Hi Sally

I really feel foryou! And I share much of your situation too. But I am perplexed that you have said you cannot get referrals or certain forms of potential help, via your GP. I also wonder whether you have attempted regular (boring) daily pelvis floor exercises and seen a "bespoke" specialist physio who will assess your muscle strength and advise/check re your exercises?

I had to wait over 4 months to see one folowing referral by GP to specialist consultant (who was brilliant) - and I am hoping against hope to avoid surgery, as you are. It seems debateable (surgery) re outcome and sounds really horrid to have to cope with. And yet you (we) are currently struggling to cope with the horrible situation anyway.

Like you, I have been unexpectedly thrust ito the world of prolapse and I suspect mine is severe too. It is a posterior wall collapse and I am trying to understand what's happening as it is recent. Maybe this is the only "support" group - but certainy such a group is needed!! I don't know where you live but these days NHS is something of a lottery re resources and waits, sadly. But you MUST press for help from your GP (who, I hope is good, warm and supportive? - if not, you should maybe change your GP!! ). I am learning about the codition daily as I experience symptoms . One thing I was given by the physio is the ony website one should use, as there are so many and some are so debeateable. Here it is: BSUG: the British Society of Uno-gynaecologists - and you go to "Patient Information". Do look it up and see if you can get more info and help?

One thing I am clear about is that without keeping on doind daily pelvic floorexercises (but in the RIGHT way as the physio explained to me), things will only get worse. And, as you have said, it is all much more bothersome/uncomfortable etc than people can realise! So its easy to feel v alone with this is'nt it!!? All you have written makes sense to me - but you do need and must be able to get - more help and clear advice and understanding.

For ifo, I had a pessary/ring put in last week and it was abit of a shock too - everything is so very tender iside currently (?maybea gatro infection?) and I;m trying to like it! Its a hard one but I think it must be holding something up even though it still feels heavy dow below and like I have a huge plate iside me! I'm going to have to write down the symptoms and situations from this new place I am in so I can recount it clearly - having only seen GP, consultant (x1) and physio (x1) since this whole damned business became really evident and required a doc appt. last year.

And, like you, I am hoping like mad to avoid surgery! Do tell me hoe things are going for you now and whether have had any more (and better) hep and advice? And very best wishes.

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Sally, I think I may have written my first message to you by mistake, as I realise you are now doing really well (I hope, still!). There are so many contributions on here that I do apologise if my words seemed strange to you. Maybe they were for Sushke or Beatitutde?!

I am perplexed by all the tummypain, backache and bloating I have been having and cannot work out wheter this may be all due to the prolapse or is something else. Hopefully time will tell.

I just want to add that this site is wonderful for helping us feel not alone, so a bit cheered. BUT it is really important, as the physio I saw also pointed out - that we realise every single case of prolapse is different - so peoples' accounts of their experiences will not necessarily be anything likeouts. And its so important none of us are put off trying various options.

Also, we should all be able to get appointments from our GP (if pressing) very soon - by ringing our surgery on the day (early) and asking. (GPs holdavailable some appts. for the same day really important issues) - or we should get a telephone consultation with the GP that day. Many people don't realise that there are these facilities, so naturally, they don't ask. If I really need to see or speak to a doctor, I ring the surgery at 8am (sometimes its engaged and one has to keep trying). Of course I only do this if it is really necessary. Otherwise the wait for 'general' appts can be weeks.

For info, I now realise that my prolapse feels worse near the end of the day and that resting when possible, for a bit - is helpful. That's about gravity I understand! Also, if my bowel is still full, the pressure increases considerable. So its important to get the right balance of avoiding constipation v too much help re that! I'm still learning and hoping and will keep reading this site every so often. We do need to be firm when requesting help though - I am finding my recently put in pessary ring helpful - especially when my bowel is not full! And I am able to keep going on wlaks, thank goodness. I just don't understand re the tummy, back and leg pain - and sometimes nausea....but maybe that is something else and fading! Best wishes to everyone here.

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I have just been diagnosed with the same complaint it's extremely uncomfortable but am starting on the physio next week. I have been doing pelvic floor exercises but feel it's like trying to climb mount Everest. Just don't see how I can pull the prolapse back into place. I too have been told about the kegal machine but don't want to purchase this if it's useless. I found it difficult to remain positive but keep reminding myself it's not life threatening. My doctor wasn't even going to prescribe physio so I'm having to pay for it privately. Sorry to winge on but is frustrating.

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That is really BAD, Mae. Maybe you should change your doctor!! At least you should request referral to a specialist physio (they are different to the other ones - specially for this sort of thing - and there aren't very many of them - but you should still be referred to one and/or to a consultant (which may well mean a wait but is still vital). PLEASE go back and REQUEST this - or change your doctor? You need and deserve this help. It must be available for you. I'm so sorry you've had to pay re the physio and maybe you have already had a consultant's examination/assessment if you have been diagnosed? Pl. explain more? Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Thanks for your comments. Hopefully this physio person is specific to this problem but I am not holding my breath! If things are not satisfactory with the physio I will go back to the doctor and request a referral to a consultant.You know how reluctant these doctors are to refer you. Its all about money and targets isn't it. I will insist though because it has got worse in the last 2 weeks, although I have been dong pelvic floor exercises I got off the internet and from my gym lady physio although she knows lots about it, she is not a specialist. She has recommended the Kegal machine.Will try it if this physio is good. Will let you know how I get on.

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About 2 years ago my GP sent me to a uro/gyno specialist and I got fitted with a flexible silicon cube pessary, that has to be taken in and out, daily for cleaning. I was able to lift better with it. Eventually (within 2 months) it was causing daily bleeding upon removal and I was told to stop wearing it unless I knew I would be lifting. The doctor called the problem POP and pelvic organ prolapse.

That u/g said he would do a hysterectomy and then tack everything (that has fallen) up towards the back. (I'm not sure where? or to what?) I'm in USA. My insurance does not cover hysterectomy. I know a lot of women that had hysterectomy and now have POP worse than mine. Nothing has fallen out, but I did go to a physical therapist for 12 weeks to learn to do pelvic exercises properly and daily. Glad I went because I had no idea I had been doing them wrong! My insurance covered it, thank heavens!

Just wondering have you had any luck with the kegel machine. I might need to get one. Thanks!

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Hi.. My prolapse is Bladder & Vaginal Vault. It has become so bad that it hurts to walk, sit, stand.. The only relief is laying down with my legs on a pillow.. I have severe low back pain & feel like I've been kicked between the legs & lower tummy. I am waiting to have op to tie them to the sacrel on the spine as I had to have a hysterectomy in 2007 due to endemetriosis...

I didn't want an operation but now I need it as I'm off work again & it's getting me so down that I can't stand it everyday...

I would go back to your GP if its bothering you.. Mine is Grade 4 & is like a very large orange coming right out of my lady bits 😔

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Hi

I'm very late to this post as I was looking around for ideas and help. I've used HU Thyroid forum for many years but somehow only just thought of looking into forums for ladies problems.

I'm 63 reasonably active and healthy. Have one son who is 23 so he was born when I was 39, delivered vaginally. Had one small skin split inside which was stitched straightaway and didn't really have any more issues for a long time. I did do some pelvic floor exercises at that time, but probably nowhere near as many as they recommend.

Some years later when I got to my early 50s I did begin to notice something odd in my lady bits. Went to GP and got referred to gynae. I saw a surgeon who examined me and just said yes he could do a Manchester Repair. I asked him what that entailed, he drew a diagram and I didn't like the sound of it. I asked could I have a pessary. He said no, they were for old ladies.

I saw a Dr on the embarrassing bodies TV programme who fixed a similar problem and looked him up. Found he wasn't too far away and booked a private appointment. Explained problem and about the repair I'd been offered. He was appalled and said the Manchester repair was an outdated operation and carried bleeding risks. He could do a mesh tape operation which would hold up my uterus. He was happy for me to think about it but meanwhile did I want to consider a pessary. I had read about these and said yes.

Hopped on the bench, he examined me, said my uterus was quite a long way down (no wonder I felt uncomfortable) but fitted a pessary there and then. I've never heard of these rock hard pessaries people are talking about and horrified to hear about those. Mine was a silicon flexible ring 70mm across (yes that's quite big if you look at a ruler) but when the Dr inserts it, they squeeze it in half, then it springs out at the top and sort of wedges itself in place. It doesn't actually use your cervix as an anchor point as someone mentioned, but your cervix does come down through the centre of the ring. So I walked around in his room to check it was comfortable. Seemed OK.

Later I received a copy of his letter and found he mentioned a cystocele too, which means my bladder is also prolapsing.

So I've continued with a ring pessary since that time, just have to go into my local surgery every 6 months to have it changed for a new one. That can be sometimes a little painful because when they take it out they can't squeeze it down, so it comes down as a full ring, but the wince is momentary. In recent months I did have a problem again, felt a bit uncomfortable. Got into see female GP. She said the pessary had slipped. I asked if that was possibly down to losing weight (I've lost 3 stone over the last 10 months or so) she said it might be. She changed the pessary for a bigger one. Crikey! But problem over.

But the other thing which has developed over the last 18 months or so is that blasted bladder leakage. So I'm now using a pad every day which I hate. So I went to another female GP this week to ask if I could be referred to Uro-Gynae (mix of lady bits and urinary) because of both problems to discuss what options there might be. After discussion she agreed to refer me. So I was pleased about that, but wondering what they might recommend.

I could have had a hysterectomy 7 years ago when the first man offered the Manchester repair, but I read so much information which suggested that having a hysterectomy doesn't rule out further prolapse issues as the vaginal 'vault' can prolapse later. Also I felt my little womb had served me well to bring my son into the world and wanted to hang on to it as long as I could, even if it was just a shrivelled up little prune :-)

So I'm just posting to give my pessary experience which has been fine for many years, certainly not painful, but wondering what the consultant will suggest when I get that appointment. I'm scared by the thought of surgery generally, so wouldn't undertake anything like that without doing a lot of research. Sadly my mother died under general anaesthetic during an operation for bowel cancer, but that was 38 years ago, but the thought of going 'under' does still scare me as a result.

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