Vaginal prolapse: Hi, I’ve just joined... - Pelvic Pain Suppo...

Pelvic Pain Support Network

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Vaginal prolapse

Catherine1959
Catherine1959

Hi, I’ve just joined today. I’m 59 years old and I’ve had a prolapsed vagina for a few years, probably the result of giving birth naturally to 3 large baby boys.

I was told by my GP after she examined me that I needed an operation on my vagina as there was a lot of loose skin, it would be cut away and re aligned.

I was then seen by a consultant at my local hospital. She told me I would need a hysterectomy and have my bladder and bowel re aligned.

I was so shocked that I didn’t ask any questions. Now I would like to know if this major operation is really necessary.

I have to stand up to wee otherwise it won’t come out easily, and I drink senna tea every day which acts as a laxative.

My condition rules my life as I need to stay near toilets.

Does anyone else have any experience of this condition, or has any one had a successful vaginal hysterectomy?

I would love to chat to others with a similar condition.

12 Replies
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Hello Catherine 1959,

In 2015 at the age of 57, I also had a prolapsed uterus, at which point my GYN told me it must be removed. I didn't really question his recommendation and I went on to have a partial hysterectomy. One short year later, in 2016, the rest of my reproductive organs prolapsed. I sought the advice of a top Urogynecologist near my area. He didn't speak of bladder and bowel realignment in my case, nor did I have any trouble with urinating, however, he did use a surgical mesh to sling my bladder after removing the rest of my reproductive organs. The 2015 operation (removed only uterus) was done vaginally. The 2016 complete hysterectomy was done through an incision in my abdomen as well as vaginally. Ever since the last operation in 2016, I've never been the same. Unfortunately, I now have extremely painful vaginal nerve damage as a result. Please don't have this surgery unless you've received at least 2 or 3 different opinions from very experienced doctors in this field. I also recommend that you press them to lay out all of your options, rather than immediately resorting to a total hysterectomy. Unfortunately, too many physicians perform hysterectomies as their first option. I'm certainly not a physician, and I can't possibly say whether or not if it's the right move for you. I strongly suggest that you do as much research on hysterectomies as you possibly can. Most physicians, while they may have good intentions, usually do not take the enough time to go over the complications that may arise as a result of removing these vital organs. The pelvic region is very complex. Unfortunately, I put all my faith in what the physician told me was necessary. I didn't prod them to ask what other options may have been available for my situation. It's now been 2 years and unfortunately, I've been unable to find anyone who can put an end to the suffering of the nerve damage the 2016 surgery caused.

Please understand, it's NOT my intention to scare you. I'm merely trying to get you to do plenty of research prior to consenting to have a major operation that may or may not be necessary. If you commit to doing all the research before going to your next doctor's appointment, at least you'll be prepared to ask lots of questions and your doctor may feel more inclined to be upfront with you and explain every option you may have.

Please, just be a well informed patient. I wasn't and it cost me dearly. I do hope that explaining my particular situation doesn't cause you any undue anxiety. I truly just want women who are potentially facing this kind of operation to be more informed than I was. I hope other pelvic pain sufferers in this forum, who've had a hysterectomy, will also respond to your post. If not, it may be to your benefit to go back and read many of their posts.

I'm sorry my reply was so long, and I wish you all the best with the decisions that you'll be making in the near future.

Take care, Traz60

PS. One last thing...If you find that a doctor makes you feel uncomfortable, they rush you, or even if they just seem unsympathetic to your plight, PLEASE, keep searching until you find one who fits your needs the best.

Below is one website you may want explore.

hersfoundation.org

Catherine1959
Catherine1959 in reply to Traz60

Hi Traz60,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. You certainly didn’t scare me, and what you said is very interesting. I’m so sorry about your vaginal nerve pain and really hope that one day it can be sorted out.

The consultant who examined me spend 5 minutes doing an internal examination, then told me I needed a hysterectomy and bowel and bladder realignment, I don’t see how she could make that assessment in a few minutes. I was so shocked when she told me what was needed that I didn’t ask any questions and just wanted to get out of the hospital.

Now I’ve had time to think about the possibility of this surgery I realise I need a second opinion, you also confirmed my thoughts in your reply.

I’m going to see a private consultant so I can get some idea of my options.

I don’t think I have a uterine prolapse as my cervix is quite high up.

I’ve heard bad stories about the use of mesh to hold pelvic organs in place so I’m going to steer clear of this type of repair.

As you suggest I will do plenty of research before I opt for any drastic surgery. Thank you for the link to the website which I will look at.

I’m so grateful for your reply and hope you find a solution to your pain.

If you have any more advice I’d love to hear from you.

Very best wishes,

Catherine1959

Dear Catherine

Have you researched the Neuman procedure it is mainly for mild to moderate prolapses.

This is new procedure, mainly taking place in Tel Aviv hospitals and Chicago USA areas.

Basically gently stapling your prolapsed organs with more natural material not plastic tape TVT.

Hi Cowberry, I’ve not heard of this procedure, I’ll look it up. I doubt they use if here as I live in an isolated part of West Wales. My GP pointed out to me that a hysterectomy has an advantage in that it means you can’t get uterine cancer and my grandmother died of this condition. Also my prolapse is quite bad now. Thank you for the suggestion.

The trouble with hysterectomies is they often cause vaginal vault collapse shortly later, which is hard thing to correct if someone already has problems in that area.

Once uterus is removed everything tends to collapse or descend and often inwards.

Just my opinion but I think a hysterectomy could be a bad thing unless you have a major reconstruction at the same time of organs and tissue. Doctors may need to go back to the old methods of using sutures and natural materials/ your own skin not plastic TVT tape, but of course this is expensive and time consuming for them and possibly does not last so long as not as s trong as plastic. so more operations in a womans lifetime possibly, but better than permanent nerve damage from TVT.

Dr Jonathan Broome still uses TVT and so does Dr Simon Jackson whoever they declare as they are leaders in this field they have less problems than other inexperienced doctors. Hope this helps, I do understand your plight x

Have you tried women's health physio?

Hi Catherine, I am new to this group also and haven't shared my story but I've been reading the post and came across yours. In Oct 2010 I had a vaginal total hysterectomy and a bladder lift with a TVT mesh and immediately after discharge started having problems I was 49 I'm in constant pain I have permanent nerve damage. I was told it was due to the mesh which I had removed in 2015. But it could had possibly been due to both the mesh and the hysterectomy. I've done everything pelvic floor therapy, tried every vaginal suppository, bladder instills, Injections, medications, pudendal nerve blocks, pudendal nerve ablasions, I have a medtronic nerve stimulator implant that only was effective for 3 weeks which we cannot figure out why it failed. And right now I'm waiting on an approval on a pain pump trial. I'm in constant pain there is no pain medication that gives me relief. The only time I have any relief is when I'm asleep and that's about 2 to 3 hour a night with a lot of sleeping pills. I have no quality of life and I'm so miserable and I don't want you to end up in the shape I'm in. Please seek out different doctors. I also know that they can use your own tissue now instead of using mesh. Do not let them put mesh in your body. I pray everything works out for you.

Liz

Hi Liz, thank you so much for your reply. I’m just feeling so sorry for you with this unbelievable pain you have to put up with. I’ve heard terrible stories about this mesh, I think they may have stopped using it now. I’ll definitely steer clear of it.

At the moment I have a lot of discomfort with my insides but it’s not painful.

I hope your pain can be resolved, let me know how you get on and thank you for your advice.

Catherine

cowberry
cowberry in reply to Liz_2018

Thank you, I have heard many similar stories

Have you investigated using a pessary to hold things up, if it works then better than going down the surgery route.

Hi bantam, yes I’ve tried them 3 years ago, I had the ring and then the square one, both fell out straight away, I kept pushing them back in but they popped out easily. Also I couldn’t see how you could have sex with them and one of my problems is that my husband needs frequent sex. Thanks for your suggestion.

Some of the flexible pessaries that have thicker rims are more efficient at holding up prolapsed organs or tissue, I think you sometimes have to be patient to get the right match, but sometimes they aren't for everyone and can cause unpleasant discharge as well.

A lot of people who had surgery wished that they had kept to the ring pessaries, because there are less complications.

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