Bowel screening and a revelation!

A friend of mine was recently called for NHS bowel screening. Apparently some parts of the country are rolling it out for the 55-60 age group. When the Dr was in the middle of things, he asked her whether she had had a hysterectomy. She said not, and asked him why. He told her that she had a tight "bend" in her colon which they often see in women who have had a hysterectomy because the colon can rearrange itself a bit after surgery. I started to wonder about the reason why my ibs has got so much worse since my hysterectomy 5 years ago, and I have made a colon clinic appointment in two weeks to see whether I can find an answer to this. I am so sick of feeling terrible, and being given yet more laxatives and anti spasmodics by my GP who clearly thinks I'm bonkers. The results of a google search on this made a lot of sense to me - seems there are many people out there who say the same. Anyone else found similar problems??

14 Replies

  • Hi Binks,very interesting,did your friend have IBS. I haven't had an Hysterectomy but I have had my Gall Blader taken away. You must let us know how you get on.

    What did they do in the Bowel screening?

  • Sorry Binks, I've just looked it up on google, and I've had all them procedures.

  • Hi, I had a hysterectomy 15 months ago along with an anterior repair (pelvic floor problems so bladder had to be repositioned). They also discovered that I had a rectocele (no way of knowing how long I've had it) but since my op things have got worse. Having a rectocele with IBS isn't fun. Now I'm worried that my bowel may have moved into where my womb would have been! I don't want more surgery in that area. Do any other women out there have a rectocele and IBS? Feeling quite low at the moment :(

  • I have had IBS since the mid 1990's (I'm 55 now). I had a hysterectomy at 49 for a uterine prolapse and had a rectocele repair at the same time. The first year after the op was fine, but since then my IBS has gone off the scale. I do everything I can to prevent further problems - I am small, I exercise, I eat well, I don't drink too much or smoke. Since the op, I have found it difficult to do a BM and I need laxatives. They all cause me problems and now my IBS is really ruining my life. I have never had tests other than physical and blood tests and I am terrified of having them now. I bit the bullet last week and asked my gp to refer me because anything would be better than this. I do have a gynae check up annually to see whether what's left is still where it should be, and so far so good. I do think there may be a psychological element to all of this after a prolapse of any kind because the thought of "letting go" to have a BM (sorry!), is always at the back of my mind. Having said all that, I am sure there is a reason why we have worsening problems after hysterectomy. Interesting that you have had a rectocele repair too.

  • Thanks for your reply. I haven't had a rectocele repair as my consultant says it's not big enough (& I'm too afraid!) It is a problem though. How were you after having yours done. What was the recovery like? I'm 52 & I've had IBS for about 20 years but wasn't too much of a problem until 2 years ago. My Consultant & Physio seem to think pelvic floor exercises are the answer (I admit my pelvic floor is not what it was after 2 difficult deliveries) do you do them & did it make a difference? Thanks for your help, it's good to have someone to talk to.

  • I admit I didn't do my pelvic floor exercises much after having both my daughters. I had my first in 1986 - no problems afterwards at all. Then my second in 1997 when I was 37. A straightforward delivery but I felt as though I was sitting on a tennis ball for a week afterwards. I think this was a sign that something had stretched!! Then fine until about 48 when I started to feel things were not right. I kept going to my GP who said "it's only tubbies who have prolapses" - I kid you not, and I assured myself I was imagining things. Then one day I went for a run, had a sudden heavy feeling in my pelvis and referred myself to a consultant the next day. He said I had a back prolapse and he wouldn't know whether I needed a hysterectomy until he went in there. As it happened I did, and I started my pelvic floor exercises as soon as I came out of hospital - and haven't stopped doing them since! I have had ibs for 20 odd years, and it has steadily worsened since I had the op. I am thinking there is a definite link here but no medics have ever mentioned it to me.

  • I try to do the exercises every day but sometimes they make me feel worse. My first baby was breech & she got stuck so had emergency c section, my second was normal delivery but I tore inside & out so was (eventually) stitched back together in theatre. Although this was years ago I think this was when the damage was done. I was never checked afterwards I just assumed I was ok. It's only later that it comes back to bite you on the bum (if you will excuse the pun!) My prolapse was only found after I went private, the NHS hospital said there was nothing wrong with me. My Consultant said my bladder prolapse was quite bad. Sorry to go on - good to get it off my chest! Thanks for listening.

  • Funny you should say they make you feel worse. If I overdo the exercises, I have irritable bladder symptoms and I have to stop for a day. It's as though things go into spasm. I don't think the rectocele repair was too bad to be honest - the hysterectomy gave me PTSD and to this day I can't bear to think about it. Having never had a major op before it was a horrible experience!! I am sure there are lots of us out there....

  • Before I had a spinal injury three years ago, I always had ibs-d 24/7. After spinal injury I had neurogenic bowel and have to dis-impact ( sorry) as always constipated. After I had a hysterectomy for proplapse, now I am back to diarrhea or constipation! Very big change and don't know whats going on. The other post said she felt like she was sitting on a ball---I feel that all the time. Said it was from being stretched. Could you tell me more? Thanks!!!


  • I only had the tennis ball sensation for about a week after giving birth 17 years ago. Looking back, that was a sign that the back wall had been traumatised I am sure. I wasn't aware of any problems (other than the ibs I've had for 20 years) until I was around 47 when I had a heavy sensation. That was the start of my visits to the gp who kept telling me I was imagining a problem. After a couple of difficult years, I referred myself to a gynae and was told then that I had a prolapse. As my ibs has worsened since the op, I am sick of going back to my gp - at no point has he suggested I have any further investigations, and because I hate all things medical and am scared to death of what they might find, I don't pursue it. Until now - I have just applied for a new job, and I want to get on with my life. So I am going to see a consultant in two weeks. He is a colorectal man, but I will ask him about the hysterectomy, and as he has been around a long time, I can't believe he won't have heard the same story before. Whenever I tell my gp that I am sure the worsening ibs symptoms are related to the op, it's as though he hasn't heard me. I sometimes feel as though I am going mad!!

  • Major tum surgery as a child frm untreated milk causing TB,have lesions and scar tissue from that and gall bladder out much laterScar tissue made carrying child diff also conceiving and am convinced it led to stricture and diverticula and IBS

  • Having had a myomectomy last year I can tell you with almost certainty that I have adhesions that are causing me major and severe pelvic and abdominal pain. I understand often times we women miscategorize things and believe it to be ibs when it's not, esp if you have major pain in your abdo area, namely underneath belly button area and if pain can be described as a pulling, tearing pain from one area in your abdo now being attached to another.

  • What is a myomectomy? How do you know you have adhesions? I only ask because I haven't found a gp who takes this seriously yet!

  • I had adhesions found when a laproscopy was performed when they thought I had endometriosis. They were pulling my bowel out of line. For 18 months I could eat, drink, do anything with no effects. It was so good to be normal.

    Now, despite my history of adhesions I am struggling to find anyone who will take it seriously despite having very similar symptoms to before. After 6 months of real pain I have been referred to gynaecology to look at endo again so I am going to push for a laproscopy as I think I have adhesions again, whether caused by endo or not I don't know.

    The problem with adhesions is that the common wisdom is that they do not cause pain. If they are attached to somewhere sensitive or are moving things they clearly do. Sadly it appears Drs only follow old research or anything that agrees with their ideas.

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