So, I'm looking for some support, on women going through this, have gone through it, surgery stories... anything. It seems most stuff had been posted quite a while ago, and not much current on the matter. I'm 28 years old, have had 3 babies naturally, and with this last pregnancy, I had to face the fact things were really beginning to change in the V area. After birth this last time *almost 5 months ago now* the problem got worse, and I've been freaking out everyday wondering what the HECK is going on with me, feeling like a total freak, gross, and just horrified at what was happening. I finally got to the Dr and discussed what was happening, and she said "rectocele". Told me the surgery option, encouraged kegels, and said that is pretty much it. I understand it will probably get worse for me as I age, and other problems can occur... so I'm just reeling right now, not knowing for sure what to do. Do I wait for EVERYTHING to start falling out, or what?! I'm confused, and feel alone here. I don't know anyone who has faced this problem, and frankly, I'm quite humiliated to start asking all my lady friends "Hey, do you have a bulging thing in your Va-jay-jay when you try to poo? and do you have to press on your perenial area to be able to have a bowel movement?" and so on.... It's hard to face too, being only 28 I didn't expect to face this. Any support is good. I want to know I'm not a freak, I'm not alone, my sex life isn't doomed, and I will be ok!
You're not alone at all - it's a very common problem for women who have been through childbirth.
I had this problem along with significant prolapse. At 44 I just had a hysterectomy and retrocele repair - see my post in the hysterectomy board.
My problems occured at the age of 20 with the birth of my first child. I was induced 2 weeks early when the doctor felt my baby was getting too big. After my daughter was born, the placenta wouldn't detatch so the doctor literally played tug of war with the umbilical cord for 20-30 minutes. I could feel the ligaments inside me ripping, and it was a far worse pain than labor.
When my periods returned months later, I remember trying to use a tampon and my flow went right by the tampon and stained my clothes while the tampon hardly soaked up anything. I was left with nasty prolapse, and at the age of 20 I was horrified and very ashamed.
The next time I saw my obgyn I asked him about this issue and he said that some women have weak pelvic muscles and that can happen as a result, and he encouraged me to do kegels. For many years I blamed myself for not being more fit and I internalized everything about it, not wanting to talk to anyone and I dreaded my gyno check ups and often skipped them for years in between.
As I've aged I've learned that my problems weren't my fault, that it's a very common condition, and even if I had been more fit this still would have happened to me. My condition has deteriorated some since I was 20, but the real damage was done at childbirth.
Women who don't have this problem often aren't even aware the problem can exist, and they tend to have a shocked response instead of supportive if you do bring it up. It's really unfortunate because women who have these "dirty little secret" issues could really use the support. I really think the best way to get that support is to get connected with women who have these issues on boards like this.
Having issues with rectrocele, prolapse, polyps, STD's, urinary incontinence, etc is no fun, but many if not most women have at least one of these issues. None of us should blame ourselves or ever feel like we're less of a person because we are experiencing such common problems.
There is hope and effective medical treatments for most of these issues, and I'd encourage you to look into the options to get you feeling more normal. Surgery for retrocele and prolapse really isn't a bad recovery at all.
I hope your day brightens up knowing there are many more of us out there who share your same feelings about this.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to twohands For This Useful Post: 1983lwh (02-23-2012), abayomi10 (03-06-2012), debmul (05-23-2012)
Thanks, twohands. I definetly dont think it's my fault, or that I could have prevented it. I believe it's just one of those nature things that comes with being a woman. LOL I knew of possible complications and "results" of having babies, just didn't know of THESE things. Stuff people don't talk about. I wouldn't change a thing though. IF I had known there was a great possibility of this happening because of having 3 babies naturally, I still would have. It's just something that unfortunately happened to me, and I hope to get passed it and find supportive people. I don't want to feel ashamed about it... but it IS embarassing to talk about. I just told my husband of the matter lastnight. He said he truly hadn't noticed any difference in anything (sexually) which is good. For now, anyway.
My "bulge" is only evident when I'm trying to use the bathroom. Some days its worse than others if I'm having hard stools, and I'm going to increase fiber to try and help with that. I've had hemmeroids for months now, they bleed, and hurt like crazy to use the restroom. I just want honesty in the matter. I know each experience may be a little different, and severity and what-not, but... just want to know if people hold off a while before the corrective surgery, or if it's better to wait? I know at the moment I don't see myself being willing to do it, because my baby is 5 months old, still breastfed, and I won't stop anytime soon, and also won't undergo an operation that will refrain me from taking care of my little ones. So, just curious as to what others have done... I want to know your stories ladies. :O) Thanks in advance.
The best thing I've found for both the retrocele and the hemmoroids is to take a fiber supplement, drink tons of fluids, and eat lots of fruits and veggies. The fiber supplement I prefer is the regular Metamucil, but there are others out there also. There are also stool softeners like Colace and Miralax, but I've found those tend to make me have 4-5 stools per day which is annoying, even if it does soften them. As long as I take Metamucil every day I'm fine, but even if I skip one day I can find myself in trouble. Metamucil tends to make my stool more "slippery" and softer, and doesn't leave me feeling like I only partially voided like some others can.
The Following User Says Thank You to twohands For This Useful Post: 1983lwh (02-23-2012)
Hi, I had my last child when I was 32. I too noticed something amiss but it was not so bad that I went to the Dr.. I had a slight bulge in my intestines (so I thought) that made #2 difficult without help. But I lived with it for 30 years, even going through a hysterectomy in 1998. I had a rectocele repair done a year & a half ago. I have had the easiest BM’s since I don’t know when but… Other problems were caused. The Dr. sewed me up so tight that sex is painful and mostly unwanted. Also the important nerve for sexual relations are dead. My Dr. says it is likely the scar tissue causing this. I’m wondering if the mesh support to hold the vagina & the bowels apart aren’t the major problem.
Hope you have good luck.
Hi, I had my last child when I was 32. I too noticed something amiss but it was not so bad that I went to the Dr.. I had a slight bulge in my intestines (so I thought) that made #2 difficult without help. But I lived with it for 30 years, even going through a hysterectomy in 1998. I had a rectocele repair done a year & a half ago. I have had the easiest BMís since I donít know when butÖ Other problems were caused. The Dr. sewed me up so tight that sex is painful and mostly unwanted. Also the important nerves for sexual relations are dead. My Dr. says it is likely the scar tissue causing this. Iím wondering if the mesh support to hold the vagina & the bowels apart arenít the major problem.
Hope you have good luck.
OMG! You have no idea how excited I am to read these posts (well...you probably do b/c in you're in the same boat.) I am 35 and have rectocele and cystocele as well. I had two natural vaginal births. The first with forceps and a "stem to stearn" episiotomy. I had the bulging after the first baby and my ob did some minor repair work after my second baby. Now, however, since my "baby" is 6.5, he says we need to take care of this. He suggested I wait until there was no chance of me picking up any toddlers. I have felt so awful that I am only 35 and when I exercise I tinkle on myself. As of lately, I cannot fully evacuate my bowels...just a persistent "breakoff." I have decided to go ahead and plan for the procedure. I am sick of dealing with these issues and my husband has had a vasectomy so there's essentially no risk of pregnancy. Thank you for sharing so I don't feel so alone in this.
The Following User Says Thank You to catgreg01 For This Useful Post: debmul (04-28-2012)
I'm 53 and have many other health problems going on right now, and when I was told by my gyno that I have a rectocele, I had to ask what it was. My head was reeling. What next??? He told me to mention it to my GI specialist, that I had an appt. with the next day. A most disgusting test (MRI) was done and I was told that I would be referred to a surgeon and to a physical therapist. I'd only heard of prolapsed bladder or uterus, never the bowel. How urgent is it that I have surgery? How long does it take to recover? Painful? I have all sorts of questions and am waiting for an appointment with the surgeon and PT, which may take months. I was wondering why in the world all these symptoms were happening! Takes a little bit of a load off my mind to know it's not some of the other issues that I have going on. Sorry that others have the same problem, but it's nice to know that I'm not alone!
Well, I posted in February. I had an appt. with my gyno April 2nd. He scheduled surgery for 3 days later! I am now 3 weeks post op and feeling pretty good. He did the posterior and anterior repair (saw that my bladder was badly prolapsed when he was in there), urethral sling and uterine ablation. I was in the hospital overnight. I came home with a foley catheter for a couple of days....no big deal. The recovery has been really easy considering I've had 3 back surgeries before this. My only complaint is the episiotomy is worse than when I had my kids....deeper tissue involved maybe? Other than that, the worst part of it all is keeping myself from doing too much. The first BM I had post op was exactly the way it should be. I knew immediately that the surgery worked as far as that part was concerned. I hope this helps some. I know my doc was urgent b/c some people lose fecal control and I was headed there. My OBGYN has been my doc for 15 years and he does the A&P repair quite often. It really wasn't that bad.
The Following User Says Thank You to catgreg01 For This Useful Post: debmul (05-23-2012)
I'm glad to hear that you're doing well after surgery! Did they do the surgery vaginally? My doctor has told me that he has a good group of rectal surgeons that he's referring me to. I thought the surgery was done vaginally??? Why not a GYN referral at his hospital? The visit with him was so fast, and I had so many other issues to discuss that it was rushed through. The test results and referral info was done through email. How did they test you for the rectocele? I had the most humiliating MRI using oatmeal! TMI, I'm sure...
Glad you're doing well!
I had a bulge outside of my vagina any time I strained. When I lied on the exam table, he made me cough hard and he could see it protrude. That, in addition to my bowel issues, he was able to determine that is what was going on. He knew I wanted a bladder sling too so he said let's do it all at once. I've read that most often when there is one organ prolapsed, there is another. In my case, it was the bladder. Mine was done vaginally. It's much less invasive. We spent 2.5 hours at my gyn's office talking, setting up the appt, him drawing diagrams for me and my husband on what was going on and what he would do to fix it. I love my gyn so much that we now live 120 miles from him and I still use him and drove that far to have my surgery....which meant driving that far home the day after (but was heavily medicated and don't even remember the ride). Find someone that you trust, feel comfortable with and will listen and answer. I love gynos b/c they are typically that way. Feel free to ask me anything....even the TMI questions. : ) None of it's TMI when you're in it or have experienced it.
The following user gives a hug of support to catgreg01: debmul (05-23-2012)
Thank you so much! My gyno is fairly new to me and we haven't got the "rapport' that my previous one did. He retired, then passed away, so he's not around to even talk to. The GI that I'm seeing is 3.5 hours away at a teaching hospital, so the surgery would be there. So far, I've been very pleased at the care I've gotten there, but the appts. are so far apart and are pretty fast. He's very thorough with answering specific questions, but I haven't even known what to ask. I haven't seen him face to face since I had the tests run. He said in the email that there is a definite rectocele and that I have an issue with my pelvis. (I fell a while back and may have actually broken something, but didn't go to the doctor at the time - I've had so much going on that I just couldn't take the time to see about another ailment.) I've had chronic diarrhea for several years and electrolyte deficiencies that they're working on finding the reason for. In the meantime, I've been taking massive doses of magnesium in particular to maintain good levels. The GI tests have shown that I have Mast Cell Disease, which I found out last visit. I've seen the NP in that department. I have no idea of what's going on at this point! I just want to feel better! And this is just one thing that's an embarrassment and aggravation....Thanks for your info and offer to answer questions! I'm sure I'll have more before it's over!
I'm glad you like your dr. That makes such a huge difference in a situation so unpleasant. I wish you the very best. The internet is wonderful if for nothing other than knowing someone else has been where you are and come through it. : )
Hello there, I am 58 yrs old and had 5 children. One by Forcep delivery when I was only 16! So it has made me have alot of problems later in life, After menopause at 51, I first had a hysterectomy and 2 months later my bladder fell down(cystocele) my gyno repaired that and then my rectum fell (rectocele) and after a year or so of that I am waiting to have a vaginal vault prolapse repaired. I have a pessary in that has helped it all stay in place. This time I will have a urologist do the repair.The doc took my uterus and cervix in the hysterectomy so there was no floor or mesh to hold the vaginal vault, bladder, and rectum up in place. IF you are having a hysterectomy please discuss with doctor what all is coming out and how it will be supported in the future!
The Following User Says Thank You to brendaelk For This Useful Post: Jane Anne (05-15-2012)
I had a 'total' hysterectomy when I was 31 (24 years ago). I only had one child, and that was 30 years ago, so the "childbirth" explanation was sort of far-fetched, especially to my husband. I did have a heck of an episiotomy and it took a while to get over that after the baby was born. I'm not in good physical shape and I've read that being overweight adds to the problem. I've also had chronic diarrhea for the past several years - really bad. One doctor told me that the diarrhea could have possibly contributed to the problem.
Anyway, now I feel like my bottom end is falling out! I have no idea of which doctor to see to answer questions, since I've been seen and diagnosed by my GYN, who briefly answered my "what is THAT?" question on his way out the door...The GI that I saw that didn't do an exam, but did have an MRI done that showed a rectocele. I also have a local GI that is new to me. I've only had one visit and wouldn't feel very comfortable, but would be better than nothing. Things seem to be getting progressively worse and I don't know who to see....my regular (fairly new) GYN, the GI that has the MRI results or the local GI that I really don't know. AAArrrggghhhhh...And at what point is it "bad enough" that something needs to be done?? It's very embarrassing, even to discuss with my husband. And after all of the other "down there" issues that I've had over the past several years, I'm to the "what next???" point! Also have heard horror stories about the surgery!
Thanks for the support and the info...it's a lot more than I've gotten from anywhere else!!
I think with a rectocele you should see a urogynecolgist. That is a doc who is the best at pelvic floor repair. Childbirth is not the only reason that rectoceles or cystoceles occur. Could be a number of things. IT sounds like you might have some irritable bowel going on with the diarrhea. I have the IBS with constipation so I am sure both conditions are not helpful with a pelvic floor problem. The surgery is not so bad now, with laproscopic surgery or even repairing vaginally. Do not let that scare you. That is a few days uncomfortable. Have you done a lot of lifting on a job? That can cause the muscles to stretch out in the pelvic floor also. I would not dwell to long on what caused it and focus on getting repair. I am going to real soon , just waiting on my disability to eligible for medicare. I can not find a doctor who wants to treat with medicaid and a spend down. You need some one like a gynecolgist who knows about the pelvic floor. A pessary might help until surgery. They will attach my rectum and vaginal vault to something that will hold it up, maybe use mesh as well. I do not know which way they will go but I know it can be fixed. Good luck to you and keep me posted this is a great forum to learn from too!
Thanks for your reply! I do have IBS, but have got other issues going on as well. Had a severe electrolyte imbalance and am on a huge amount of meds for that. Still can't find the cause of that problem. The diarrhea was so severe that I was pretty much homebound for a couple of years - more than just IBS going on, but can't find out what or why. All sorts of medical problems, and now this rectocele. It was a total surprise. I've done some heavy lifting through the years at various times - moving, working, working in the yard. The latest was working in the yard. I think I did something then that may have aggravated the problem. It's embarrassing and very hard to even talk about.
Our area doesn't have a urogynocologist that I'm aware of. The surgical group that the doctor is referring me to is a rectal/colon surgical group. I haven't even gotten an appt. with them yet.
Thanks for the support and I hope that you get your problems taken care of soon as well! Best of luck!!
A rectal/colon doctor is exactly what you need. Sounds like you are moving in the right direction. When you get it repaired I am sure you will feel much better! Let me know about it. Good luck to you also!
The Following User Says Thank You to brendaelk For This Useful Post: debmul (05-23-2012)
hi i had repair for my vaginal prolapse 6 months ago. i had a vaginal sling which supports every thing. i had an over night stay in hospital. two tiny insiscions were made on the inside of my upper thighs. the sling goes from one thigh up and under the prolapse and anchors on inside of other thigh. initially tops of my legs were extremely sore not from wounds but from being in stirrups during op. this settle back to normal next day. i cfan honestly say it was a great op. cured all problems assosicated with prolapse ie leakage. i was able to pass urine next day with no pain. i had no tummy pains or any other discomfort. normal relations with my husband commenced six weeks later i was a little nervous kind of expecting some pain etc but was completely normal. i would recommend havig op sooner rather than later. good luc leo lee