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Fear of vaginal prolapse Fear of vaginal prolapse

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Unread 06-22-2003, 08:06 AM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

Hi. I had what turned out to be a total hysterectomy in May 2001 when I was 44 years old. It's a long story but, suffice to say, I was stunned and horrified to learn the morning after my surgery that the surgeon had removed my cervix.

I wonder if anybody out there has had an experience with vaginal prolapse. Before my surgery, I dated and had a very pleasurable sex life. Post-surgery, I have been terrified to even go on a date, much less consider an intimate relationship, because I don't know what's left of me. I feel so damaged, and the prospect of a prolapse is beyond what I can bear. In fact, I'm weeping as I write this.

I'm not looking for a pep talk here. What I need is information from someone who has survived what I presume is the horrifying experience of a vaginal prolapse with a male sexual partner that she's trying to build a relationship with.
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Unread 06-22-2003, 10:23 AM
Fear of vaginal prolapse


I found this thread with information on prolapse for you -https://www.hystersisters.com/vb2/sho...light=prolapse

It has lots of sites you can research, etc. You don't mention if you are having any types of symptoms or are just concerned that this is a possibility down the road etc.

From my experience(I had my cervix removed), I believe it was almost 6-8 mos before I noticed that my sexual experience with orgasms etc was getting more normal. I did have some scarring at the top of the vagina which was sensitive and I think caused me to be a little fearful too. I also experienced a lot of dryness to begin with which made the thought of being sexually intimate a turnoff. Looking back, I was very fearful that I might have lost my sexuality and cried many times after my hyst because it just wasn't the same for a while. After time, discussing issues with my DR and learning about my body to accommodate the way I responded after surgery though, I have found sex to be as pleasurable as pre-hyst.

My only reason for telling you my experience is to share that sometimes it isn't immediate but from what I have read from some of the ladies here and experienced-sex can still be very fulfilling even without your cervix. No pep just hope, okay,?

Unread 06-22-2003, 10:42 AM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

dear Pamela,

sorry to hear about your fears, but I'm a little confused as to whether you've actually been diagnosed with a prolapse or you're afraid you might develop one as a result of having your cervix removed?

My doc didn't discuss with me keeping my cervix beforehand and it was removed (he likely didn't have a choice because of where my fibroids were). Anyway, I later returned to see him because I was afraid of prolapse, and had gotten the impression from my reading after surgery that this was almost a common development, but my doctor reassured me that it's quite unusual and he also explained to me in detail what he had done to ensure good pelvic support. If you're afraid you might have prolapse, perhaps you could find a doc you trust to examine you carefully and set your mind at ease?

I'm a year post-op and have had no troubles at all; my stress incontinence has improved greatly and I'm much fitter and routinely do aerobic exercising without any trouble. (I should add that I had some prolapse before surgery.) I'm very careful now to do Kegel exercises.

I'm not trying to downplay your concerns, but just to say that prolapse is not a normal consequence of hysterectomy.

best wishes.
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Unread 06-22-2003, 12:55 PM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

Hi Pamela and welcome to Hyster Sisters

I'm so sorry that your fears of a possible vaginal prolapse have had such an effect on your quality of life

I had a TVH at the age of 44 (in December 2000) in order to deal with a very large fibroid that was causing all kinds of problems and to fix a rectocele (one of the problems caused by the fibroid). A rectocele is when the pelvic floor is weakened and the rectum prolapses into the vagina. Since I had a TVH, my cervix was removed.

While I agree that the risks of a weakened pelvic floor tend to increase when the cervix is removed, my experience has led to believe that it is still possible to have a very satisfying sex life after a Total Hysterectomy.

Please, do mention your fears to your doctor and have him/her evaluate the risks with you.

Sending lots of s your way and hoping that your life brightens up real soon.
Unread 06-22-2003, 02:46 PM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

Hi all, and thanks for responding to my posting.

I suppose it would help you to know that my understanding was that my cervix would be left intact. It was elective surgery and I made a conscious decision to keep my cervix. That my doctor took my cervix without my consent is a huge issue for me. I'm trying desperately to figure out how to resolve that issue.

But what I'm asking all of you is what the reality is of vaginal prolapse - not the likelihood, but the reality. I haven't had any indications of prolapse. But the truth is that I haven't haven't had sex since this happened to me. I'm afraid to. I can't imagine exploring a physical relationship with the shadow of a vaginal prolapse hanging over me. It would be so humiliating that the prospect is just unimaginable.

I specifically chose not have my cervix removed because I wanted to hold on to as much of myself as possible (I'm at high risk for breast cancer - 2 surgical biopsies, atypical hyperplasia and tamoxifen - the tamoxifen was the impetus for the hysterectomy), yet the doctor in his "wisdom" decided to remove my cervix.

That's my story. Any more thoughts?
Unread 06-22-2003, 03:52 PM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

Hi Pamela

I dont know if this will help but I understand were your coming from. I had a good chat with my DR and consultant about prolapse and have gathered alot of infor from this website and others that have been recommended.

In reality all ladies are at risk from prolapse, whether they have had a hyst or not. There are different types of prolapse that can occur in different areas of the vagina:-

cystocele is caused by a defect in the anterior vaginal wall which means part of the bladder protudes into the vagina

rectocele is caused by a defect in the back of the vagina, which means that the rectum protrudes into the vagina.

Enterocele is caused by a defect high in the back of the vagina which means the small intestine protrudes into the vagina.

Vaginal vault prolapse is caused by tears in the tissue, which means the vagina is attached to the pelvic sidewall

uterine prolaspe is were the uterus can fall down by itself or prolaps in different parts of the vagina

I have had a small prolapse since the birth of my last son 10 years ago, I didnot have any repairs done during my hyst apart from having a TVT fitted for stress incont - my prolapse is a rectocele and may need fixing in years to come - I have been advised by my consultant and DR to adhere to the following, which I believe to be standard advice to all us ladies:-

prolapse can occur and can be made worse by -

being greatly over weight
constant straining (from being constipated)
cronic coughing (often caused by heavy smoking)
heavy lifting

My work involves moving and handling, (they are fully aware of my anxiety and have a letter from my consultant) I suffer from stress induced asthma, (therefore try very hard to avoid stressful situations) at present I am aprox 1 1/2 stone over my normal weight and trying very hard to loose some, although my DR reassures me that I'm about right for my height, I have trouble with my bm's (often take stool softners, lax, drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fruit and veg to avoid constipation) I hav'nt suffered from a chest infection for the past 2 years (I am prone to bronchitis) (I put that down to all the vit + mins + vit C that I take)

As long as I am sensible I know I can do no more than what I am already doing

I would suggest that you have a good chat to your DR to put your mind at rest, enabling you to get on with your life to the full

Hope the above has helped

Take care


Unread 06-22-2003, 03:59 PM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

Hi Pamela, its me again I forgot to add that I made the decision to have my cervix removed and went for a TVH + BSO, I can honestly say that I feel wonderful and my sex life has never been better

My DH agrees

Unread 06-23-2003, 09:36 AM
Fear of vaginal prolapse

I am 3.5 yrs Post & was dx'd several weeks ago w/ a Vaginal & Bladder Prolapse I've been experiencing symptoms of this complication for awhile & have elected to wait before making any decisions as far as surgical treatments. This is a personal decision for me b/c of previous surgical outcomes & health issues

Here is some info I found that helped me w/ this:

Symptoms of vaginal vault prolapse include:
  • Pelvic heaviness.
    A mass bulging into the vaginal canal or out of the vagina. The bulge may sometimes be so large that standing and walking are difficult.
    Urinary incontinence.
    Vaginal bleeding.

During surgery, the top of the vagina is attached to the lower abdominal wall, the lumbar spine, or the ligaments of the pelvis. Unless there is another health problem that would require an abdominal incision, vaginal vault prolapse is usually repaired through the vagina.

How Well It Works:

Surgical repair of vaginal vault prolapse is successful in 67% to 95% of cases. Newer surgical methods have higher success rates than traditional techniques.


Complications of surgery for vaginal vault prolapse are uncommon but include:

Mild buttock pain for 1 to 2 months following surgery.
Urinary incontinence.
Urinary retention.
Fistula formation.

What to Think About:<--this was a biggie for me & coming to my current desicion...

Surgical repair may relieve some, but not all, of the problems caused by a vaginal vault prolapse.

If pelvic pain, low back pain, or pain with intercourse (dyspareunia) was present before surgery, the pain may persist after surgery.

Symptoms of urinary retention may return following surgery.

The success rate is lower if you have had previous pelvic surgery or radiation therapy to the pelvis. You can control many of the activities that caused your vaginal vault prolapse or made it worse.

After surgery:

Avoid smoking.
Maintain a healthy weight for your height.
Avoid constipation.
Avoid activities that put strain on the lower pelvic muscles, such as heavy lifting or long periods of standing.

A cystocele occurs when the bladder sags or bulges into the vagina.
A cystocele may develop if a woman's lower abdominal muscles become damaged by pregnancy, labor, childbirth, or a previous pelvic surgery, or weakened by aging. Rarely, a cystocele can be present at birth (congenital).
A cystocele may cause leaking of urine (incontinence), especially when you cough, laugh, or jump, or you may have difficulty emptying your bladder, which may cause bladder infections (cystitis).
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, called Kegel exercises, may help relieve some symptoms of a cystocele. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
Treating women with urinary incontinence and prolapse:



Good Luck ((Pam))..pls keep us posted...(((hugs)))
Unread 06-23-2003, 11:37 AM
Fear of vaginal prolapse


Going from the information/concerns you have given us, IMHO: I would seek out add'l medical advice from a DR you trust to help you thoroughly understand your particular case and the likelihood, if any add'l risk, of a prolapse. It seems that maybe that could possibily ease some of your fears and answer a lot of questions and concerns you have about beginning to be intimate again.

We could all share our experiences but none of us are you and have your particular scenario. When it comes to your medical concerns maybe even a second opinion would be even more advantageous to put your mind at ease too.

Just a thought on getting you some accurate information about you specifically. Please keep us posted.

Lots of s,
Unread 06-24-2003, 04:32 PM
Fear of vaginal prolapse


I am confused, too. If you do not have any of the forementioned symptoms of vaginal prolapse, then you do not have one! Take it from someone who knows! I began showing symptoms of a vaginal prolapse shortly after my first surgery for prolapses - TVH, rectocele + cystocele repair, and Burch. Yes, sex was uncomfortable, but more importantly WALKING WAS UNCOMFORTABLE !!! It was like any other prolapse - or hernia for that matter - where you just can't wait to lay down so your insides go back into place. Nine months after my first surgery, I had a second surgery to sew the vagina to the tailbone via mesh. I haven't felt this good in years! Sex is great, but once again, more importantly, I CAN WALK (even briskly!) and get through the entire day VERTICALLY !!!

What symptoms are you having that indicate a vaginal prolapse? Is the real issue the thought that your vagina will be different to your partner now without your cervix? Or do you fear that sexual relations will give you a vaginal prolapse? If you can walk, exercise, and carry on a normal daily routine ... chances are that you do NOT have a vaginal prolapse ... so get on with your life!

Pamela, please feel free to ask me anything. I've had a vaginal prolapse, had it repaired, and am feeling terrific now!!!

Wishing you good health, Kajsa

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