Not knowing what to do now - surgery or not!


Hi there, I have posted on here before a few years back when I first had prolapse. Such a wonderful forum as its not easy to talk about prolapse to people, but on here we have experienced similar things and will listen, so thank you in advance for listening. Basically I have integrated whole woman posture and whole woman exercises into my life and have also been on a Well Woman (womb yoga) Therapy course with Uma Dinsmore Tuli who is a proponent of Christine Kents work. I am a Yoga practitioner and a Yoga teacher and I agree with Christine that many of the yoga postures taught are not good for women and I do not practice these nor teach them. I have been diagnosed with cystocele, uterine and rectocele prolapse and have been managing this for the past 5 years as I dont feel surgery is the best option. However a new problem has arisen over the past 6 months my prolapse has begun to affect my sex life in that when I have sex with my husband with me on top (for me this is the only way I can reach orgasm for some reason) just as I orgasm my prolapse pushes out my husbands penis. I think this may be because of the uterine contracting. We continue our love making so I achieve a few little orgasms but I end up feeling sexually frustrated as I cant fully climax because of this. My husband also says that he can feel the prolapse and it sometimes hurts so it is affecting both of us. Other areas of my life I can manage the prolapse and if I have a busy weekend with a lot of yoga teaching and walking I use a pessary to help. However I find when I take out the pessary my muscles feel weaker and it takes a week or so for me to build up some stability again. I have a gynaecology appointment on Thursday. At my last appointment I was given lots of information on surgery to take away to read to try to decide what I want to do ready for this appointment. I cant make my mind up what to do. Myself and my husband have always had a very good sex life and I am very lucky with this but my prolapse is affecting our sex life and im wondering if surgery may help. I wish there was something I could use to stop the prolapse from pushing right down during love making, the pessary does not work it just gets in the way and I dont know of anything else. Would really appreciate any advice.

Hi liminalpool - Since you are consulting with a surgeon, you are on a track towards surgery unless you yourself decide to get off that track. It is as simple as that. With regard to lovemaking, I can only suggest that you continue to experiment with different positions and different activities that will eventually bring you to a place where you both can achieve satisfaction. But I can guarantee you that surgery will not improve your sex is more likely to do the opposite, in addition to the other risks and downsides. I hope you'll schedule a consult directly with Christine if you need more convincing. Best of luck to you. - Surviving

Hi Surviving, thank you for your reply. What you say about surgery not helping in any way is how I feel in my guts plus all the research I have done around surgery doesn't look very positive. I think I just needed someone to confirm what I feel. I have been using Christine's book and dvds over the years and this is why I have managed my prolapse for so long and yoga has helped tremendously plus Fire breaths and other techniques. Sometimes the prolapse is good at other times bad but I think thats the nature of prolapse. Your words have helped me to make a decision, im going to get off the surgery track and continue as I am. As you say can experiment more with lovemaking, too much of a risk to have surgery which could make lovemaking painful. Also I am not incontinent and I have spoken to women who have become incontinent after having surgery for prolapse. Too many risks will stay as I am and continue to manage prolapse myself. Thank you again for your help. I am so glad this forum is here. Liminalpool

The worst thing about surgery is that there is no going back. It may not fail right away, but it is almost certain to do so eventually, and then you'll be worse off than before. Surgery permanently alters the dynamics of pelvic organ support, which are still working in your case. We all have fluctuations and the job of supporting the organs never actually ends, it is ongoing. The organs in their natural state are very mobile which is why we can affect their positions. You lose this ability with surgery.

I'm also thinking about your comments re: the pessary. It is not the muscles that are holding your organs in place when you are in WW posture. It is your posture, your breathing, and gravity, all working together to try and keep the organs held forward by pinning them over the pubic bones. Wearing a pessary may give you some relief from symptoms and/or relief from worry, but it prevents you from monitoring your symptoms as you go throughout your day, which is the only real way to learn what works and what doesn't. So, keep going and keep the faith! - Surviving

Yes iv thought about not being able to go back after surgery quite a lot Surviving and I know the chance of prolapse happening again is high. Another problem I have that was making me think of surgery is that the prolapse sometimes bulges out of the vagina, its so low that I feel it will never completely go back which I dont think it will, however when I do fire breath it goes back up again. Wish I could get it stay up more often though! As you say good posture also helps. I think its the bladder that bulges slightly out of the vagina because when I have a partial or full bladder it all stays up. Its interesting to know that we loose the ability to affect the organs positions with surgery I didn't know that. Another reason to steer clear of surgery.

Also really interesting information about using a pessary something else I didn't know. Thats probably why I much prefer to try to not to use it as I feel more in control. Thank you so much for this information and your help. Liminalpool

hi liminalpool - i'm curious what kind of surgery they're talking about with you?
If it's mesh - i mean apart from all the horrible news about mesh that's out there - despite all that, I would just high level reason that putting more "stuff" into the vagina isn't going to help if your main prolapse concern is sexual. In fact, thinking of adding a foreign object that's going to have scar tissue growing on it I would think would be even more of a hindrance to sex than dealing with your current issues... especially if you think about the contractions that happen during an orgasm - and now imagine there's a net there holding your uterus up.... i feel like that would be worse to deal with than what you have going on now...

in my personal opinion, I feel like surgery should be a last resort and if I was living comfortably with prolapse apart from sex, I wouldn't risk it. and as surviving mentioned - maybe it's time to experiment with other methods/positions... just chalk it up to more lifestyle changes due to prolapse.... I would think making sure your organs are well forward so that they don't slip back during contractions? or leaning as far forward as you can (without rounding your back)?

I will go farther than Typicalme by saying that surgery should never even be considered as a last resort, by any woman who still has her uterus and has not had any other surgeries already. For those in that category, surgery will never improve their situation. A woman who has complications from hysterectomy and/or who has had other failed surgeries has a more problematic issue to deal with. But amongst those with no surgical history, even those who have tried and failed to grasp the WW work are better off avoiding surgery than having it. - Surviving

Hi Typicalme, Thanks for your advice. I fully agree I would never contemplate mesh and the consultant who I saw on Thursday would not touch mesh either. Regarding what kind of surgery they were talking about to begin with (around 6 years back) the first consultant who I saw wanted to do a hysterectomy. He said 'Most women who have prolapse like yourself have a hysterectomy and dont worry if any damage is caused to the bladder during the operation I can put that right too!!!' I couldnt believe what I was hearing, I told him I didnt want the operation so he fitted me with a pessary which feel out when I passed a stool. I was feeling depressed about it all. However I have always honoured my body and have researched past for problems I have had and through changing my life style have sorted them out myself to avoid medication. But surgery is a different matter. So I began looking into research on prolapse and found Christine's site which has helped so much alongside my yoga practice. But I was still unsure about surgery and wanted to look into all the options open to me and I also wanted to ask about seeing a Physiotherapist to get further help and advise. So I made an appointment insisting I see a different Gynaecologist after the bad experience with the first one. I had been making a journal about the prolapse and had lots of information on it from Christine Kent's book. I took this journal with me to my appointment. I talked to the Gynaecologist and showed him the journal he seemed really annoyed. I took no notice of his annoyance and asked him lots of questions some of which he did not know the answer, which is ok but he didn't offer to look into and try to find out the answers. In the end he said 'You have come to see me to decide if you want to have surgery or not, if you want answers to these questions you need to see the Physiotherapist so what do you want to do?' I said I wanted to do more research before deciding if I wanted surgery as it was a big decision and that I would take an appointment to see the Physiotherapist. I also told him that I thought he would have been able to answer my questions. I went away feeling quite angry. However one good thing I got out of this session was an appointment with the physiotherapist. When I saw the Physiotherapist she told me to steer clear of surgery if at all possible to keep it as a last option and we worked together. I showed her my journal and she was interested in Christine's research and she helped me and gave me a lot of support. Since then I have been managing prolapse ok but then it started affecting my sex life this was about a couple of years back but its gotten worse over time. I saw a different consultant a year or so back about this and he was completely different to the other two he tried to answer all my questions, he gave me lots of information to read on Sacrospinous Fixation, Anterior Vaginal Repair etc. he was very considerate and agreed with me that surgery should only be a last option. He is the same Gynaecologist who I saw this Thursday. At my appointment he suggested that I don't have surgery at the moment as im doing so well with managing it myself and he was really interested in my questions and started to even question what he has learned. Iv asked if I can stay in the system (mainly so I can keep him as my consultant) just in case things get a lot worse. So he is sending me another appointment in 6 months time. In my guts I really feel surgery would not be good. Thanks again for your advice. Liminalpool

Hi Surviving, the more im looking into research the more I am inclined to agree with you. But at the same time I dont know how bad the prolapse could get, what if it was right outside the body making it difficult to walk? I dont know its the unknown so im trying to keep my options open. Hence staying in the system as I have put in the post replying to Typicalme. However just reading the process of surgery for prolapse sounds worrying especially as I have studied the body through my yoga trainign where I have discovered that so much is unknown about the body. Also they cut into fascia which affects the nervous system, in fact everything in connected to everything else so having surgery for anything (let alone in such a sensitive part of the body) can cause so many disturbances and problems for the whole body. So good to talk about this with you. Liminalpool

I am interested in your comments about sex and the problems you are having. I am in the process of reading a book: Vitamin O by Dr Natasha Janina Valdez. While I do not agree with lots of things in the book, (I am going to say most of it but it did help me to see orgasms in a different light and expectation. I am hoping my husband and I are going to have some mutually satisfying experiences. My thinking has changed in a few ways.

I have had prolapse for many years and wore a pessary. A few months ago I had a physical reaction to the pessary and would spot when I used it. So I was forced to find another way and thus found Christine. I do fire breathing, pelvic rocks and a few others. This has helped. I use essential oils (German chamomile, black spruce and peppermint all with a carrier oil). Although they have not produced what I was hoping for, they are most comforting. I also saw a documentary on root canals on Amazon and have started “oil pulling” with sesame oil and oregano oil. I don’t have a root canal but a bothersome tooth is so much better and that is when I noticed a difference with the prolapse.

Now I am hoping to improve our sex life. It was hell with the pessary.

Hi Sewlady2 the book sounds interesting will have a look at this. Using a pessary during sex didnt work at all for us as it made sex uncomfortable, so we only tried it once. I havn't tried any of the essential oils so thanks for this something I can try. I have heard that oil pulling can improve your overall health. What kind of difference did you feel with the prolapse through oil pulling?

Hi Liminalpool in answer to your question my prolapse seems to be receding (if that is the proper terminology). I hardly have noticed it at all the last couple days. I think what is happening with my body is a result of all of the things I am doing. It feels positive to be trying and to know that I can do things to help heal. I read the book cautiously as I am not into lots of things she advocated but I do have a better understanding about orgasms. I also found an essential oil by Young Living called Sensation, and so after reading the book, implementing some things I have learned and using the oil, sex was incredibly incredible. My husband and I have smiles on our faces!

Hi SewLady2 it sounds wonderful how all of what you are doing is working for you. I have ordered the book it looks interesting and will get some of the oil you have mentioned. Will let you know my thoughts on the book once iv read it and how I get on with the oils and how this affects my own sex life. Its so good to talk to you as not many people mention sex in relation to prolapse. Its good to hear such positive results you are having, with both your prolapse receding and incredible sex!

SewLady2 also I can imagine massage with the oils is something that can enhance lovemaking. With my own Yoga Practice I sometimes self massage which is wonderful but havn't used oils at all. So will be wonderful to try massage using the oils with my husband!