Will it really get better?


Today I am 3 weeks postpartum. A few days ago I went to the doctor because I noticed a bulge and I am frequently having to urinate with little exiting. My doctor said that I have a grade 2 cystocele, or bladder prolapse. He said I can try exercises and a physical therapist but eventually I will need surgery and the prolapse will probably get worse with time.

This has been devastating to hear. I am only 27 and am a very healthy active person. I love to run and I have a 16 month old who I was told to not pick up because it could make my prolapse worse. I have been searching and searching the internet for some hope, some good news.

I am trying to stay off my feet and relax as much as possible but this is a very difficult thing to do with a new baby and a toddler.

Will I ever be able to live a normal life without having to worry about what I am lifting or how long I have been standing? I've read on some forums that postpartum prolapses can heal on their own, with help from Kegel exercises. Has anyone actually had a bladder prolapse heal, or improve significantly?

I just keep crying. I feel like I did this to myself. I did too much in these last few weeks. I just don't want the damage I did to be irreparable.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a uro-gynecologist in the Portland, Oregon area?

Thanks for any information, or words or hope.

hi there, congrats on the baby and welcome to the site

your dr is sorely misinformed. a prolapse that isnt managed or cared for might indeed get worse over time, but you aren't going to just let it run its course. there is plenty you can do (and I'm not talking kegels) to help this heal, prevent it from getting worse and to avoid surgery.

most of us here have not gone the surgical route and don't plan to.

I can't make predictions or promises, but I can tell you that when I found my cystocele it was probably a grade three. that was a few years ago. I've since had another baby and am now pg. I lift my older children (even carried my big-for-his-age 8 yo to bed last night). I run around with them. I wear my babies. I pretty much do whatever I want. and my prolapse is not only not any worse but its much smaller and higher. I have no idea what grade because I dont' care to assign a number to it. I measure my success by how I feel, and anyway, it changes from day to day and even sometimes within the course of a single day depending on whats going on.

it didn't happen by itself in my case, I spent alot of time learning the posture and made some minor lifestyle changes. well worth the effort though, especially when I initially thought my only hope was surgery.

you've got to stop taking the blame for this. you didn't do this to yourself and now that you're here you can take responsibility (which is soooo different from blame) for your healing. read up on the faqs, read up on some old posts, ask all the questions you may have. you are so not alone.
and I think you will be ok.


Yes, it will get better. I can almost guarantee it. I'm surprised your doctor said anything to you. I have a lot of doctor friends, and my dad is doctor. They all said "Oh, that'll go away dear....don't look at your vagina after you have a baby" My vagina looked like it was inverted four weeks after I had my baby. Now, eight months postpartum it looks totally normal. I still feel a little funny, but I attribute that to extreme vaginal dryness and risidual sensations from scar tissue. It doesn't feel like anything is going to fall out nor do I experience any pulling sensation. My life is totally back to normal. I have mild IBS, so it's very hard to know if any bowel issues are related to POP or not. If it's any comfort, my accupuncturist/chiropractor told me that post-partum POP is a completely normal thing to experience. It just happens to be THE ONE THING THAT NOBODY TALKS ABOUT! So it's terrifying. I was an absolute wreck when I saw the destruction down there. I even saw a Psychiatrist because my anxiety was so bad I thought I needed drugs. Now I have no anxiety around it (and no, I'm not on drugs). I live my life. I use the posture, I don't wear tight clothes and I eat a lot of fibre. I take care of my baby, I sing and I have great sex with my Hubby. Who could ask for anything more? I take my postpartum prolapse as a sign from GOD, a way of warning me to change my lifestyle now so that it wont come back with a vegenance during menopause. Women are meant to give birth, not walk around with their butts tucked in!
Congratulations on your new baby. Welcome to the Wholewoman family.

you sound a lot like I did when I first came here...I was 22 when I found my cystocele grade 3 and rectocele grade? who knows but it was bad..i couldnt have a BM almost at all. So anyways it has been almost a year now and things are so much better I can barely see my cystocele and the rectocele doesnt bother me as long as I eat healthy and get plenty of fiber. Of course my period just came back and that hasnt been fun but other than that I feel pretty good. Walking in posture is when i really felt a change in my body. You JUST had a baby though so I would think just taking it as easy as you can right now would be the best thing for you and in a month or so you can start walking longer distances....I spent a lot of time on elbows and knees and I got a big bouncy excercise ball to rock the baby to sleep on instead of sitting in a rocking chair...these two things really helped me out a lot with a new born baby. If you are nursing, sitting in the floor on a pillow with plenty of pillows to prop the baby up so you don't slouch would be a good idea or what i do even now is just lay down and relax while I nurse. Don't worry youre body will be strong again!!! congratulations on the new baby don't let this take away from this wonderful time with your newborn.

It will get better. This time next year-if you stick around-you'll encourage PP moms on this message board w/ your story!
Read around, stop crying, start the posture and ask as many questions as you want!

Thanks ladies for your responses. It is so helpful hearing stories of women who healed after having their babies. It is especially comforting to hear stories and encouragement from other women my age.

Hi Kristin

You must be about 8 weeks pp by now. Is that right? It sounds like your physio has been reading Wholewoman website info, or she is not far from it. Good stuff.

Yes, I imagine your brain is feeling pretty fried. It will get better, I can assure you. You are doing really hard stuff at the moment. I would be concentrating on posture, using your body as well as you can to avoid further POP (ie butt out and use thigh muscles when lifting babies, and leave other lifting to others, and break down heavy loads into lighter chunks if you can) plus all the other WW stuff, and just love those babies and leave a bit of love for their Dad too.

I had a completely unresponsive pelvic floor at the same stage as you, after my second pregnancy, which was complicated by hyperstimulation of my ovaries at conception, and resulted in two football sized ovaries for the first few weeks of the pregnancy, which were drained at about 7 weeks gestation and eventually resolved at about 12 weeks, when I finally looked like a normal 12 week gestation woman. But my pelvic floor had been seriously stretched before it even started stretching with the pregnancy. I am sure this is why I had no muscle response at all after the pregnancy. I had a couple of electrical stimulation treatments by a physiotherapist, which woke up the nerves and got the muscles moving again. I was then able to do Kegels to get them strengthen, which they eventually did.

Twenty four years and another pregnancy later (after which I had no problems at all) my pelvic floor is good, and has been much better since I started WW techniques. I seem to have reached menopause and have a tiny bit of stress incontinence occasionally, and occasional urge incontinence, but they are both less of a problem than they were ten years ago. I almost never do Kegels but I know that WW posture keeps those muscles moving all the time with everyday movement, helped along by the dancing I do for exercise. There is hope for you, but I think some sort of stimulation therapy might be helpful to get your pelvic floor moving again. Once you can get the muscles to move by conscious effort you can take over and exercise them consciously but I don't think they even work if the nerves are asleep, no matter how much everyday ambulation you do, if the nerves are not working.

Also, with your babies so close together you would have gone into the second pregnancy at about 7 months pp, well before your body had reverted after the first pregnancy, so you would have been behind the eight ball at the time of your second conception. It will get better. It will get better. Keep saying it.

You can read my story in full on the Members' Stories Forum.



but I was three very very fast years ago (that is how old my 3rd baby is now- so I was your age when I learned all about prolapse :) and YES it will get better. It will get better even if you do nothing at all- but if you want to go for reversal then you are going to have to do some work. The more I work at it the betterer it gets. I had a full reversal of my cystocele after my 3rd baby was about 12 months and a gradual reduction of the rectocele ( to totally asymptomatic and a bulge the size of a small marble) at about 18 months postpartum.
and I had my first two 19 months apart. It is so much fun- and my favorite spacing of all.

Tomorrow I am ten weeks. I am gaining confidence that I am getting better. I think I AM getting better. Thank you for all of your support. I am feeling bulges and pressure less and less. In fact there are some days that I forget I even have a prolapse. I'm exercising, taking care of and carrying my boys and being intimate with my hubby. Even though I know things will continue to improve, I have come to accept my new pospartum body and so long as the yonie works and doesn't give me any discomfort then I am fine with a few bulges!

that is such great news. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling so much better, and so up in spirits.
and, it's only 10 weeks, which is still so early.
please do keep us updated!!!