Postpartum Cystocele Success


My very successful journey with Whole Woman began a little over two years ago after the birth of my first child. I had been a professional ballerina in fantastic shape, had the most gentle of home water-births, and still discovered a bulge in my vagina at 5 weeks postpartum. I was devastated, thinking I had done everything “right” to avoid such a thing. The night I discovered my prolapse was the night I discovered Whole Woman, and the self-exam quickly helped me determine that I was dealing with a cystocele. But that’s as far as I got on the site. Instead of diving in to the program developed by Christine Kent, and the great advice from those who have “been there, done that,” I spent the next few months balled up on the couch in fear, thinking I would never have sex again, never dance again, never be able to chase after my son, never be able to travel again. I had just been accepted to nursing school, and remember thinking how in the world would I be able to become a Registered Nurse, on my feet 12 hours a day? My cystocele was there constantly: standing, sitting, lying down. It was awful.
I saw a physician who merely told me she could see “a bit of my bladder” and “do Kegels.” That cost me $300 after insurance. I saw a young, highly educated pelvic floor therapist who sold me some useless vaginal weights and a gym ball, and told me “do Kegels.” She watched me choke back tears the entire session, and then finally admitted that she too had a cystocele that was “pretty bad” around her period. (So what good would her therapy do me??!!) That cost me $400 after insurance. I drove two hours each way with my newborn for two sessions of Mayan Abdominal Massage that was absolutely delightful, but did nothing for my cystocele. That cost me $300. I was utterly depressed by the total lack of knowledge and hope from every avenue. And then I went back to Whole Woman . . . .
I began by reading every article and every post on the website. I kid you not, I read every post. Then I purchased Saving the Whole Woman and the First Aid for Prolapse (FAFP) DVD. That cost me maybe $80. It was the least expensive of all my attempted interventions. I cannot begin to express how refreshing the message of hope was that I found in these resources! My body was designed to heal from prolapse! I could life a full life doing the things I love!
So I got to work. This was at three months postpartum. I spent the first few days just sitting in strong Whole Woman posture, and could really feel a difference. It was very, very, very slight, but it was there! I began to train in the posture, the exercises, and taught myself Nauli. And I got walking. I put the baby in a stroller and walked every day for miles. Up the steepest of hills. In the snow. With groceries. When I needed it, I used a tampon or sponge for support. By five months postpartum, I began to have days where the cystocele would disappear for a few minutes a day. One year later, it was noticable smaller, and gone for longer periods of time. Six or so months after that, I believe I achieved total reversal. I don’t see it. I don’t feel it. I have no symptoms whatsoever. I will probably always be prone to a “relapse” and I can feel a slight softening to my anterior vaginal wall if I go looking, but that’s it.
Fast forward to today. I am almost half-way through a second pregnancy that has been very enjoyable and prolapse-free. I graduate as a Registered Nurse in a few weeks, top of my class and able to have completed all of the physical demands with ease. I walk everywhere, jump, dance, chase after my toddler, have great sex, and live without fear of any worsening of the condition of my vagina. I have no need for a pessary. I am complemented daily by absolute strangers on what gorgeous posture I have. I feel womanly. I feel happy. I feel whole.
Here are a few things I’ve learned (maybe more personal beliefs, but still . . .) about pelvic organ prolapse (POP):
1) The worst thing to do for prolapse is to become less active. I saw much greater results when I got more physical. One of my “best” days was after 12 hours on my feet (in posture!!) as a nursing student in the operating room!
2) The body does fight for a state of equilibrium in all aspects of health, and there is potential to heal within your own body if you are willing to help it with posture, clothing, diet, etc.
3) Healing takes a very long time. It is a bit like body-building, not an overnight process, with definite set-backs along the way, but with end results that are quite tangible and almost permanently incorporated into your body. Whenever I got frustrated with my progress, I compared it to my dance career -- it took half a lifetime of daily work to become the kind of ballerina that put me on magazine covers. How could I expect to reverse my prolapse in 2 weeks or less?
4) Postitive thinking is a vital ingredient in the reversal of prolapse.
5) Whole Woman works!

You are a shining light and I thank you with all my heart! ♥

Thanks, bad_mirror, this summary is really empowering! I soo agree that activity helps POP. It really does!
Hope we can hear about your pregnancy. We are TTCing, so I need encouragment! :)


BadMirror, your comment about "The worst thing to do for prolapse is to become less active" really rang bells with me. I was amazed how a lot of walking and sitting for 35 hours, cross-legged on a small cushion, at a music festival last weekend made me feel strong and flexible. Yeah, there was some dancing too! My whole body felt alive, with not a trace of POP symptoms, at the end of the weekend!

Bad_Mirror~ we came on the site about the same time. I am happy to hear you are pregnant too. I am a little farther a long than you but I guess we decided it was time huh? I think learning to be a mother, have our careers and deal with our prolapses has been a full time life experience eh? Do you know what you are having? I am waiting to find out. When are you due? Congrats

Yippee for us! Due August 11 or so . . . won't find out "who" we're having until the birthday, too. Full time life experience for sure! Maybe you agree -- it's been challenging, but such a rich and complex weaving into the threads of my life. I've got a stronger "fabric" for it all. Congrats to you too. Let's chat about pp recovery plans sometime . . .

Hello there~ Just wondering how things are going for you? I am on the 8 week count down. How are you feeling? Any ideas on how to make sure all our parts stay in tact? :)

It's going great, thanks for asking! I'm right on your tail, with about 11 weeks to go. It's flying by, which I'm actually a bit sad about, not knowing if I'll get the chance to do it ever again. I'm one of those hateful women that pregnancy treats really, really well. No morning sickness, no stretch marks, no heartburn, no cankles. Just some 'roids, and even those stay at a low roar. And as yet, no recurring cystocele. I've gained 30 lbs. so far! Last pregnancy, I gained 50, so I'm expecting about the same. I'm all belly, and look about 11 months pregnant, even though I'm just over 6! Same with my son . . . once at about six months with him, I got on the bus and one of our more "colorful" local characters said, "hey, how many ya got in there?" Last week, another bus stranger asked me my due date then said, "whoa, you're gonna be HUGE!" (Thank you. Thank you very much.) I'm getting friendly comments like, "you look ready to pop any day now!" and I sweetly reply, "well, since I have about three months to go, probably not." The look on their faces is priceless. I've been pretty active, walk about 9 miles a week and 1-2 ballet classes without jumps, plus trying to keep up with my 2.5 year old.
As for plans to keep an intact vagina . . . am doing another home water birth with my same midwife. She is pretty hands off anyway, but aware of my wishes to birth on hands and knees and "breathe" the baby out rather than push. I plan to spend the first three days in bed, with strong WW sitting postures or lying flat, balanced with short periods of WW standing. I will flap my arms on the way to the bathroom! After that, building up to short walks, pelvic rocks, etc. I am going to try my best not to lift anything heavier than my newborn for 6 weeks, which may be hard when caring for my son as well. (Alemama and Granolamom, anything to add regarding recovering from birth post-pop?) Mostly, I am trying to cultivate an attitude that keeps fear at bay -- if I have no birth trauma, and I get my lumbar curve going ASAP, what do I have to fear?
I would love to hear how you are doing, too. We may need each other for the postpartum haul!

I was "diagnosed" with stage 3 rectocele/cystocele about six months ago. Had six weeks of pelvic floor bio-feedback therapy and did lots of kegels...which along with dietary changes (reducing acidic juice intake) have helped minor urinary incontinence. But, still alot of bulging of bladder and rectum into vagina....discomfort, difficulty completely emptying bladder, difficulty controlling bowel movements, etc. Was thinking surgery was my only option until finding WholeWoman....and what a difference a few weeks has made!

I have the Saving the Whole Woman book and am working on the posture, which is amazingly helpful in just a few days.

In addition, I ordered and have used the sea sponges for prolapse, from JadePearl....they helped immensely on an initial, emergency basis, especially during exercise/walking. But while the sponges seem to have helped in restoring bladder and rectum to a somewhat benign state of prolapse, my uterus seems to have taken their place and to be in pronounced state of prolapse....almost what is described as procedentia....and my cervix looks reddish and angry, maybe from the sponges rubbing on it? Has anyone had that experience with the sponges or with an angry looking cervix? I am scheduled for a surgical consult on this whole matter next week (scheduled before I discovered WholeWoman), so doctor can hopefully determine if cervix is okay. However, I feel very confident that I can manage this prolapse condition using the help of this community and the products offered from Whole Woman. I will report back on the doctor's visit. Meanwhile, I am continuing postural work and have ordered the FirstAid for Prolapse DVD. I am soooooooo thankful to have found you all. I think I can do this!


Hi rosebush!
One thing I can say to you regarding surgery-- even if it succeded in taping the sags up- you then are surgically compromised. For me it was so stupid to not realize that not lifting my grandkids over 20 lbs was lik e a magnet not attracting iron- it not likely would be so. Also surgery messes up your abdomen and it is likely true that elective surgery should be avoided. I find it difficult to be in a world where so many choices are proposed to those seeking advise when those with the advise are not certain of the outcomes- "Pessary before sugery, posture before pessary.

Hi Rosebush

Glad to hear you had some success with the sponges. I found them a godsend when I was first diagnosed. Didn't have problems with them, but then I am pre-menopausal with just a urethrocele to contend with. Not sure if you are pre or post meno- they can be harsher on a post meno vagina. Have you tried olive oil?

I think I remember Christine writing that sponges seem to be less helpful for uterine prolapse. This may be depressing news. The encouraging bit, however, is that it was her own severe uterine prolapse that started Christine on her research and she has managed hers successfully through posture, exercise and diet.

Sorry - I'm making friendly noises but am a bit out of my depth here. Could you describe how prolapsed your uterus seems to be, and could some other women who have experienced profound uterine prolapse come in here?

I can imagine you are feeling very anxious with your symptoms and a doctor's visit coming up. We need some more experienced and battle hardened whole women to offer their experience/ tips.



Hi Rosebush,

This area between bladder and uterus is very interesting and not well understood. The common theory is that UP occurs when upper supportive “ligaments” give way, while cystocele happens when lower fascial supports stretch and tear. No gynecologic theory ever mentions the round ligaments. Would-be gynecologists have been seduced into thinking that these important structures - analogous to the spermatic cords in men - have no supportive value. It is a theory that does not hold water when viewed in light of the actual pelvic organ support system.

From what I’m able to comprehend, most UP occurs with significant cystocele, however most cystocele occurs without significant UP. In natural UP, the prolapsed front wall is shaped like an avocado with a dimple at the bottom (the cervix). My surgically-induced condition is different. I have no cystocele/rectocele, but a muscular, round “neck” sitting sometimes higher, sometimes lower in my vagina.

My cervix is no longer connected to the other side of that avocado, because my bladder neck was tethered tightly to my abdominal wall, pulling (stretching) my bladder and cervix apart. A cervix freed from the more natural avocado looks a lot like a fat penis. :-/

This is the first I’ve heard that a sponge might have caused a similar occurrence. Unlike my condition, any fascia stretching would be lower, superficial and probably reversible.

Fascia is very stretchy stuff, which allows the organs mobility while performing their individual functions. It’s easy to see how holding one of two prolapsed organs up might allow the other to slide past it.

Well...nothing to be done but tip the entire bowl of jello forward with Whole Woman posture! If your symptoms prove to be too intolerable for the time being, you might look into a cube pessary, which will push the whole ball of wax forward. It will hold your vagina open to intraabdominal pressure, though, so might worsen the rectocele.

It is a delicate balance!


Another WW maxim...thank you, Sammy!

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. It is so gratifying to know there are so many caring women in this community.

By way of important biographical info: I am 60 years old, post-menopausal, 2 vaginal births, with episiotomy for the first birth, births interspersed with 2 abortions, and a not too traumatic fall on my butt about four years ago, which is when the prolapses seem to have started.

Anyway, the sea sponges have been amazing at relieving recto/cystocele and seemingly restoring bladder and rectum to their proper places. Was able to empty bladder with ease while wearing sponge (some urine does get trapped in the sponge, though). But, problem is that with rectum and bladder out of the way, now can see prolapsed uterus very well and my cervix looks odd to me: reddish and "angry" looking. So I have stopped using the sponges and am concentrating on the posture, which as I said before is really amazing in how quickly it works. But now sometimes feel like I'm sitting on my uterus, which can't be good for it....

I like the idea of trying olive oil on the sponge and I have used wild yam cream on it for lubrication...maybe that's what's irritating cervix? I've even thought about the biblical treatment of wine and pomegranates!

This is a journey....and I'm so thankful for the company!


It's great to have you with us, Rosebush. Please don't worry about your cervix getting squished. I've found it to be a remarkably tough organ, but have certainly kept mine away from any and all hormones. C.

A basic principle of the WW work is that the organs must be inside the body. If WW posture and exercise are not enough to keep them there, a pessary is needed.

Prolapse can be inside the body and still feel like you are sitting on a ball. If it is very low, it can be pulled forward with firebreathing. The uterus can feel like it might be getting squished, when in fact it is only a few centimeters lower than its normally tightly packed position higher in the pelvis.

Bad mirror- when you said you used a tampon for support, do you just put a dry tampon in? I am not looking for a pessary, but would like to try a tampon.

Yes, using a tampon helped as I began to synthesize the postures and get moving. I needed it less and less as the months went by, and don't feel the need for it at all now. I used a well-lubricated (some people like olive oil, but I used an organic lube similar to KY), unbleached product and later switched to menstrual sized sea sponge tampons from jade and pearl. Some people find the sponges irritating, but I did not. You may have to get creative with insertion of a tampon or sponge by lying on your back or doing nauli to get everything into optimal position, but I found I rarely had to do that. I like tampons for support because they are cheap and you are in control of your body's day to day needs. Hope that helps!

Your post has given me motivation that I can still do this at 3mo pp. My cystocele is becoming a nusance. I will also try the tampon and sponge for support and I hope for your success.

very inspiring story, thank you for sharing. needed to hear this today =)

Wow....what a post and what hope you bring to this world. Thank you to whomever reposted this!

I just read this! So inspiring.....It gives me some hope

Hi Christine & Bad Mirror

I’m 5 weeks PP my second son. With my first I had a recriceke and I was concerned going into a second pregnancy.... but amazingly 4 weeks pp for the first time in. Really long time I felt NOTHING
downstairs... like nothing! I was so happy and excited it was like my body did heal but pregnancy must of finished off the healing... I wonder if it’s to do with the extra blood supply during pregnancy... which would explain bad mirror saying being active is the key also (more circulation).

I couldn’t believe how well my body was feeling.... but my shoulders / neck were tight (adjusting to breast feeding) and I was feeling a little stressed so I thought a mums and bubs yoga class might help.... little did I know that the class was mostly pelvic exercises and also included crunches and squats.... I came away from that class with a ‘I can feel something downstairs again’ .... needless to say I’m angry with myself for being so stupid.... as I believe as a result of the class now I have a cystocele.

I’m so glad I found this post though.... if you can do it BadMirror so can I!

Just wondering Christine if Whole Woman Solution to Pelvic Organ Prolapse is the same video as Nad Mirror bought and also what sponges are referred too?

I want that feeling back - of nothing! No bauble feeling, no niggle, no bulge.. NOTHING!
I want to come back here in a couple of months or 6 and tell my own success story.

First Aid for Prolapse is available in the WW Store (DVD or streaming). This is not the same as the streaming program called The Whole Woman Solution to Pelvic Organ Prolapse. There is a 25% sale going on until December 1st (check your e-mail for coupon code). We don't have many members using sponges with much success, but you can search for posts on those and Google where to get them (WW doesn't sell them). Lots of luck on your journey and don't forget to keep us posted. Rectocele is very manageable with the WW work, but this isn't a quick is a fundamental change in how you carry yourself throughout your day. Takes time and patience to internalize the concepts but it is so worth the effort. - Surviving

These are the stories I search for on the forum

First day as a new member, and I see your post! You give us all hope!