Many women suffer uterus problems and the associated pain in silence. Heavy or erratic bleeding, pain during intercourse and the frustration of random spotting are part of everyday life. For some, there are more serious symptoms, such as stress incontinence, constipation, unexpected uterus pain and pelvic pressure. All of these occurrences are symptoms of an underlying problem, and for some, that problem is prolapse.
For any woman diagnosed with prolapse, the psychological pain is at least equal to the physical pain. And while it may be reconcilable for women who have completed their families, for anyone who wants to start or increase their family, it is a life changing trauma. Although age is a factor, particularly post-menopause when muscle elasticity weakens, childbirth is also a common cause of prolapse as muscles can be injured during delivery.
Traditionally, treatment for prolapse involves pelvic floor exercises or pessary replacement of the displaced uterus. If this fails, most women are offered a hysterectomy as a form of prolapse surgery. For any woman, this is a difficult diagnosis to hear. For any woman who wants children, it’s devastating.
But there is hope. Surgeon Mr Jonathan Broome was one of the pioneers of a form of prolapse repair, known as sacrohysteropexy, which is performed as keyhole surgery. There are just two points of entry, near the belly button and on the bikini line. It removes the need for radical surgery and, more importantly for both physical and emotional wellbeing, it allows a woman to live a normal life. For younger women who want children, it makes a pregnancy possible after prolapse. In fact, 4 of Mr Broome’s patients have successfully had a pregnancy after sacrohysteropexy.
During the process, flexible mesh is used as a form of sling, to correctly reposition the uterus and hold it securely in place. One end of the mesh is attached to the sacrum, while the other end is attached to the cervix. The repair is permanent and no further surgery is necessary.
So, if you think your pain, bleeding and discomfort might be due to prolapse, or if you have already been diagnosed and non-invasive treatments haven’t solved the problem, draw the attention of Jonathan Broome’s work in the field of sacrohysteropexy to your GP and request a referral.
This is a surgery that makes pregnancy possible after prolapse. It’s a surgery that offers hope.