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prolapsed uterus

Is a hysterectomy the right treatment for me?

If you’ve suffered a difficult labour with your children, you may be suffering symptoms of a prolapsed uterus. This can often be very uncomfortable, and prevent you from doing activities that you’d normally enjoy. In some cases, it could prevent you from having more children. Often, doctors will recommend a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, but this isn’t your only option.

Why your doctor may have recommended a hysterectomy

A prolapsed uterus can result in some nasty symptoms, ranging from mildly uncomfortable to very painful and sometimes debilitating. Some women may experience a constant feeling of pressure on the pelvis or a dull backache. Other symptoms include spotting or bleeding from the vagina, or even bladder leakage, which can often be embarrassing and stop you doing sports or enjoying intercourse. When these symptoms are present, a doctor may diagnose a prolapsed uterus. They may suggest removing the uterus – and sometimes the ovaries – using a surgical procedure called a hysterectomy.

Is a hysterectomy right for me?

Making the decision to have a hysterectomy needs to be taken very seriously. Although a fairly common surgical procedure, it will take you a little while to recover and you may feel tired and unwell for some time afterwards. The biggest thing to consider is whether or not you would like to have more children, as a hysterectomy will leave you unable to conceive.

What are my other options?

You may have been told by your doctor that a hysterectomy is your only option, but here at The Pelvic Clinic, we can offer you the chance to choose a treatment to suit you. Our Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Broome is an experienced surgeon who can perform a variety of minor surgical procedures that may relieve your symptoms. You could choose to have a sacrohysteropexy, which is performed via low-risk keyhole surgery and allows you to keep your uterus, or even vaginal wall repair. Our experts are here to advise you on a procedure that is right for you. At The Pelvic Clinic, a hysterectomy is not your only choice when it comes to surgery for your prolapse.

hidden symptoms

The hidden symptoms of a prolapse

Some prolapse symptoms are very obvious and easy to recognise. For example, sufferers may bleed from the vagina, experience pain during intercourse or even feel like something is falling out of them that needs to be pushed back inside. However, not everyone who suffers from a prolapse will exhibit these symptoms. There are also subtler, less obvious symptoms that you should be aware of. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from a prolapse. To help you, we’ve prepared an annotated list of these recondite symptoms.

1. Backache

There are lots of reasons for backache, ranging from your posture to injuries you may have suffered in the past. However, backache can also be a sign of prolapse. If you suffer from a persistent, dull backache, you should consider the possibility that you might have a prolapse. This is especially true if you have any of the other symptoms on this list or have another reason to believe you might have suffered a prolapse.

2. Leaking bladder, incontinence or frequent need to urinate

Do you need to go to the toilet too often, suffer from incontinence or experience bladder leakage? If so, your problems might be the result of a prolapse. A prolapsed uterus can press on your bladder and cause all of the issues that we have just described.

3. Constipation

A prolapse can sometimes pull on the rectum and effect its position, thereby making it difficult for you to go to the bathroom. If you have suffered from persistent constipation despite having a relatively healthy diet, you may have a prolapse.

4. Pelvic pressure or a feeling of stretching in the groin area

As we mentioned in the introduction, not all prolapses are painful. Many can only be felt as a form of pressure in the pelvic region or a stretching sensation in the groin.

5. Widened vaginal opening

Prolapses can cause the opening to the vagina to widen, due to the pressure it puts on that region of your body. If yours seems unusually wide, you should think about the possibility that you are suffering from a prolapse.

Not all prolapse suffers experience these symptoms. In fact, some are completely symptom-free. However, if you have been dealing with any of the problems listed in today’s blog, here at The Pelvic Clinic we believe you should investigate the possibility that you might have a prolapse. You can talk to your own doctor or reach out to us for more information.

 

uterine prolapse stages

Essential facts you need to know about uterine prolapse

The uterus, or womb, is central to the female reproductive system and under normal circumstances is held in place within the pelvis by its attachment to the Fallopian tubes, as well as various ligaments and muscles. Certain events, such as childbirth involving a difficult labour, and vaginal deliveries, can weaken the tissues holding the uterus in place. This, coupled with the natural ageing process and a decrease in the oestrogen hormone levels result in the uterus moving down, and into the vaginal canal. This is the condition known as a prolapsed uterus.

It is possible for the uterus to ‘sag’, and in some cases come out of the body completely. This process occurs in several stages or degrees.4 stages of uterine prolapse

First degree

The cervix begins to descend towards and into the vagina.

Second degree

The cervix moves further down and into the vaginal opening.

Third degree

The cervix moves so that it is outside the vagina.

Fourth degree

The whole of the uterus descends to the point where it is outside of the vagina. This stage of a prolapsed uterus is also known as procidentia, and it’s caused by a weakness in all of the ligaments that should support the uterus and hold it in place within the pelvis.

Further conditions

There are several other conditions that are often associated with a prolapsed uterus. They cause a weakening of the ligaments and muscles that should hold the uterus in place, but instead allow the prolapse to occur. These conditions include Cystocele, which is a herniation, or ‘bulging’ of the uppermost part of the front vaginal wall, caused by a portion of the bladder encroaching into the vagina. It can cause several bladder problems, including urine retention, or an urgent or frequent need to urinate.

Another common condition associated with a prolapsed uterus is Enterocele, which is the herniation of the vagina along its upper most side, due to a portion of the small intestines protruding into the vagina. This results in a pulling sensation when standing, as well as backache, which is relieved upon lying down.

Finally, the protrusion of the back virginal wall, sometimes caused by the rectum bulging forwards, can cause a prolapsed uterus. Known as Rectocele, this condition can result in difficult bowel movements.

For more information about uterus prolapse, or Mr Jonathan Broome’s sacrohysteropexy procedure, contact The Pelvic Clinic today.

 

putting off prolapse repair

Why a prolapse repair operation won’t steal your valuable time

If you are suffering from a prolapsed uterus, you are likely to be in considerable pain and experience a significant degree of embarrassment. However, you may also be reluctant to pursue prolapse repair surgery because of one very simple factor: time. Many forms of surgery require you to stay in hospital for a protracted period of time and have lengthy recovery periods. You’re a busy person with a full life: you probably don’t want to spend so much valuable time in hospital or laid up in bed recovering from an operation. However, there is no need to worry. The prolapse repair surgery that we offer here at The Pelvic Clinic is speedier than you might realise. Once you’ve had the operation, you will soon be able to return to everyday life.

The time you have to spend in hospital for a sacrohysteropexy prolapse repair operation is minimal. In fact, the vast majority of patients only have to remain on a ward for a single night. You can expect to be back home the day after your surgery, where you can enjoy a swift recovery process in an environment you’re familiar with.

The recovery process itself takes a number of weeks, but you’ll be able to get back to your ordinary, daily activities long before the end of that process. You will probably find it uncomfortable to lift heavy items for approximately six weeks after your operation. However, you will be able to move around unassisted after only a few days. You can also start driving again as soon as you are able to sit in your car, wear a seatbelt and perform an emergency stop without causing yourself discomfort.

In fact, there is only one area of your life that prolapse repair surgery is likely to affect significantly, and that area is romantic intimacy. You should refrain from engaging in intercourse for approximately two weeks after surgery, in order to give your body time to heal.

Mr. Broome (our surgeon here at The Pelvic Clinic) can perform a safe, straightforward prolapse repair operation that will allow you to leave hospital almost immediately and recover rapidly. When you opt for a sacrohysteropexy prolapse repair operation, you don’t have to worry about losing months of your time. You’ll be able to resume your life even more swiftly than you’d hoped.