Living with Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse affects many women. Thankfully, it is also treatable by the specialists at the Sexual Health Institute of the Carolinas.
Patient Stories: Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Real Women. Real Stories.
Millions of women nationwide are living with pelvic organ prolapse yet the majority of their stories remain untold. Pelvic organ prolapse can interfere with your activities, intrude on your personal life and be just plain uncomfortable. We’ve spoken with women who have suffered from pelvic organ prolapse and taken steps to manage it. Read the stories of real women who suffered from pelvic organ prolapse and had surgery to take control of their condition.
“I was relieved when I found out that this was real and I wasn’t alone.”
After her fourth child, things definitely felt different to Liz. She knew something was wrong. She had a constant heaviness in her pelvic area that just wasn’t getting better.
Liz had initially started having symptoms after her second child, including bladder leakage when coughing, sneezing and laughing. The longer Liz was on her feet, the worse the heavy sensation in her pelvic area would feel as the day went on.
It got to the point that Liz struggled to attend her exercise classes without embarrassment because of the number of times she had to run to the restroom. Eventually, she stopped going to the classes because she felt like a nuisance interrupting class to use the restroom frequently.
After four years of suffering from the increased symptoms of bladder leakage, Liz decided to seek medical attention.
Liz filled out a bladder diary and pelvic questionnaire before her appointment, both of which were reviewed with her before conducting a pelvic exam and non-invasive bladder tests. Liz then heard the words rectocele and cystocele as her doctor explained her diagnosis.
While pelvic organ prolapse isn’t something one would celebrate, Liz was relieved that she had answers and could now seek treatment. Knowing this wasn’t something unique to herself made Liz feel better about her symptoms and diagnosis.
Liz was pleased to learn that many women had successful treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. After consulting with her doctor, Liz successfully underwent surgery for her pelvic organ prolapse and has had a great recovery herself.
Liz has taken her experience to have more conversations with the women in her life about her symptoms, diagnosis and successful treatment, hoping she can help others from suffering in silence too long.
"I have no regrets, I highly recommend the surgery"
Laurie first heard the words cystocele, rectocele and pelvic organ prolapse before her symptoms started, during a regular annual exam with her gynecologist in 2015. Since Laurie wasn’t experiencing any symptoms, her gynecologist said she would let Laurie know when it was time to take action.
In November 2016 Laurie’s annual exam went the same as the previous year. But her gynecologist reminded her that sooner or later she would need to take action.
Within five months of her annual exam, Laurie discovered that her gynecologist was right. She went from no symptoms to feeling like everything was going to fall out.
Laurie’s gynecologist armed her with information about pelvic organ prolapse surgery and a recommendation to meet with a pelvic floor disorder specialist. Laurie and her husband, a medical professional, spent time researching her diagnosis, the pelvic floor specialist and her options.
After researching, they scheduled a consult with the pelvic floor specialist. They had an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the materials that would be used ― and even do a feel test. Laurie and her husband left the appointment feeling even more confident in their decision that pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery was the best option for Laurie. They felt educated and prepared for the road ahead.
Laure went ahead with the surgery and had the expected pain and discomfort during recovery, but within a few weeks was feeling no pain and completely back to normal. By following the post-surgical guidelines, Laurie was able to have a new lease on life. She’s had no problems or symptoms since her surgery.
(Coloplast invited Liz and Laurie to share their stories. Each person’s situation is unique; your experience may not be the same. Talk with your doctor about whether this product is right for you.)