Prolapse is an Ongoing Issue – Susan’s Story

I am 64 and had a hysterectomy about 3 months ago: I am surprised how long it has taken me to to feel ‘fully myself’ and after a bout of crying with disappointment at the length of time it was taking me to get back to my ‘old self’ I found your website: it was brilliant. I simply stopped and have taken a ‘day off’ from yoga, swimming, walking.

All these stories of being ‘back to normal’ after 3 weeks just put me under pressure to be as I was before.

However I have been dismayed to find out that the need for my hysterectomy – prolapse – has not been cured but is an on-going problem which is something I shall have to take into consideration for always. (I thought it was due to a difficult birth.).

As the consultant said I have now been identified as a woman with poor quality collagen and it is inherited. ( My Mother had Rickets and I wonder if there is a connection?) According to a physio we are born with the level of collagen that we have and nothing we can do can change that level. One indication apparently of poor collagen is few stretch marks in pregnancy. This has only been ‘discovered’ in the last few years.

What has been recommended is core muscle exercises – so I am off to start Pilates this week. I have not seen this discussed in your website and I hope this adds to the information.


in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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  1. I had a hysterectomy and rectocele repair last year. I had been warned that the rectocele repairs often failed. Well, mine did. It all started on the ward where the nurse refused me laxatives (I couldn’t pass a normal stool without bursting my stitches). I had to get a friend to (discreetly) bring me some Milk of Magnesia, Despite my effort at avoiding constipation, it didn’t work. Going to the toilet was agony and I was almost relieved when the repair gave way although I still have problems as my rectum is now too narrow to pass a large stool and I have to use Glyceryn suppositories almost daily. They were supposed to repair a cytocele too which they didn;t do as my operation was very long and they encountered many difficulties. I lost over 2 litres of blood and they had to remove my right ovary to stop the bleed. I never want to go through this again and I will manage my rectocele (in a messy and painful way) for the rest of my life. The surgeon should have realised that the rectocele was caused by life-long chronic constipation and the tendency to pass very large stools. The repair simply made it impossible for me to pass any stools at all unless it was almost liquid (too much information, I’m sorry about that). Unfortunately, I only saw the surgeon for the first time a few minutes before the operation and he obviously knew little of my medical history.
    I don’t want to frighten you but be aware that the failure risk is high.
    If you feel you can manage to live with your rectocele, it might be better to just put up with it.

  2. I don’t know why women are not alerted to the possibility of a post-operative abscess. I felt I was making a very good recovery for two weeks, experiencing no pain and energy returning. Then I started to experience sharp pains in my lower abdomen. Everyone was telling me this was normal and it was my age. I went to see a doctor who ( mis)diagnosed a UTI using only urine and blood tests . Another week passed on antibiotics and then I hemorrhaged – another visit to a doctor and I was then diagnosed with an abscess which apparently can happen in 10-15% of cases. So my advice to all women is: if you are recovering well but then experience pain insist on being examined and suspect an abscess. This has really delayed my recovery.

  3. Hi Anna I would say Wait! (unless waiting will cause you damage) I am stiil aware that my energy is not back to my pre-hysterectomy ( although I did have a post-operative abscess which I cannot tell how much this has caused the delay). I am finding Pilates very good – I can already feel a difference in my core strength. So I would recommend that you try that. All the Best!

  4. I am 45.I have been told I have rectocele with possible does not cause me too much trouble. Am I better to leave well alone before considering surgery?