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Anne’s Hysterectomy and Prolapse Story

I had my two children, both boys, at aged 38 and 40, suffering a cervical prolapse temporarily after each.  After a few months with plenty of pelvic floor exercises, the symptoms went away,  until a relapse a some years later due to stress, I think. Again, a period of exercising did the trick and I was prolapse-free for another few years.  Then in 2005 the prolapse returned.  Now aged 52 nothing was going to make it go away this time.

I ended up with an emergency admission to hospital one year later having become convinced I had absorbed the tampon I was using as a sort of pessary! I was referred to the gynae clinic and fitted with a proper pessary, discussed the matter with the consultand and despite always vowing I would not have a hysterectomy for what I regarded as a minor complaint, was convinced by him it was the best course of action.  Both my mother, auntie and grandmother (maternal) had had the same condition and remedy.  The consultant explained it was possible the condition would return if I just had a pelvic floor repair and that the operation with vaginal hysterectomy would not be significantly more complicated.   I read the literature provided by the hysterectomy association and decided it was the best way forward.

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How glad I am that I did!  Just before my op it was found I was severly anaemic (6.7) and needed a blood transfusion.  I knew I was a bit anaemic (pale gums) and was taking a vitamin with iron supplement, but had no other symptoms.  It turned out I had fibroids (again, no symptoms) and this may have been causing the anaemia.  Other tests have proved negative and iron levels are now getting back to normal.   Also, I had suffered back pain for many years.  This has completely gone since the hysterectomy (in fact it immediately disappeared).  The consultant had been careful to say he could not promise this would happen and my GP thought it was muscle spasm.  Naturally  I am over the moon.  Finally during the operation they found an ovarian cyst and my left ovary was removed.  So I have effectively had four conditions cured by one operation!

The worst part of the op (I had a spinal anaesthetic but with complete sedation) was the pain after the spinal wore off – not being able to get the combination of painkillers quite right at first, but this only lasted one day and night.  Also not being able to wee straight away when the catheter was removed.

Eventually a little running of the tap did the trick!  My stitches (rear passage repair) were very sore and tender for a few days on returning home, very much like stitches after childbirth, but within a few days this problem also disappeared.

I had one or two times of feeling shaky in hospital with a feeling of slight depression, I think due to the shock to the system of the operation, but this has cleared up.

Now nearly 3 months on I have plenty of energy as long as I don’t overdo it and I am looking forward to returning to work in the near future.  To anyone who is considering hysterectomy for prolapse I would say, GO FOR IT!

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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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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

This Post Has 39 Comments
  1. Hi I had a vaginal hysterectomy , anterior & posterior repair for prolapse nearly three weeks ago. Post operatively I have been OK and taking it gently but find walking uncomfortable and yesterday felt as if I have another anterior prolapse – had a look with mirror ( sorry we are all women with same bits) and it doesn’t look right am I panicking for nothing ? not seeing consultant for 2 weeks and not terrified to do anything other than sit – not good idea I know – frightened I have a vaginal prolapse am I just worrying for nothing ?? ( I am 52 and Dr says it’s prob due to menopause and active life that I had prolapse in beginning )

  2. Hi, I am just going into week five after my vaginal hysterectomy and prolapse repair, using mesh, I am still on regular painkillers, then today after showering I felt a really sharp pain and I feel like something has dropped down in my vagina, very tearful and uncomfortable today, I seem to have one good day then one bad, I hope the operation has worked, really don’t want to go through this again

  3. I had a vaginal hysterectomy and repair 3 weeks ago and I still feel that I have the prolapse, I have been told that it is early days but when I read your comment, Maddie, I became more concerned. How are you now? Deb

  4. Hi I have had a tvt repair and vaginal hysterectomy 5 weeks ago, I’m 41 and have two boys. So gutted when i went to my GP today and she confirmed that my suspicions were correct and I still have prolapse and left wondering why I bothered going through it all,waiting to see consultant in 2 weeks anyone else had this issue and what was the result? Exercise or more surgery.
    Can someone please reply.

  5. Hi to you all, im down for having a prolase repair by vigina and spinal tap, but l suffer from angina and have a heart condidtion, my fear is that l will suffer angina attack whilst having the surgery then l worry about the recovery and what pain killers they can give me. can any one help.

  6. I had a total vaginal hysterectomy/bilateral salpingectomy, high utersacral ligament suspension, anterior repair, site-specific posterior repair, perineorrhaphy and TVT taping. I saw a urogynecologist, which I would recommend. Surgery was 3 weeks ago and I am 66 years old. I chose the type of surgery because I did not want a general.
    The repair is good, hopefully it will be maintained. But unfortunately I had an anethesiologist who believed in a general for this proceedure. I did have a spinal, but also heavy total IV sedation, including Versed, Propofol and Fentenyl. Read the literature. There is a higher risk of dementia, developing years after general anesthesia. Start reading the literature. Please make sure you are in synch with your surgeon and your anethesiologist. July, 2, 2014

  7. Hi Pixxi, the average time off work is between 9 and 13 weeks and many women take longer off if they have particularly heavy jobs that involve standing or lifting, if they have to travel a long distance or if they have other problems such as young children or relatives to care for.

  8. Thank you for the information, I’m 32 I have anterior wall prolapse. I’m having a total vaginal hysterectomy, tvto sling and vaginal repair surgery this week. I’m not nervous about the surgery itself, just about the recovery afterwards as I have 2 children. I also have a very hands on, physical job so was wondering how long to take off work?

  9. I had my womb removed 33yrs ago at the age of 44yrs.Ever since then I have had problems with bladder infections, constipation and depression, now I have a prolapse which I am sure is causing the constipation to be worse. ( the Virginal op ) It took me 6 months to even start feeling any better, I went into hospital feeling and looking 10yrs younger than my age and came out looking and feeling 10yrs older .I had the op for heavy periods,( fibroids) I personally do believe it all depends your surgeon but also I would have preferred the tummy op. I know my op was a long time ago in years but to me it seems so resent as I am still suffering. I wish all you ladies a successful op and speedy recovery.xx

  10. Hi im 2 days from having a total vaginal hysterctomy , when can i start exercising as i dont like sitting about doing nothing

  11. I am 35 years old and bed bound,the neck of my womb is very thick and is pretruding out my vagina, I’m down to have a vagin hysterectomy on 28th jan. my worry is I have fibromyalgia and am concerned I will be in more pain and discomfort afterwards than I am now,
    As all my other operations have made me worse, hense being bed bound, should I go through with my operation or put up with the very painfull prolapse?
    Thanks annie

  12. I had full vaginal hysterectomy and anterior repair two weeks ago due to prolapse and fibroids,I had spinal anesthetic with mild sedative as recommended by my gynecologist ,prior to operation I had all the bad thoughts of the undignified position,seeing/hearing what was going on around me but can honestly say I fell asleep and saw nothing. I recovered well as Id been told I would after this anesthetic.Once back at my room had option of patient controlled morphine which I didnt need,just had co-codemol and ibrufen and came home after three nights in hospital.Im taking things easy as IVE been advised and apart from some mild disomfort feel great.The backpain Ive suffered for some years has gone(doctor always put this down to muscle spasm) but now Im not so sure.I am feeling hot but nothing too bad at the moment and did have bit of weepiness but that seams to be ok too.I am resting and doing as Ive been advised,hoping to be well and back to work by christmas. Good Luck to all you ladies that have this operation you will Im sure never look back afterwards. Best Wishes Dawn

  13. It’s OK to be concerned, scared and paniced but instead of fretting about it you need to talk with the surgeon and anaesthetist and tell them everything you are worried about. They may be able to set your mind at rest by telling you that although you’re awake, you are very doped. If not, then they will be able to give you some other options, but they can only do this if you tell them.

  14. I am scheduled for a rectocele, cystocele and vaginal hysterectomy (keeping my ovaries) in early September. I have been told I can have either a spinal anesthetic with sedation or be put out completely. The doctor said the spinal is the best option, there is no intubation etc which would be part of a general anesthetic. I am terrified and mortified though of being in such an indignified position and awake whilst so many people will be working down there. Some family and friends said they would never be put to sleep if they had the option, whilst my husband supports any option I choose. He understands how freaked out I am. I almost feel like I’m weird and odd for wanting to be asleep through it all.

    Stupid, because I’ve had two kids, but I’m 47 and not feeling very good about myself. I have always been self-conscious and hate how this condition has made me feel even less feminine.

    I’m also scared of a spinal, because I put my back out badly a few years ago and was off work 3 months, and am scared this will activate a bad back again. I’m also terrified the sedative won’t work the way it should and I get agitated instead of sleepy (Nyquil does not give me a good sleep – has the opposite effect).

    I know I’m being paranoid, just scared, scared, scared. Obviously I don’t want to be knocked out, as it become even more major surgery.

    Aagh….Help! Can anyone help alleviate my panic and fears? Many thanks in advance 🙂

  15. I also had a total Hysterctomy for my prolapse 10 months ago,which I recovered from very well. I took time & rested ,tiredness being one of the main problems but of course it’s your body making you rest & heal & I would say to everyone take time & let others around you do things for you & take all the sick leave you can have & only go back to work on reduced hours your GP can sanction this on your fitness to work certificate. My employers were brilliant. But now I have a vaginal prolapse,even after being so good with my pelvic floor excersises ,I’ve been told its due to the thining of the vaginal tissue ,lack of collegen ( I’m 56) I’ve been prescribed Vagifemme which has helped with vaginal dryness. I’m very disappointed and will now have to go in for a repair , which will help but I am very unsure of the options available especially about Vaginal mesh . Does anyone have any upto date information, American website is very scarey !
    All the best
    Pam

  16. Hi Shirley
    You sound like you’ve had a rough time post op. I have written a book called Pelvic Floor Recovery. A Physiotherapy Guide for Gyanecological Repair Surgery which goes through the correct way to defaecate, some suggestions to help with recurrent urinary tract infections such as voiding position to help completely empty and other ideas and what exercises to do and not do after such repair surgery.
    Check out my website as I also write a blog which has quite a few blogs about these type of issues.
    Sue Croft
    Physiotherapist

  17. ive had a hyserectormy 15yrs ago for cervical cancer at the age of 23yrs, i now have a prolapse and am seeing the gynea doctor in 2 weeks. worried sick, just know i will be good when it is sorted. Just dont know what to expect?

  18. Hi Anita
    I know how you feel about the”mind blowing exhustion” after the vaginal hysterectomy. It is going on 5 weeks now and it is still a struggle to get out of my own way—-yikes…. Dr. did start me on estrogen, I was hoping for it to help my emotions—-
    Are you still bleeding or having discharge? I can’t wait for that to end haha

    How are you feeling now?

  19. i have just recently had a vaginal hysterectomy and had spinal anaesthetic it was the best think for me as i didnt want a general… i felt fine after the op but 2 days after was very weepy and felt a bit down.. i had a slight infection when i returned home so had to go back and they gave me antibiotics which cleared it straight away.. i am now on my 5th week and still feel a little despressed as not going out much and cant do any housework i still have the slight pains so i am still taking painkillers every 4 hours…i am so glad i had the operation but didnt reaslise how hard the recover has been. nicola

  20. Hi Everyone
    I’m 54, with two children 15 & 19, both normal deliveries, I had a TVT 4 years ago, and have just had a TVH for a prolapse, with anterior and posterior repair and removal of the right ovary due to 5cm cyst/ hematoma. There was a gap in the hosp schedule so I had no time to worry, I asked about dates on the Friday and was operated on the following Tuesday. Its got to be a world record for the NHS. The discovery of the ovarian cyst was the deciding factor, I had wondered & I asked if the prolapse would improve if I reinstated the pelvic floor exercises, which I admit I had been very lazy about. Not in my case the consultant said in 5 years time I would definitely have to have a hysterectomy as that I obviously had low collagen being frecklely and with auburn hair, and that post menopause, it was practically inevitable that I would have a prolapse, 1 in 5 women have prolapses of some description.
    So I had the op and all the staff were fantastic, and I was out in 3 days. I have found resting up and not doing anything really difficult. I’m on the beginning of my 4th week, Ist week I was good, 2nd week weaned myself off the pain killers for a few days and then reinstated them, for 4 more days just at night. Since Ive been cooking, ironing and decorating, ( painted the bathroom floor), now I’m paying for it, gone backwards much more tired, and taken to sleeping in the mornings till 1. I feel like I have already got another prolapse off and on, plus pain across the pubic bone, feeling low. Read somewhere you only heal when your lying down so there’s no pressure or weight on your organs or internal ligaments so I’m trying to be good again and hope I’ve not blown it, as I have to go back to work in 3 weeks. good luck with the op. remember to rest up
    Best wishes
    Juliet

  21. Thank you so much to Anne and Sunny,your stories have really made me feel better,i am due to have vaginal repair and hysterectomy,and have been so scared!!!!I have put this off with pessaries(this came out when i opened my bowels the same day)although my mother and sister have always been fine with this,i also had smple hyperplasia thickening of the lining of the womb plus fibroids,i had two high forceps deliveries with both my daughters now aged 27 and 16 and hope like both of you a feel better afterwards as i cant go on with this bleeding(im 57 and been in the menopause since i was 52) plus this dragging feeling,i have just treated myself to lots of dvds /books off amazon as i never usually rest!!!!!thanks again Jacqui xx

  22. I am writing for your valuable advice for my wife. She is 45 yrs with two siblings 20 and 15. She is suffereing from prolapse as her gynaecologist had told . Doc also told her that her bladder is also dropping down.Her symptoms now include v. severe back pain , irregular periods since few months , repeated fungal infections and a big tummy etc . Her mother too had same condition but at 50 years .We are opting for v. hystrectomy to get rid off the problem hopefully, AND to retain her ovaries .. Experts pls do comment …

  23. I had vaginal hysterectomy for prolapse just 3 nights ago, repair to pelvic floor and perineum included! I am an IBS sufferer and at the moment that is causing me absolute agony! I have such bad wind pain, have had laxatives to move things along and that’s under a level of control (albeit “sore”) but the wind pain is awful. I can barely cope with eating as a result! I go home tomorrow and can’t wait as think being in familiar surrounds will help. Its not helping that despite being mobile since the day after my op they still want me to have heparin injections which I’m now refusing as I don’t like how I feel since I’ve had them. All that said, so glad I’ve had the op….. will see how things are in few weeks!

  24. I’m going to see a consultant next week with prolapse I’ve had since the birth of my second son 13 years ago. Pelvic floor excercises have helped until the past year. My GP has suggested that a hysterectomy may be the best option and I can’t go on as I am – even going for a half hour walk leaves me needing to sit down, but I’m unsure about to do as I hate not being able to do things for myself. I am 44 with 2 teenage sons and a loving husband.

  25. Hello sunny. I am very happy to see your story. In 2weeks time I am going to have the same operation. I am very nervous. I am going to see the gynecologist tomorrow to discuss various issues. I thought I will have just the repair without hysterectomy but now I am thinking better to have it in one sitting. wish you aful recovery.

  26. It is perfectly normal – your body has been traumatised and it will feel stiff and sore for some time to come … but it WILL get better, you just need to give it time 🙂

  27. I had a vaginal hysterectomy 9 days ago. I have been shocked by how I feel…like a bus has run over me! And so tired every day that bed rest is abosultely my only option. Ive had two good days.. sitting on the sofa and having some visitors but I paid for that after and slept for two days after day and night! I am not depressed, but I am hoping that this mind blowing exhaustion will lift soon. Any words of advice please?

  28. That’s very unusual Shirley and I do hope that things improve for you very soon indeed. Linda

  29. Just had similar surgery for prolapse – Vaginal hysterectomy, anterior and posterior repair. Spinal anaesthesia. Feeling great already after just a week – mild discomfort is the worst I’m feeling, not taking analgesia, and am enjoying the enforced idleness. After the sheer terror on the run up, I’m very glad I went for it. In my 60s.

  30. I had a vaginal hysterectomy due to a prolapse in June 2011 and I have been on antibiotics since !!!! Except for a about 4 weeks – infection after infection. Pain has been excruciating in my lower back area since the op. Bowels have also been hit and miss!!! I also feel so tired all the time. Back working full time after 3 months away from work. So I certainly dont feel like a new woman!!!

  31. Anne, thanks for your story. I am going thru about the same thing and suspect that I will make the same decision. I’m 70 but hope to do as well as you.

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