I never gave an update on my busted lady business, and I do want to chronicle that journey for anyone else who is dealing with lingering physical issues post pregnancy and/or vaginal delivery.
The reason I haven’t updated is there isn’t much to say. The uro-gynocologist I met with was very nice and did a lot to validate my concerns (which I always appreciate from medical professionals). She did a thorough examination and clearly explained what was going on and what they could do to alleviate my symptoms.
Of course there was a lot of poking and prodding in my lady business, which didn’t surprise me. One procedure I was not expecting, and that was exceedingly weird, was when she inserted a catheter and FILLED MY BLADDER to make sure it could hold the requisite amount. Let me tell you, the sudden onset of a full bladder is a bizarre (and rather painful) sensation, almost as weird as the feeling of peeing cold water. That was seriously the oddest thing I have ever experienced.
Luckily my bladder can still hold plenty of liquid, and I don’t have any continence issues (for this I am supremely grateful), but I do have problems with completely vacating my bladder and even after I peed she was able to “squeeze” a good 60 mLs out through the catheter. This doesn’t surprise me because it always feels like I need to pee, even when I just went and I still have to stand up to get the last drops out. Evidently even when I do that I’m still not voiding my bladder completely.
The doctor explained that they rate prolapse on a scale of 0-4, 0 being no prolapse and 4 indicating a protrusion of pelvic organs outside of the vagina. I immediately guessed I would was at a 2 and I was right. My issues are not severe, but they are definitely noticeable.
Surgery is an option but my doctor recommended I wait until I was done picking up my child regularly before I get it. That is at least two or three years in the future. She said the surgery has an 80% success rate and then in 20% of cases things eventually go “back the way they were.”
In the meantime I was fitted for a pessary, which is a thick ring that folds in half and is inserted into the vagina. The pessary acts like a trampoline, holding up the prolapsed pelvic organs and keeping them from the opening of the vagina. This isn’t super helpful for me, as my symptoms are worse in situations where I can’t wear the pessary, like during my period (I want to be able to wear a menstrual cup or a tampon) and sex. It does help relieve the feeling of pressure I have when I work out, but I don’t feel much of a difference otherwise (which mostly means I don’t notice my prolapse otherwise, which is a good thing).
I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure how to feel leaving the doctor’s office. On the one hand I am very grateful that I’m not dealing with more severe issues and that waiting a couple of years for surgery is mostly just an inconvenience. On the other hand, I’m having my period one out of every three weeks (I still have my short 20-21 day cycles–thanks DOR!–but my copper IUD makes my periods longer, if not necessarily heavier) and it sucks to wear re-useable bamboo pads (so as not to irritate my fissure). Also, I’d love for sex not to be uncomfortable, but I’m feeling more and more resigned to that being an issue for the foreseeable future.
I think mostly the appointment was just a wake-up call that these issues are never going away, at least not completely. This is my life now and I need to figure out how to make it work without getting too down about it. It could be so much worse and I’m thankful that it’s manageable, but I miss my unscathed lady business and I long for sex to be purely pleasurable once again.
Man, those were the days.