Been told I might need a rectocele repair - bricking it already!

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I am 52 and have had two children (both grown-up) by normal deliveries.  have been diagnosed with a rectocele and the doctor has referred me to the hospital, but I haven't even heard back with a date for an initial appointment and I'm already scared stiff! 

My main fear is not the surgery itself but the fact that I might have difficulty with sex afterwards, particularly in view of my age (I am mid-menopause, having not had a period now for 6 months).  I have read so many horror stories online about people still experiencing pain several months after the operation.  It took 3 months before I was comfortable with sex after giving birth to my babies, and on neither occasion did I have an episiotomy!

Sorry this post must sound as though I am sex-obsessed, but it is really worrying me a lot. 

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Susie. You may have read horror stories but they aren't that common. Ladies tend to post about problems they have rather than the positive side of prolapse repair. Believe me there are hundreds of positive stories and I have probably posted one of them. The majority of women find sex more enjoyable following surgery as do their partners because most urogynaecologists (and that's who you must insist on seeing) are extremely sensitive to a woman's needs and will ensure the vagina is tightened enough to help this happen. It's something you should discuss with your consultant and don't be embarrassed, believe me they've heard it hundreds of times. They won't be embarrassed and the subject could well be brought up by him/her. 

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  • Posted

    Hello , I'm 39 and had the same op last year after 3 very large natural Births 10lb7oz - 11lb 6oz . I got myself in a right state reading horror stories about the op and recovery. None of which was needed , I rested as advised and was having sex about 9 weeks after . I did read that if you feel comfortable and you are healed the earlier the better , something to do with scar tissue. Took it really slowly the first few times, lots of jokes from husband about not being able to fit ! smile

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    • Posted

      Gingernic I'm so happy to read you, I had my rectocele surgery 6 days ago and a bit scared also by the stories in the internet! I really appreciate that you write successful stories also!! Hugs!!!

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  • Posted

    Don't be scared. I had a rectocele repair last April. I am 53 and although I wasn't menopausal before  the op ( the op plunged me into menopause big time for unidentified reasons).

    ?Although my repair failed for other reasons the op itself was not a problem and recovery was not a problem.  Yes I felt tired and draggy - the recovery time is far far longer than you will be told and you will need to rest, rest , rest. But my reovery was not too bad. Sex was not a problem either! Things healed well and we had had sex at about 7 weeks. The first time was painful and I had to ask Mr Trizz to withdraw a little bit but after that its been fine. I think the pain was to do with stitches still present. Just wait to heal and take it slow would be my advice.

    ?You have years of active sex life ahead  (well I'm planning to anyway) and the repair will make it better!!

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  • Posted

    Thanks Matron, Trizz and Ginger for your helpful responses. Ouch Ginger, your babies were half as big again as mine! I'll try to stop worrying and, as you say, things may well be a lot better! One question: did you have a general or local anaesthetic for your ops? I did read on one site that you could have it done with a local (I guess it depends on the individual though)

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    • Posted

      The operation is more commonly performed under a general anaesthetic but it is being performed in some areas under a local and very successfully. It is obviously up to the patient and anaesthetist but recovery is quicker and discharge from hospital possibly can be. From what I've heard it's absolutely pain free.

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  • Posted

    I am 56 and only found out last month I had a rectocele!!! main problem I have was with passing poo if i was a bit constipated,

    Can you tell me at what stage is a rectocele bad enough to require surgery?,,,what other problems arise?

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    • Posted

      annie the stage of the prolapse doesn't always determine when you should have surgery, it can depend on how it is affecting you personally and psychologically as well. A good urogynaecologist will take this into account along with your other symptoms as in your case difficulty having your bowels opened and constipation.

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    • Posted

      Well I haven't been told I need surgery yet, as I haven't seen a specialist - but my rectocele is causing me problems pooing - basically the poo collects in it and I have to press on it from inside the vaginal to empty it completely. If i don't do that there is a strong chance it will leak out during the course of the day and soil my underwear sad

      I have to use the disabled toilet if I need a no. 2 at work so I can wash thoroughly afterwards.

      It is visible as a pink bulge just inside the entrance to the vagina

      It doesn't cause any pain during sex as it moves out of the way, but my OH has said that I feel different "down there".

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  • Posted

    I have been diagnosed with a rectocele and waiting for an appointment with a pelvic floor exercise nurse anyone else tried these and are they successful, surely it needs operating on anyone know the options as i am having terrible bowel problems basically cant go and not eating much as a result any advice greatly appreciated
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    • Posted

      christine I don't think pelvic floor exercises at this stage will help the rectocele however they will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Stephanie who is the expert on pelvic floor exercises will I'm sure respondto you as she knows far more than I do.

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    • Posted

      thanks matron you are very helpful i am in total despair with it all hospital appointments and nurse appointments are taking forever and with the holidays coming up will be delayed even further
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    • Posted

      I can tell by your post how you feel and I fully understand having had a rectocele and cystocele repair and also working in urogynaecology for a number of years. Most repairs are successful, unfortunately we read about the failures mostly because forums like this one is somewhere ladies come to when they need help and support. My repair was over 6 years ago and following the initial couple of months I've been ok and without any problems. There's no reason why you won't be if you decide surgery is for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Susie This was also a big worry of mine as my sex life is also very important to me. I had a rectocoele and cystocoele plus a perineal repair on the 20th October. The recovery was quite painful but I had a lot more surgery than you are anticipating. I was very upfront with my surgeon about the sex bit and he reassured me that it would all be fine after 6 weeks. Well we did do it after 6 weeks when all was healed and it was fine, great actually as both me and my husband could feel so much more! So dont worry, people who post on these sites are the ones that tend to have problems. I was also back to work on a phased return after 4 weeks and am now back at work full time 8 weeks on and enjoying a full sex life
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