Is this a rectocele?

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Hi ladies, I've been experiencing an intermittent lump and feeling of fullness in my vagina that disappears after a bowel movement. Sorry to sound crude but sometimes it can be quite a lump and I have to insert my fingers in there to push it out when I'm on the loo! It's got worse over the past year but I can still live with it. It just becomes a problem sometimes when I'm exercising. Does this sound like a rectocele? Any advice appreciated. I'm 45 with 2 children.

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  • Posted

    Hello cheryl it does sound like a rectocele. That's how I first noticed mine. I suppose the best thing is to see your doctor and get a firm diagnosis.
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  • Posted

    Hi Cheryl,

    3 years ago before my hysterectomy and anterior repair, the advanced prolapse of front vag... wall was causing bladder problems sometimes having to sit with legs up in air then running for toilet, sometimes having to insert fingers to try push bladder wall forward to allow it to empty properly. Also doing lift and squeeze pelvic floor exersuses to empty properly. I

    eventually had my hysterectomy along with an anterior repair.

    When discharged not given anything to help BM, so was very worried first few days as muscle at end did not seem to work and felt I really needed yet pushing against back vag wall.

    Had not been told what to expect or given any advise. However like you, discovered that if I inserted 2 fingers in vag and pushed the back lumpy wall that was protruding back in place then my muscle worked allowing BM. It did seem to sore itself over net few days so put it down to anesthetic.

    3 years on and having difficulty wiping clean at back end, small pocket developed (same as above) prolapse of back vag... wall. Not emptying bowel properly ( you do a bit then seemed to be empty yet still felt full) , as soon as start moving around immediately need again, and so on rest of day.

    Can be a real problem when st work out and about. GP agreed was a prolapse, but both front and back ( back only slight) ; amazed that only a slight prolapse can cause such a problem. Referred to consultant and (running late so only saw assistant consultant, she was really nervous and agitated being under pressure). She said prolapse at front causing pressure at the back, and only needed front repaired again.

    In the end different consultant, done my op and said she would know once in there what she would need to do. So in the end had both front and back repair done this time.

    Hope this helps you, if your are prolapsed and it is very mild they can send you for physiotherapy which can sort things, or if needed can offer pessary (a ring) to help hold wall up in place. They only usually offer surgery if prolapse advanced beyond this kind of help.

    Phyl x💖

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  • Posted

    Hi chic, that was me some six month ago now had A&P to sort it out, go and see Gyni and they will confirm how or what the next steps are xxx

    good luck and take care x

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  • Posted

    Hi cheryl1970,

    It sounds very much like a rectocele. See your GP & get referred to a specialist. I have one too and it seems to be getting worse even though I have been really careful about not getting constipated etc. Surgery does seem to be the answer for most women but we are all different so get it checked out. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cheryl

    Yes it does sound like a rectocele, get a proper diagnosis so that you can decide what you want to do, and more importantly how to manage your prolapse. In the meantime a toilet stool might help take the pressure off your pelvic floor by raising your knees. There is also someting called a Femmeze Vagina Trainer which was developed by an NHS nurse. You use it vaginally instead of your fingers to lever the bowel back into position for defactaion. 

    Make sure you strengthen up your pelvic floor with targeted exercises - this will help to stop the prolpase from getting worse, and if you are exercising make sure you google 'safe exercises for prolpase'. There is an Aussie Physio called Michelle Kenway who has done a number of free films on You Tube to help you understand what is safe and whats not (applies for all women with prolpase not just rectocele). You need to avoing high impact exercise, but get strong as much as possible.

    Hope this helps.

    S

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  • Posted

    Hi Cheryl! Yes it sounds like a rectocele. I have a mild rectocele and recognize some of your symptoms. It is not dangerous, but if it bothers you too much yo could have an app with your dr to have it diagnosed and offered a solution. Hugs!!!
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  • Posted

    It sounds like a rectocele to me. -- needing to put your fingers inside and press on the back wall of your vagina (splinting) to defecate is the giveaway.  Needing to splint is also how I figured out I had one.  Fwiw, I bought a box of exam gloves and that made splinting less hassle.  

    If if you think yours is mild enough that you don't want surgery, I think you should still see a urogyn.  Pessaries and pelvic floor physical therapy are both things that can help a a mild rectocele without surgery.  

    Good luck to you!

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    • Posted

      That's excellent advice DorryC and I would always recommend a Urogynaecologist who may have a specially trained physiotherapist in the team because you can read books and watch videos but they are the only professionals who can assess you and ensure you are doing your pelvic floor exercises correctly.
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  • Posted

    Thanks everyone - it's reassuring to find I'm not alone! It's something I can't discuss with hubby and a very personal problem!
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    • Posted

      Yes Cheryl no matter how nice our hubbies are this is a very especial problem that only ladies with the same issues can understand completely. They support us as husbands of course but the truth is that the girls of this forum are the best people to share these kind of prolapse worries 😉 . I feel that the girls of this forum understand me completely, and they give excellent advice especially our dear Matron (Sorry for my English... I'm Spanish...) 😘
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    • Posted

      Hijadeonagro,

      Your English is excellent. I only ever did French and Latin and while I was great at written French I was never very good at spoken French and never having used it have forgotten most of it.

      I should learn some basic Spanish as we nearly always go on holiday to Spain, quite scandalous that I haven't as yet!!!

      Phyl x☺☺☺

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    • Posted

      Thanks Phyl! 😳

      French is a very beautiful language also, I love both English and French but I have to say that French has been more difficult for me...

      By the way, I'm very happy to hear that you love Spain as a place for holidays... ❤️

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had exactly the same as you Cheryl, I got a referral to the Gynae who performed my hysterctomy back in 2004 and he confirmed it was a rectocele, I had a ' posterior vaginal repair' on Friday. today is Sunday and I am at home recovering, in bed laid on my side as my 'undercarriage' is a bit tender! no Bowel movement yet, that is scarier than the operation! I am 54 with grown up children, I also have chronic asthma so I cough hard and a lot, which, along with the hysterectomy, has also contributed to the rectocele. 
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    • Posted

      hi Pearl, I'm glad you are recovering well. Did you have surgery with mesh or only stitches? Take a stool softener for the first BM darling. My best wishes of recovery, keep us informed, I'm having posterior repair in the next months and trying to get as much info as I can. hugs!!! 😘
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    • Posted

      Hello pearl. It's good to hear you are resting in bed. Hope the operation went well. So now you do nothing for 2 weeks and definitely no lifting anything heavier than a kettle with enough water for 1 cup of tea. Alan the moderator has put together some excellent information on a Pinned Post on the Genitourinary home page which I know you'll find useful and it will answer a lot of any concerns you may have in the coming weeks. However everyone on this forum will give you lots if support. So keep resting and Hijadeonagro's advice is spot on regarding a stool softener, if you weren't given any on prescription they are available over the counter at most pharmacies. Take care.
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    • Posted

      My lovely lovely Gynae had this to say about the recovery - the first 4 weeks are crucial ! rest, rest and more rest to ensure the stitches heal properly, he does not use mesh, it is all stitching, lots! I can potter, light dusting, no standing or walking for long periods, no heavy lifting, nothing more than a kettle with one cup of water in it. no hoovering or lifting flagstones! Failure to be careful may result in needing to have this done again in 3 or 4 years time, he says the better care I take while healing, the longer it will last.. Pain wise, it is quite sore today, I had the op Friday, today is Sunday, he injected the whole area with a load of local anaesthetic during the op, so it wasn't until late last night that it started to get uncomfortable, but it is manageable with paracetamol and ibuprofen alternating every 2 hours, sitting upright is difficult so I am half laid in bed on my side-ish. Haven't had a poo yet... scared! taking lactulose twice a day to make it easier when it does happen, I think I had that sorted out while under anaesthetic too.. so not expecting results today... 
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    • Posted

      Thank goodness you have a consultant who gives good, up to date sensible, realistic advice. It may surprise you pearl but there are so many ladies discharged with no advice at all. 
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    • Posted

      It is phyl isn't it? I think you'll agree from what we read on this forum that it's a regular occurrence. How did you get on today?  Weren't you going into work? x 
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    • Posted

      Hi Matron,

      Yes , thanks for asking. 1st day back 8am-1pm shift. Managed fairly good. On my feet at self scan till around 11am, (that included my 15 min break at almost 9.30am, so glad to get that break was enough to recuperate but think I could not have lasted much longer ).

      On till at checkout from 11am. Managed to avoid lifting anything heavy, actually surprised at how well I managed, think I must have been struggling with prolapse for a lot longer than I realized and forgot how it should be to be almost normal.

      Definitely sure this repair is much more successful than last time which I believe is down to having the support of this forum. Glad that is by now and that's me till next Sunday, 2×5 hour shifts next week, and no overtime for a while.

      So grateful the girls at work are being supportive, hope it last for a little while.

      Been dozing off all afternoon on couch, feel like I've ran a marathon, but no nippy throbbing or lower back pain, so we'll pleased.

      Phyl x☺☺☺

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    • Posted

      Yes, starting to think that maybe after all I will get my life back and eventually get that bike out too. One baby step at a time though!

      Phyl x ☺

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    • Posted

      Yes it is, had cut out the swimming last week to concentrate on walking. So this week will slot the swimming in on Thursday and following week maybe Wednesday and Friday.

      X☺

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    • Posted

      You have done so well phyl and I'm so pleased because you did everything to the letter and it's paid off. Brilliant! xx
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    • Posted

      Dear Pearl the lactilosa makes your poo very soft when you need the necessity to go try not to strain and blow while you let it get out. Happy to see that your pain is not much, cos my op is near!!! Your consultant sounds good congrats!
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    • Posted

      Last time I had repair done did not realize how important it was to rest and allow enough time for healing, by nature too impatient. Thought because I was so fit and healthy would heal so much faster, but doesn't work like that.

      It's worth the wait during recovery, and hopefully as long as I avoid the usual: lifting toddlers, heavy gardening, heavy shopping, any heavy manual work and being on feet too long repair should last for many years, maybe even till retirement! X ☺☺☺

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    • Posted

      I'm sure your experience will give hope to a lot if other ladies some are struggling at the moment but you are proof there's light at the end of the tunnel so to speak and it's worth all those weeks of rest xx
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    • Posted

      Yes it would be nice to think that it will be encouraging for those ladies in the earlier weeks when feels like you are never getting anywhere.

      You get up in the morning feeling great and as soon as you try to do anything, you end up feeling like you've overdone it yet hardly done anything. It seems to take forever; my sister kept saying it's only a few weeks compared to the rest of your life!

      Phyl x☺☺☺

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    • Posted

      Your sister was right and now your quality of life has improved which was definitely worth it. It's almost 6 years since my anterior and posterior repair and fingers crossed it will not trouble me for many more years x
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    • Posted

      I returned to work after 13 weeks initially on a phased return for what was supposed to be 4 weeks but I actually only did 3 of those weeks. I retired the following year.
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    • Posted

      Do you think Matron, that your repair has lasted longer due to being retired and having more control over what you do and when, allowing for the hard work and time you put in on the forum?

      Phyl x ☺

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    • Posted

      Yes you're probably right but I wasn't actually nursing patients at that time but I was on my feet a lot so it must have made a difference x
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    • Posted

      It is good to know that under right circumstances these repairs can last for years.

      I love my job and don't want to have to change it.

      Left school and went into office as junior for summer, done a pre-nursing course for a year then joined telecom board as clerical assistant (owned by government at that time) .

      After taking time out for 1st three kids, couldn't get back into office work; had lots of various part-time work usually on my feet.

      Went back to college then university part-time; had a job offer bookkeeping (my own office too) within publishing company, some of the accounting practises were dodgy and wasn't happy so left.

      Have never managed to get that illusive job where I would not be on my feet all day.

      At least on checkouts I do get to sit some of the time, couldn't afford to retire yet anyway, and don't reckon my chances of office work at this late stage would be any better!

      Phyl x☺

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    • Posted

      They say that repairs are lasting longer, they used to have a lifespan of 10 years maximum but I think will the urogynaecology qualification that's only given to gynaecologists that have undertaken at least 2 years of intensive training has improved things. I hope so because I don't want to go through it all again. 

      I went to pre-nursing college as well phyl and I think they should bring it back again.

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    • Posted

      Definitely, I loved doing Anatomy , Physiology and Health, got a B grade in my exams, despite missing 6 weeks (had appendix out, it was abcessed).

      Wanted to go back and do at higher level, so as to go on and do registered nursing, but by then had job offer in telecom board, parents went on about being civil servant can't pass up that and said I could always go back and do nursing later if still wanted too.

      Anyhow ended up doing a social science degree much later, and would have loved to teach it but never managed to get my higher English ( tried twice), was always better at maths, got a distinction in my bookkeeping was registered bookkeeper for a while.

      Always too involved prioritising family; I think back then men were still main breadwinners and their jobs were always prioritised. My hubby couldn't cope with first three kids, but as he got older he was very good with the younger three, and needed me to help pay mortgage so his whole attitude changed and was happy to be more involved with kids.

      Anyhow might end up working for hubby, before retiring (would hate that).

      Phyl x☺

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    • Posted

      Hi Pearl,

      That's good that you have a great consultant who still takes time with his patients, and giving you some great advice too!

      Good luck with your recovery, and plenty rest.

      Phyl x☺

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    • Posted

      Pearl - One of the ladies here recommended glycerin suppositories.  I tried them post op and they really helped me.  With all the pressure and discomfort it was difficult to tell if I really had to go or not.  I was also worried about waiting too long and having constipation.  

      I was on stool softeners and a mild laxative post op (now @3 weeks, stool softener only) but using the glycerin suppository really helped when I thought I might have to go but I wasn't sure.  It gave me a clear urge to go and let everything come out easily with no straining at all.

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    • Posted

      Thank you DorryC, useful to know, yes I am not sure what is normal post op cramping, and what may be an urge to 'go' also my bum feels tender so think there may have been an anema or similar while I was under the anaesthetic as I didn't go naturally for a couple of days beforehand. Will send my man out to the pharmacy..... they will think he has the problem, not me haha ! 
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    • Posted

      pearl they wouldn't have given you an enema whilst you were under anaesthetic, can you just imagine the mess! Any surgery that involves the bowel or any part of the alimentary tract slows the bowel down which is why you sometimes don't have your bowels opened for a few days.
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    • Posted

      I hope it helps you too, Pearl!  Are you also taking a stool softener?  I was told to take Miralax (PEG 3550), senna, and docusate post op. The senna and docusate were short term but I am still on the miralax.  That is what my son was given after his surgery, too

      It's normal for anasthesia to slow down your bowels, even if the op is nowhere near your bowels.  Also, opiates cause constipation so it's normal for things to be slow and for you to need a little help.  Nothing to be embarassed about.  I hope you are comfortable again soon.

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