This topic is very rarely spoken of, which is why I decided to share my story. It’s time to break the taboo. I am aware of my prolapse, and yet I walk with courage into my day.
It is largely a psychological, more than a physical discomfort.
Admittedly, the physical discomfort is there - my constant need to go to the loo as my bladder never feels entirely empty is just one of the physical implications of prolapse. More intimately it has psychologically affected my love life, because I allowed myself to feel like less of a woman.
I was questioning my femininity and wondered if I still satisfied my husband. Seeing a specialist and just having her listen to my story, soothed my worst anxiety, and helped me to accept my prolapse fate.
Six years ago, when my husband, Simon and I brought our first born, Stanley Jasper Good, into this world. We were living in London at the time. He was born within 30 minutes of us arriving at the hospital, with no drugs, in a very beautiful and lucid moment.
Born at 41 weeks, our Stan was healthy. It is in this tender moment of his birth that I still sometimes blame myself. I broke myself down for many years, as though I was the cause.
That I am to blame is a lie. Even if I had decided on a C-section delivery, this probably would have still happened. Weak connective tissue is what caused my prolapse. That is it. Nothing more.
This does not make me inferior as a woman.
Nothing was going to stop this from happening, nor would anything have been the cause as to why it chose me.
I still recall that terrifying day in the shower, horrified, as I discovered a “bulge” between my legs and a strong pull towards my feet. I was not able to fight this discomfort, and in a panic I jumped out of the shower to call my husband to take me to hospital.
I thought at the time that perhaps I was dying.
The doctors recognised straight away that I have a pelvic organ prolapse. I have never heard of this condition before, and straight away I did NOT like it.
I felt incandescent with rage, as the doctor described what a prolapse was, and that I had all three types of prolapse.
He went on to say that it was graded into various degrees of severity. I am stuck between the worst and most hopeful parts of a prolapse, as I have grade two. Some of the doctors were baffled, as they tell me I have the pelvic area of a menopausal woman in her late 50s.
I felt my dignity as a woman take a back seat, as I was only 27 at the time.
Living with a prolapse is 80% mental. It’s an acute psychological battle which is way more damaging than managing the actual physical prolapse.
In the first few weeks of diagnosis, I completely blamed myself. I blamed my bulimic past as a young woman and my weak substandard body.
My femininity was at stake, as this journey was personal affecting all that is sacred to me. After all, your womb is your unborn child’s first home. I eventually decided to see a specialist.
She changed the “curse” of my diagnosis and showed me it has nothing to do with my past. It is simply the misfortune of weak connectivity tissue. She also taught me that this very sensitive and sacred issue affects more women that I am aware of. It is actually quite common and many women do not even know that they're suffering a prolapse.
Since it is still taboo conversation amongst woman, many continue their newfound discomfort in utter silence.
Here are ways to help you if you're suffering from pelvic organ prolapse:
- Not drinking too much coffee, or any other diuretic
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Pelvic floor exercises that I can do outside or in the comfort of my own home
She also assured me that my husband still gets all the pleasure he needs and that my condition can improve from a Grade two to Grade one, if I am committed to doing kegel exercises.
Long term, there are so many options, from a pessary, to physical pelvic floor rehabilitation, to the more final hysterectomy (once your family is complete of course). Psychologically it does get better, though only once you have made a decision to be patient, loving and kind to yourself.
So this is my story and I want to remind other women, of all the joy and love that life continues to offer us.