If rectocele was confirmed, please see a urogynecologist-this is the specialist for pelvic organ prolapse. POP often gets misdiagnosed by other physicians, even gastros. Here's a link to an article I wrote that covers the basics-please read it to see how much of it fits.
Your symptoms are quite common with rectocele. Little helps until surgery is done, you can take pills, eat fiber until you feel like a farm animal, drink tons of water, nothing helps much-bottom line is stool gets stuck in the bulge and can't come out. With a colon like you describe, the problem is compounded.
I highly recommend you seek counsel with a urogyn to see what opinion comes from that direction. If you can't find one, let me know and I can send you info on how to dig for one in your area.
Also, your youth may have something to do with why no one has checked more deeply into POP, often women in your age pocket are blown off when it comes to rectocele because it is assumed this is an older woman's condition-it is not, I speak with young women all the time with rectocele. Vaginal childbirth is the leading cause but there are many other causes as well. Good luck, I hope you get some answers soon.
Thank you soo very much. I am going to read your article right now.
The surgeon that my specialist wants me to see is a urogynecologist so I am glad to hear that means I am headed in the right direction.
Like you said.. I have tried everything and nothing is helping so I pray surgery will be my answer and I can start feeling normal again.
Have you had this surgery? How was the recovery?
Wow your article is spot on and makes me feel less alone. Ever since I have been diagnosed I have been happy they know what is wrong after 6 years of and a million tests and 5 doctors later....but sortof depressed and embarrassed by it. Making me feel like what did I do that caused this etc. And now when I do go to the bathroom or have sex I am nervous cause I know in my head what is going on with my body and it sortof freaks me out.
Do people with POP also have more UTI's, yeast infections, rashes etc?
Also is this something a regular gynocologist could see during my annual routine visit? Or only through this defecography I had.
another thing.. it says during menapause you can get this cause of hormones? What about hormones and birth control? Would birth control cause this?
I had surgery for 3 of the 5 types of POP, it was all fixed with one surgery. recovery varies from woman to woman (depending on type(s) of POP and degree of severity), in general 6-12 weeks. This is pretty intricate surgery and it is important to take necessary time to heal so the surgery "sticks". Makes no sense time/money/pain wise to have to repeat surgery because you became active too soon. Usually about a week on the couch (overnight in hospital) but 1st 2 weeks are pretty inactive then gradually increasing activity.
Many women are embarrassed or depressed with POP symtoms, don't feel alone. What is important is knowing for sure what is wrong so you can go forward.
UTIs are common with cystocele (bladder), often not all the urine comes out and that can cause UTI. Yeast infections can occur too but don't hear about them as often (try reducing sugar and eating more yogurt or taking acidopholus capsules, that usually helps). Don't usually see rashes at your age, that is more of a menopausal women's thing with reduction in hormone levels and tissue atrophy.
The reason it is common in menopausal women is because when estrogen is reduced, all of our tissues (muscle) get weaker including the pc muscle which is the support structure for organs in the pelvic cavity. Should have nothing to do with birth control pills but that may be a contributing factor for yeast infections.
I'm going to send you a PM (private message) with some additional info.
Thank you for all of this info.
I got my paper copy of my results in today to take with me to my next appt
They say.... 4x3 cm anterior rectocele which does not completely empty Excessive pelvic floor descent with evacuation and extrinsic compression of proximal rectum..possibly to an enterocele
Does that make sense to you???
My concern is did this cause the issues with my colon or was it the other way around?? Also is it possible for my colon to shrink down again once this is fixed or will I also need acolon resectioning on top of it to prevent getting this again?? :(
Yes, rectocele and enterocele often go together. This is classic POP scenario with rectocele. I don't think either caused the other to occur, your colon was probably always the size it is and when the rectocele occured, the issues cropped up. The colon will not shrink, discuss with your urygyn if that needs to be addressed or if the rectocele repair will allow your colon to return to normal function. The long colon did not cause the rectocele. Most women have multiple causes of POP, vaginal childbirth is the leading cause, chronic constipation is both a cause and symptom. Multiple other causes, heavy lifting, running/jogging, genetics, chronic coughing.
I will definitely bring this up to her. I just was wondering if I had a slow transit/long colon etc that cause the constipation.. and cause me to strain.. that maybe that in turn caused the retrocele etc. My specialist seems to think the opposite. He thinks the retrocele is causing me to get backed up which in turn has cause my colon to stretch out etc.
Again thank you so much for your help!! You have been a god sent!
How long are you usually off of work for recovery if you don have surgery?
Not typically off of work unless you have surgery because this is then an on-going condition. Women usually figure out what works to help them have comfort/function at work, support garments at work and utilizing treatments to balance POP better.
I am sorry I meant if you DO have surgery. Sorry about that.
Typically the heal curve post surgery is 6-12 weeks, depending on what you have done. In your scenario you can probably plan on the longer time frame. It varies from women to woman because we have different procedures done, different types of POP. This would be a good question to ask your urogyn.
Thank you.. that gives me a general idea. I will definitely bring it up to the surgeon when I meet with her on April 11th.
Did anyone lose any weight after having their rectocele fixed? Or if not weight loss had reduced bloating from no longer being backed up. I pray that part goes away.
Don't typically hear about weight loss related to POP surgery although going to a bland diet immediately b/4 and after surgery does help a tiny bit. Should help a bit with bloating since constipation s/b reduced. Keep in mind that it will take a bit for your colon to adjust after surgery so may not be regular right off the bat but should level pretty quickly with proper diet. Remember sugar is glue in intestines/colon so the more you eat, the more constipation you have. So hard to give it up though, we all love our brownies!
I have been counting down the days to my appointment and now it is almost here!! Next Weds. the 11th!! I am nervous and anxious all at the same time.
Just breath, try to stay calm. Once you have a definitive diagnosis & path of treatment it's easier to take things one step at a time. Not knowing what is to come is the hardest part. Please keep me in the loop, you'll be in my thoughts on Wednesday.
So today's appointment with the surgeon seemed like more of a waste of my time and money then anything else.. so much for waiting a couple of months in hope I was headed in the right direction for a change
1.) she is a colon and rectal surgeon who works in womans health and pelvic issues but she is not a urogynocologist!!! (and I already saw a colon and rectal surgeon so I am a bit upset the constipation specialist recommended I go to her for this) there fore I have to go back to see their Urogynocologist about the anterior rectocele. I made an appointment to see the one on May 23rd...So I really just went and saw a colon surgeon which I have already done. So no anterior rectocele surgery appointment set. Ugh.. more run around..
2.) she feels the anterior rectocele is not what is causing my 2 -3 week back ups of constipation and stomach aches etc... and feels my colon is to blame....there fore she does not agree with constipation specialist that sent me to her......she feels I have 2 completely different problems.. the colon being one problem which no one seems to know why and the anterior rectocele just being a completely second problem that I have.....she also seemed boggled on what was wrong with me..I could tell with the way she talked that she didn't really know how to answer me as to what she considered wrong with me and my colon. She said she wanted to discuss my case with the constipation specialist and then have a meeting with him and myself to decide what we should do about my colon. She mentioned colon surgery but is highly against removing the whole colon like the first colon surgeon suggested to me. It just didnt leave me feeling very confident. I really don't want to be experimental with my organs. I am nervous that we will meet and they are gonna come up with what they think they should do and then what if they are wrong...
I submitted my case to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I really am at a loss right now on what to do anymore. I am starting to lose hope..
How frustrating; please don't lose hope. One thing you might want to question urogyn about when you finally get in to see her if she also questions that you have more than one issue going on is intussusception(and dig into, anything that might help shine light to get things balanced). This is a pretty uncommon scenario where the colon develops "fingers" that extend off of it and the poop can get stuck in there and can't get out. To get an idea of what it is like, hold the fingers of your hand together except the thumb, intuss is kind of like that thumb sticking out-dead end for poop. I'm still hopeful it is rectocele though. I would think between the 2 colon drs though if it was intuss they'd have caught it.
Also might consider submitting case info fo Cleveland Clinic, they are stop shelf as well. Can't hurt to get more medical opinions-as long as no one is talking surgery without knowing what they are addressing.
Sure hope things get figured out soon.
Thank you Sherrie.. you always make me feel better.. I was in tears when i got home on Weds..
I have an appointment with a urogynocologist that my step mom recommended to me instead of the one that the dr I just saw recommended to me.. I feel like that place is giving me the run around.. I can't get in until June 27th.. but I altleast have an appointment and am going to move forward with the rectocele and see what she says.
As far as intussusception would that show up in any of the tests that I have had done?
I would think the barium colon tests should show if there was intuss. Don't know how obvious this is on pictures-might be a good idea to ask.
It's unfortunate you have to wait so long to see urogyn-long wait usually indicates a good dr though so hopefully you'll get some answers. I sure hope you get some answers soon!
Great news today.. the urogyno's nurse contacted me after I sent her my medical history recap letter. The Dr told her to get me in sooner by giving me one of the special cases appointments.. so I guess I am special. I get in now on May 9th!!!!!! Also the Mayo Clinic also contacted me. My next step is to send them all my medical record stuff and they will review my case.
This is GREAT NEWS!! Please keep me in the loop!