Important Pessary Information

Body: 

I've had a cystocele for several years - but because of some heavy carrying over last winter (a "no, no"), a bout of coughing with respiratory flu (I've now learned to cross my legs and kegel when coughing since coughing is one of the worst things for a cystocele), and the aging process of ligaments loosening (I'm 64), the cystocele went from a Stage 2 to a Stage 3 out of 4.

I debated about surgery even though I had read Christine's original book and truly didn't want surgery (a Surgeon my Gyn sent me to for a pessary fitting was really pushing for the surgery for various reasons) and drove myself crazy (should I? or shouldn't I?) - but finally decided that I would try to manage and not have the surgery. Big decision - since I am very active and involved in much volunteer work and other things, including travelling. I knew that I had to try a pessary because without it, I was uncomfortable and hurting since there was chafing and irritation in the area and it was uncomfortable because it had dropped.

So - about 2 months ago, I decided to get a ring pessary with support, even though pessaries supposedly don't work with a Stage 3 or 4 prolapse.

After much, much, much frustration (and tears - and I am not a "teary" person - or at least I wasn't until now!!), and trying everything to keep that pessary in place (it wasn't working because it would slide down and press on my bladder and then I'd be in the bathroom every 10 minutes!) (I was seriously thinking about writing a guide book to the restrooms in the Malls, restaurants, WalMart, KMart, Home Depot, grocery stores - you get the idea! - and other places in our area), I found an article about pessaries that really has made a HUGE difference.

The article was written by 2 Doctors from Toronto who realized that there is very little instruction given to doctors when they are learning about pessaries, and they decided that they would make pessary use an important part of their practices. The article, published in The College of Family Physicians of Canada monthly newsletter (Mar 2007 Vol 53), is an instructional article for other doctors to teach them how to fit and insert pessaries.

The article states that ring pessaries work best for Stage 1 or 2 prolapses (but I have Stage 3 now) and also work best if the uterus is present and works for cystoceles, urethroceles, uterine prolapse, and stress incontinence.

Obviously, you have to be fairly comfortable with your body to do this (and I think you have to be careful if you have long fingernails), but here is how it works (and it is working for me so far, even though after a lot of walking or standing I may have to go into a bathroom and reposition it):

I squat down and GENTLY use my finger to push the bladder and uterus up into place (the Doctors didn't say to do this, but I found that it works much better because you are starting in the correct organ position). You insert the pessary (whatever method you use to insert it -I find it's easiest to put my one foot up on the commode) GENTLY as far as it will go up, so that it is over the bones in that area. You then turn the pessary 90 degrees (I just move it gently with the tip of my finger), so that you can feel a small hole in the front, rather than the large hole which is in the front when you insert the pessary. Since the pessary can only be folded in one way to insert it, by turning it after you insert it, you stop it from closing back up on its axis and it decreases the chance of expulsion.

IMPORTANT - you have to turn it back to the large hole before you take it out so that it bends.

That's it!! I remove my pessary every night - and if it gets too uncomfortable during the day and I'm home, I just take it out and reinsert it when I'm ready. So far, it is working for me, most of the time. And if I know that I'm going to be sitting for a very long time (such as a trip in the car, or a long movie), I just don't use it during that time so that I'm not sitting on it for hours. I'm trying to control the pessary rather than having the pessary control me.

Granted, sometimes, no matter what you do, wearing the pessary can be uncomfortable. But I think (at least for me) getting used to using a pessary takes time (it's taken me 2 months). I realize that some women just have one inserted by the Doctor and they are comfortable from the beginning. But that didn't happen for me - and if you are having problems with using it, try giving yourself some time to figure out what works best for you. I wanted to be able to insert and remove the pessary by myself. And be sure you have the correct size.

I found it's also MOST IMPORTANT to keep your bowels moving every day. It makes such a big difference in the comfort with the pessary. When your bowels are full, the pessary presses against them and you have discomfort, or the bowels tend to push the pessary down and the cystocele out.

The other problem I had was gas. I have always eaten high fiber cereal in the morning - but I had so much gas and discomfort, I stopped eating it, and the gas stopped. I tried eating it again, and the gas was back. So, instead, I follow Christine's suggestions in her book - I eat two peeled Granny apples every day (they evidentally have more fiber than other apples)- and/or a salad, and I've found that cantelope, a handful of almonds, and raspberries and sweet potatoes help a lot also. Stringy meat such as beef (which I very seldom had eaten anyway), etc., causes constipation for me (although chicken seems to be okay) but I'm trying to eat as little meat as possible and use other sources for protein.

I hope the suggestions about the pessary can help you if you're having problems. I'm certainly not an expert - but I WAS desperate - and this technique seems to be working for me. I hope that I can stablize the Stage 3 and I am trying to do whatever I can to do so (including daily kegels and abdominal breathing). Hope this technique works for you, too!!!

Bridi

Almost forgot - I asked my doctor about the kegels since I have Stage 3 cystocele (out of 4)and I'm older and have ligaments stretching causing the cystocele to get worse and I didn't think they would help anymore. He said to continue doing them (in a sitting or standing position) because they help to keep the vaginal area narrowed and, so, help in that way.

Bridi

This is a very insightful post. People who have "failures" at the pessary probably were not fitted correctly in the first place or did not get used to managing the pessary themselves. I have discovered just as you have, that the pessary can be positioned correctly or incorrectly, and if you familiarize yourself with your internal organ arrangement, you can get it positioned correctly. I have learned how to tuck my bladder and uterus back up and behind the pessary, and "hook" the pessary over the public bone to keep it positioned most comfortably and provide maximum support. It is so important to have an attitude of being in charge of your problem, and not being afraid to deal with your prolapsed organs yourself.

Bridi --

I always enjoy reading your posts. This information is so useful. I have located the article. The link is
http://www.cfpc.ca/cfp/2007/Mar/vol53-mar-currentpractice-practicetips.asp

I continue to be amazed at what woman are willing to share of what they have learned through suffering. Many thanks to you.

Ellen

Thank you Bridi and Ellen.
Thank you so much for this information....It is all very interesting. I feel that in the end I may have to have a pessary fitted....I am holding back for as long as I can, doing the exercises, posture and firebreathing and I find they are really helping me. I have also changed my life style, I am retired so able to change a few things....But mentally have trouble handling the prolapse when it is very low and the cervix is just out side...so a pessary would help this.After reading your post I feel a little More confident
about having one fitted have read posts and know there are women here who are very happy with a pessary.
Thanks Bling

Thanks Bridi,
I am just about at the point where I think I will be needing some type of support. The information that you have shared is greatly appreciated. I have a cystocele (stage 2),rectocele (stage 3). I believe I have read using a pessary with a rectocele is not recommend. Does anyone have any comment or is my information incorrect.
I am so thankful that I have found this site and you are free to ask and comment on queston that I would feel uncomforable with anyone else. Even thought I don't comment often on the site I am always reading it and getting and using the information that I get. So, thanks to all you ladies.

Sondra

I have a pretty severe rectocele and use a pessary very successfully. In my personal experience here are the issues as I have figured them out. The rectocele means the feces filled rectum is going to bag into the vagina, and of course your pessary is in there somewhere. The pressure from the mass on the pessary can cause cramp-like pain, the presence of the pessary can block the descent of the feces, and when you attempt to expel it, the pessary itself can be expelled also. For solid feces, I have to "splint" the back wall of the vagina, or perineum, to guide the mass through the anus. Otherwise my pushing will just push it further into the pouch in the vagina. The act of splinting automatically means I am blocking the pessary from exiting, though I need to exert a little counterpressure. Now, the solution to this problem is to eat more fiber and drink more water so that the stools are NOT solid masses. Soft stools are not a problem to pass with the pessary in place. If you have to push hard enough to push the pessary out with the stool, then you are pushing too hard, in my opinion. I kind of use that as a guide to tell me I need to eat better. In fact, when the pessary is in place, I am able to focus control more specifically on my pelvic muscles to push the stool but actually draw up and retain the bladder/vagina to hold in the pessary. But you can't do this past a point and if I let myself get badly constipated then I simply need to remove the pessary to deal with the bowel movement. Other times I simply must push the pessary back up higher out of the way, if it seems to me it is conflicting with the rectocele. It is no big deal but that is because I have decided to be the one in charge of things in there.

My strongest advice for this is as it is in general with PoP... familiarize yourself with your own body and be in control of it, not the other way around, and certainly don't let any doctor be in control. Such as, putting a pessary in you and telling you not to remove it yourself. If you know how to splint for stools, to insert and remove the pessary, to check the positioning of it while it is inside you, I see no reason a rectocele should be a contraindication for a pessary.

I am having trouble inserting my pessary, a donut variety. I've never worn a diaphragm, am 41 years old, and have a second or third degree uterine prolapse. I had to order my pessary through amazon, because none of the pharmacies or medical supply places here carried them, a couple had no idea of what they were.

I got the pessary after I went for a second opinion. The first doc wouldn't even push my uterus back up (i have short fingers and felt like I could only get it up so far), she said it would fall out anyway,a d I was going to need a hysterectomy. The second doc was more hopeful, I explained that I'm an acupuncturist and chinese medical practitioner and wanted to try some alternative modalities, including chinese yoga: qi gong, but needed the support of a pessary. He fitted me for the pessary, and the donut felt comfortable while I was in his office. But then he removed it and sent me away with the scrip and precious little instruction.

I'm considering going to planned parenthood next, just to see if they'll help me insert it. I'm scared, uncomfortable, and I'm starting to feel a lot of fecal and urinary urgency, and increasing sacral pain -- I've only had the prolapse for 3 weeks now. I would like to be able to insert the pessary soon.

Do you have any tips on how to get started. The donut pessary is so difficult to keep folded, and it keeps popping out of my hand, and I get hesitant and scared when I start to insert it.... I feel like such an idiot.

After working diligently to get a stage 2 cystocel under control, the damn thing dropped to a 3 and was heading for my knees. I had visions of wearing a man's cup to catch it in. I'm on my feet on cement floors as much as 12 hours a day. I tried everything. I seriously thought about a pessary, but decided that I didn't want my vagina held open, and the fact I'm very active led me to believe that it would probably fall out all the time. So I tried a sports tampon that's short in lieu of a pessary. At first it was a pain in the butt. Then I tried some olive oil as a lube job and presto bingo, I had a hit.

As of right now, my cystocel is about a 1.5. What ever need to pee I had is gone. I feel absolutely normal. My energy is returning and the best thing is I can do the posture all day long without always trying to find a chair.

On Friday last, I took 54 people on a ten hour trip to Mammoth Cave KY. I have been practicing the posture a long time now, and found I never needed the seat backs on the bus. I was perfectly able to sit up on my own. I marched through two miles of cave with 36 3-10 year olds and their parents and had a ball. I never even thought about the prolapse.

I like the tampon better than the sponge or a pessary because I can wear one today or not depending how I feel. It's disposible and I can choose my size. The ingredients are cotton and rayon, period.

I don't fear toxic shock because I use my head and when the tampon gets low, I change it. I'm not bleeding anymore so what's to get infected? I insert the tampon while I'm lying down. I relax a little and let the thing settle in, and then I'm good to go for hours.

This has made the whole of the posture make sense, and it's strengthened my spirits and my ability to keep in posture.

Judy

I am 65 and have lived with prolapse since my second child was born 30 years ago.The first birth was very difficult, with forceps and vacuum which no doubt started the whole prolapse process.I had two more babies, the last at forty.The prolapse, although bad, never really bothered me until the last year or so, then mostly because I never felt I peed properly and needed to go again soon.So I have just been to a gynae who said ,"It's huge, as bad as it can get. Procidentia". Great news!

I decided to try a pessary and the doc gave me a scrip - turned out to be a rigid PVC ring which cost me $60!!! The doc did say it would be an expensive cup holder if I couldn't hold it in......yuk!........ which he doubted as I had little muscle support left.

It felt fine when inserted by the doc but I was mortified to find I wet the bed the first night!No trouble during the day.This hasn't happened again at night but I couldn't trust that it wouldn't happen so took to wearing an incontinence pant at night.......so sexy! Anyone else had the bed wets at night with a pessary?

Ten days on I was feeling the pessary was my new friend - as the doc had said - "The prolapse doesn't bother you because you've forgotten what a normal female body feels like." The pessary sure did remind me and it was great.My urine had become very smelly and that stopped instantly with the pessary, so I suppose the smell was old wee!

Then I went for a walk to get exercise and that night the pessary dropped out - don't know whether as a result of the walk or not. I was so annoyed! How dare it!

You have all talked about soft folding pessaries. Has any one else used a hard PVC one?Maybe my doc thought I'd need something of industrial strength to hold me in- he has to know about the soft ones. He's talking surgery but I'm not going down that path. I'll probably give my PVC wonder another chance but perhaps I'll look for the largest sea sponge on the planet.

Love this forum - thanks ladies.

I can't give you many tips on pessary use (never used one). If you have not already please check out the main page- with the FaQs. You may find over time that practicing Wholewoman posture eliminates the need for a pessary. Also you are more likely to get a response if you start a new thread- Go to forums- select topic and start one.
Keep asking questions as you need. There is a search function- if you type in pessary you will get all kinds of information. Welcome to the forum.
And for what it is worth...I am sorry for your Dr. experience. Some doctors are just clueless about prolapse and the natural management of it. Also I encourage you to search Nauli- it is a yogic type breathing that really seems to help (since you are into alternative). Please know that things will calm down and you will be able to stabilize this condition. Try hands and knees for relief of that sacral pain- or downward dog (only temporary for sure).

I am so amazed that you are not bothered by your prolapse (especially since your doctor says it is as bad as it can get). What a wonderful blessing. Christine (author of Saving the Wholewoman) has said that sometimes you will leak more urine in your situation because the cystocele kinks the urethra and holds the urine back and when you get the bladdder out of the way the tube unkinks and you leak urine. I vote for the seasponge but honestly have no clue how you will do with it but it sure sounds more comfortable than PVC (which I wonder if PVC is even safe inside the body YIKES). Anyway- check out the FaQs and search function here- ask any questions you may have.

And I'm sorry I was so abrupt and freaked out. What a way to introduce myself to a community! But I had just spent the better part of an hour in the bathroom, and been in pain, and then rushed to the computer wrapped in a towel and googled "how to insert a pessary" and found this forum, I apologize to all, and very grateful to have found this resource so rich of not just useful information, but also what looks like a supportive community supporting women. Hopefully my daughters will not have to experience this.

I feel very fortunate to have done so. I will buy the book, and be ever more conscientious about my posture. All of what I've read on this website so far makes excellent sense, these are things I've discussed with colleagues before -- how posture affects health in general (digestion, immune system), just didn't know that much about prolapse -- and how endemic it is. And all the hysterectomies and surgeries, maybe I'm still all worked up, but I think it's akin to genital mutilation... I'm so steamed up.

As for the pessary, Planned Parenthood didn't feel qualified to help me, too little experience. I went to the original doc, who promptly put it it, but ignored my questions on teaching me how to do it. He just said I need to practice more, maybe he's right. For now, I'm experiencing great relief, from pain and the urgency. I will continue to use my herbs, and qi gong (Chinese yoga), and look forward to adding all the wealth of information shared here. And I want to inform myself about the "sponge". That sounds very intriguing too.

Thank you so much for responding. It's nice not to feel so alone, and unsupported (pun intended).

Hi Tiger Spirit

No wonder you feel steamed up. You have just realised some very important stuff that women often never discover. I agree with you more and more about pelvic repair surgeries being genital mutilation. The sad thing is that women have to consent to it, and they do, ignorant of the risks and the damage that is being done in the name of repair. Go figure. IMO, very few women would consent to genital mutilation of the traditional type, be resigned to it perhaps, but never freely consent, for the damage it does, and the benefits it does not bring, except as a badge of honour for a girl of marriageable age in certain societies. Many Western women actually request it, and pay for it. I cannot believe the readiness with which they seem to do it! Ignorance is indeed a major problem. If a woman does not know what she does not know, she is in no position to find it out. This is where Christine Kent's work is so important.

The doctor too probably ignored your request to be taught how to insert it. He probably has limited knowledge and experience. If this is the case, maybe it is positive that he did not lie to you or exceed his competence. You might ultimately teach him a lot, so other women can learn from him, but don't hold your breath. ;-)

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Thank goodness you have found us. Hope to hear more from you.

Cheers

Louise

Well, for a few hours I felt incredible relief, with the pessary in. And ... I could stop my urine stream, something I had not been able to do in over 9 years. Since before I had kids, again I think most of my problems were aggravated with severe asthma and a chronic cough I used to have.

But then, the pessary slipped out. And I have to call the doctor again. Sigh. Probably means I have to get re-fitted. I don't think he's very experienced, but then again, who is, around here, with pessaries? I mean, if I couldn't find a pessary anywhere in the area. And I don't think I can pay out of pocket again for another one (to get it from Amazon), but if not, that means I have to wait two weeks for a medical supply place or pharmacy to order, why it takes them 2 weeks and Amazon only 2 days, don't know.

I am grateful this doctor is at least willing to try the pessaries. And I do think my uterus is staying up more and more. I've had a lot less pressure on my sacrum today, even without the pessary.

And I'm still steamed up. When i think of how many women aren't even being given this option. It really is genital mutilation. And when I think of how I feel when I read in scientific journals, such as the American Family Physician, that a viable option for a woman who keeps having vaginal prolapse, (due to having a hysterectomy), is just to close the whole thing off, the introitus, everything, if she's not sexually active anymore. WTF!!! Can you imagine them giving this option to a man? No matter how long it's been since he'd had sex.... A friend brought up how common testicular hernias are, can you imagine them saying, "you know, it keeps slipping out of place, let's just remove it".

It's sickening. Barbaric. All of it. And, nothing short of genital mutilation. Not that surgery may not be needed from time to time. But half, half of all women over 60 don't have uterus. That's insane.

O.k. stll steamed up. Should calm down before I call the doctor, again....

Hi Tiger Spirit

Yeah, I've been steamed up over this for four years with no likely abatement of steam while I read of women who assent to surgery without being told the whole story. It could have been me, had I not done my own research like you. I'm still whole and practising WW techniques. The improvements are still going on after all this time and posture is definitely the key to success.

I can see that you are determined to make the pessary work for you and cannot discourage you, though it must be very frustrating needing the doctor to insert it. Re-read Bride's original post about how to fold it and turn it when it is in place.

There is this accepted standard that all women should be able to stop the flow of urine. Why? What is the big deal with it? I like you have been unable to stop the flow ever. Not even when I was a child. Continence is being able to prevent and allow the urine to start in the first place, and one of the main ways of doing this is to use your posture to tip your bladder forward into its proper position. There is the secondary control which is the kink in the urethra when the bladder is tipped back, but it does not mean that you have the ability to close off the urine flow once started. I wouldn't worry about the inability to stop urine flow. It really is no big deal for me day to day. It is much more important to understand about how your bladder works, and how your urethra is positioned in order to empty it properly every day to avoid infections and to give the sphincter at the bladder end of the urethra the best opportunity to keep itself closed, which is by tipping it forward onto the pubic bone, resting against the front wall of the abdomen.

BTW, the whole pessary fitting business is so user-unfriendly, no matter how you do it. It seems to be all for the benefit of doctors (repeat vi$it$), and at the expen$e of the woman. If you buy from Amazon they probably get them direct from the manufacturer. If you buy via the normal retail network they probably have to come via three middlemen, hence the delay. Having said that there are stories on these Forums from women who have had little problem getting a correctly-fitted pessary without too much fuss. I guess it depends on who you deal with, and lady luck.

If you can't get the pessary positioned properly I would take Alemama's advice and give the Sea Sponges a go. Lots of women use them. Then it is all in your control. If that doesn't work we can help you develop plan #3.

Meanwhile, start working on your posture.

Good luck

Louise

Hi, Judy:

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried a sports tampon yesterday and went horseback riding. It was the most fun I had since the last time I rode, two weeks ago. No leaks, minimal discomfort, and a normal urine flow.

Today, I just did WW exercises at home, thinking to give the body a day off from anything jarring. I still feel weird little tugs internally that are probably my misbehaving ligaments, and it makes me nervous about stuff descending farther. Sometimes it seems that the prolapse symptoms bear no relation to my activity. On the other hand, I was disturbed by some incontinence after I was dancing during a wedding reception last weekend.

Anyway, it's good to know that an inexpensive, easy to use alternative is available. The tampon really kept my bladder in place. Cool!

Have a great day.

I really wish these sports ta,pons were available in UK - I would love to give one a try...

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

MeMyselfAndI:

I doubt you have to use special sports tampons. Mine barely expanded, anyhow. I think it was just having something solid in there that kept the bladder from falling.

Apparently, there is also something marketed as a "continence tampon" that I saw mentioned online. I don't know anything about it. (It probably costs more.)

I think that when the Playtex sports tampon expands, it is bowl-shaped, and it may keep pressure on the pelvic organs in a slightly more effective way than other products.

Hi Saddleup

Ooohh, new products!

Was the continence tampon called Incostress? Put Incostress into the search box. We had quite a discussion about it a few months ago.

If it wasn't, it might have been the Contrelle continence tampon, http://www.kontinet.se/Templates/Page.aspx?id=11811 , or the Conveen continence guard, http://www.medicalsearch.com.au/Products/Continence_Care_-_Conveen_Conti... . They look exactly the same to me.

Has anyone else heard of these or used them?

Cheers

Louise

Grrrrrr @ this computer that won't open a search in a new page...

I was trying to say - I have nevet seen that in this country, nor have I seen the sports one.

But for Women who cannot get a conventional Tampon to work for them - You can use it (A smaller one) Horizontally (laying down) And it will do the same thing and it also supports the bladder if you are doing anything as long as you get it in right and one end dowsn't escape... Bit of an art form maybe for some - lolol

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

Aha! So that's what product placement is all about! ;-)

I have wondered if Incostress was smaller and shorter - Like a normal tampon whether it would remain in place this way round. But being silicon type stuff it might just slip out.... IF this worked - All you would need is a tampon length bit of silicon type plastic and it would work well.

I might hack mine up and test sometime (All in the name of science of course... ) lol

If I do - I will let you know my findings... Tho I tend to not wear sponge or anything in most days. Just on the first day of my period, the rest of the month is just day to day - All depends on what 'POPpy and I have planned to do - lol

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

Has anyone tried this? If you click on the Brochure it tells you all about it.

http://www.codan.no/Products.asp?ProductID=49&language=ENG

Just a thought, ladies.

Why is the bladder neck sagging anyway?

It is because the bladder is sliding backwards. You need to use WW posture to allow the bladder to slide forwards again to remove the sag. This product (and probably Incostress) appears to be pushing the bladder neck forwards, ie closing off the neck of the bladder and allowing the urethra to close off. If you use WW posture there is room in the lower abdomen for the bladder to sit further forward anyway, which is why most of us who have experienced urinary incontinence do not need devices like this. ie There is room in the lower abdomen for the bladder.

Having said that, the tampon may provide enough extra support to avoid surgery where WW posture is not enough. I suspect that WW posture allows the bladder neck to revert to its normal size most of the time (kind of wriggling the bladder back into its tailored coat) and it only blows out again when intraabdominal pressure distends it on occasions, like Saddleup describes. I only get this type of urgency occasionally, ie once every couple of weeks, so my bladder neck must be OK the rest of the time.

I hope somebody who can get their hands on this product will try it and tell us how it works. I suspect it would work better if it would stay inside!! (I doubt that it would for a woman with a very mobile bladder.) This would make it useful for women whose only problem is stress incontinence, eg women who just want to be able to play tennis again after having a baby. I suspect that women who have full-blown prolapses, ie stress incontinence is only one of they difficulties they have, may be disappointed. I am looking forward to someone giving them a go, like we did with Incostress.

How about some tampon users trying Sue's sideways tampon idea as well?

Cheers

Louise

Kind of looks like a malformed sideways Tampon (kinda sorta if you squint from a distance lolol)

As I said I only use this for whenmy period is on it's first day when everything is heavier etc etc yadda.

The rest of the month all is well within it's up and down limits. :-)

I would probably not try that as if I felt I needed extra support and my bladder does every now and then get annoying feelings in it, and I feel like I need to pee all the time (usually if I drink orange juice lol) I would use the sponge. The sponge - For me anyways - Gives the same feeling of raising the bladder a tiny bit. I have found after I used the sponge for habits sake rather than just when needed. It got to be a bind. Now I don't really use any 'thing' Bar on first day of period. I found you can get dependant on items to hold it rather than your body. And at one time my cervix got irritated (Whether by too much tea tree use or too much use itself) So I took a fortnight off, and then things were just okey dokey so I got to trusting my body again :-D

Now - Occasionally I might. If I am going on a long long car journey (If I was I havent been anywhere a long way away as yet) I would prolly wear the sponge as this makes me not feel the need to pee as much so I am not worried about where the bathrooms are etc.

To be honest the sponge became a bind for me - Watching the clock and living my life around IT. I decided I wanted POPpy and myself to be freed from this spongerama fever.

Now... At this point in my life with a stage 3. Things are going alone sooooooooo much better than I thought they would be after POPpy came to sit where her new home is... We have an understanding POPpy and I... I don't mess with her - And she won't send me weird feelings... lol

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

Ladies,

I've been using the tampons about three weeks now and no problems. I get a better fit when I use olive oil the night before. I noticed that when I don't use the tampons, my bladder stays up high. That is VERY nice.

Playtex makes the one I use. I'm sure they are in the UK at Walmart.

What I like best is NOW, because I'm comfortable, the posture has become easy and second nature. I'm in posture nearly all the time because I CAN. When my bladder was cascading down my legs, doing the posture was off again on again.

For the most part, this has been really beneficial.

Judy

What kind of tampons are you using??? are they Playtex sports tampons?? and can you use them every day??? Do they stay dry...
Can they cause toxic shock syndrome??

Judy, to make sure I'm not missing out on something that might be useful for bringing my own bladder to new heights, I have a couple of questions regarding the support your tampon use is providing, if you don't mind::: You mentioned that, "I get a better fit when I use olive oil the night before." ... You're referring to using the olive oil as a lubricant the night before, sans tampon, yes? Is the better fit then because your lubricated tissue allows for better/easier morning placement?

And, when you shared, "I noticed that when I don't use the tampons, my bladder stays up high." ... Do I understand you to mean that your highly risen bladder is BECAUSE of your regular tampon use? That these new heights are a residual effect that your left with after the tampon's removal, right? That must be VERY nice, indeed, and something 3rd degree me might want to give a try. = : )

My discomfort has eased considerably since I first came on board, what with the emotional lift I've experienced over time spent here (lifted spirits taking so much of the weight off from my draggy innards), but if I could get my bladder to stay lifted above its present peaking position that would be heaven, I bet!... or at least feel like a far better new normal for me to 'live' with.

Thank you in advance for your patience with my need to have things so spelled out tonight, Judy. I guess I'm feeling a bit slow after having had a long day. It was really a pretty good day, though, so long is cool. = : D

Hope your evening's a peaceful one.

~♥Blue

Blue,

Everything crashed to a three a couple of months ago, and it was really getting me down. I had had a brilliant Christmas and then felt very encouraged through February when my mother died. Then, my bladder started to descend because of the long hours on the cement floor. I truly believed it was nearing my knees. I wondered what a four would feel like... I couldn't do the posture well etc.

Then I decided to use the Replens and it hurt. Then someone mentioned olive oil, and I gave that a try. I use the Replens plunger with the olive oil right before bed without the tampon. It's great as a lube job and really helps keep everything soft and supple.

I decided to try a short round tampon and found the Playtex sport tampon. It's shorter than most tampons. I reasoned that it would act as a pessary without the great gaping ordeal. I had tried a ring tampon at one time and didn't like what they did to my body.

The tampon could act as a plug at least for a while and maybe some healing would happen. I know that my rectocele has healed a lot since I got that.

I also reasoned that using a tampon while standing up was a little like the push-me-pull-you. It would fall out and feel uncomfortable. So I thought if I lay on my back and insert the tampon while everything is in its right place, I'd have a fighting chance. It worked. Best position is the dead cockroach.

For the first couple of days, I was still pretty dry, and I had a little difficulty, but I finally found the right combination. If I oil up every other day, I can insert the tampon with ease and it stays in position all day.

There is a balance between being supple and being dry. I think the olive oil even helps the rectocele. I know that using a tampon is a drag, but it's a heck of a lot better than the pinching and drag of a three.

The tampon does not open. It stays shut all day. As long as it's high enough it seems to keep everything up. Sometimes it turns sideways inside and becomes uncomfortable, but that is usually because I've gone dry again. You have to insert it slowly and relax.

I'm not bleeding, so there is little to cause TSS. I use them every day all day. I usually put one in before I get dressed, and it comes out at bath time after dinner. I spend the evening and the night sans tampon. If it turns, I just use another one, but I lay down to insert it. That's the important part.

And after about a week of using the tampons, I realized that my bladder has not been a three. Even when I go into work late and spend the morning gardening or other things, and don't use the tampon, my bladder does not descend. It's great.

But the best thing is my ability to do the posture all the time now. I know the posture will do more than any other thing I could do to take care of myself. The tampon is allowing me to do this.

I agree this forum saved me many times.

Ask anything you want; I'm an open book. I know that there is controversy over this, but I have found it a real help.

Judy

I also wondered what a four would be like when mine decided three was where it wanted to be.

I kinda remember a thread where Christine says a four is virtually never mentioned - Something about fours being after a hyster where the links from bladder to uterus are removed?

*EDIT*
Found it - Christine said...

** What I find interesting is that although stage IV prolapse is included in the POPQ diagnostic system, it is rarely mentioned in real life or scientific study. Using my own body as template for understanding this, I have long surmised that most uterosacral ligaments and most lumbosacral curves do not allow the uterus or bladder to descend much past the vaginal opening. This would exclude the elderly woman confined to a hospital bed for years on end who has lost her POSS (pelvic organ support system). As a matter of fact, the very thing that will exacerbate my symptoms is lying in bed with my torso propped up on pillows (although I do love those precious hours!)

We know that more commonly than not, prolapse continues on a “course” that finally stabilizes at or near the introitus. This is true of women of all ages and just seems to be the way the mature pelvis settles out. When it happens suddenly in the postpartum mother it is usually devastating. The funneling of the organs toward the back of the pelvis creates tugging on spinal nerves and results in tremendous pressure in the “butt.” THIS IS THE PRIMARY SYMPTOM WOMEN REPORT IMPROVEMENT IN ONCE THEY ARE ESTABLISHED IN THE POSTURAL WORK. **

here... http://www.wholewoman.com/drupal/node/1913

I would hope that this is true - Then I have also wondered for a long time now (Well 6mths or so lol)

Is the fact that I have been in posture for so long before and after this 'fall' - Is this the reason that the only symptom I have is the weird peeky feeling - No dragging - Nothing else? It makes me wonder - I am a 'wonderer' lol I also wonder if POPpy was peeking long before I actually noticed it...

Who knows....

Currently - It is up and down as alot of people on here say... But - I have just had a fall and had Whiplash from said fall (Not terrible whiplash like from the car accident I had in '02) And I am getting over that in my back etc etc - So I am putting all weirdy feelings down to that.

I have not been able to find these sports tampons in UK which is a shame as I would like to try one, just for science sake if nothing else lolllllll

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

Hi Sue

I would guess your fall might be the culprit. I know that the odd time I have fallen hard I feel it all over my body for the next two days, even if there is little bruising. I think the whole body kind of tries to keep your balance and muscles (and therefore joints too) are working intensely hard to keep you vertical instead of A over B, for the half second it takes to hit the dirt. It would be logical that a lot of unusual intraabdominal forces are created at the same time, so pelvic organs could get shoved all over the place too. I am sure you will recover though. Falls do seem to be one of the 'accepted' causes of prolapse. I guess it is possible, or that existing fascial damage is 'outed' by a fall.

Get well soon. Hope your bruised boob didn't overbalance you! ;-)

Cheers

Louise

Luckily I landed on grass - Hard gras but still...
I think after a fall when things ache - You think you are standing OK but your body makes things weird.

In a few weeks all will be well again I am thinking :-)

Guess our older bodies aren't as bouncy as a childs on the landing lolllllll

As for the boob - Still a bruisefest - But going day by day (I thought she was joking when she said it would be bruised until August! lol - Obviously not)

Apart from that - All is well :-) So that is a good thing.
On these bad days I say to myself...

This will not kill me. It will not end my life. It does nt hurt. I have no pain. I WILL survive this...

And I move on with my day :-) (Kinda like a mantra kinda thing lolol Though not as poetic ;-) )

Sometimes you are holding someone else's heart whithin your hands. You can drop that heart & bruise it. You can squash that heart & hurt it. Or you can stomp on it & totally annihalate it. You stomp on that heart or bruise it. It can forever be changed.

Thank you for the clarification, Judy -- I'm so glad for you that you are experiencing such improvements after hitting the all time low you experienced earlier in the year. Not that any time's a good time for our conditions to worsen, of course, but how very much more difficult it must have been for you during such a rough time in your life, having lost your Mother (my condolences for your loss, Judy. I lost my Mom over 25 years ago and still miss her so). It always gives me renewed hope to read when a woman in my own age-group (I'm 51) experiences such marked improvements, as the majority who join our ranks here seem to be postpartum/younger, still healing, and therefore most likely to see considerable improvements in their conditions with time and good WW care.

I doubt that I'm alone in being able to relate to your recent fears of things descending to a stage 4, as it was most definitely part of the initial fears I harbored (read, 'obsessed over') before landing and learning here. A phrase you used reminds me of how I use to emotionally gasp whenever I read a post containing "down to my knees". I have since learned to chalk its use up to being an honest reflection of the extent of one's fears and anxiety (one that I shared) more than the actual extent any of our pelvic organs can physically drop. I am able to rest assured ever since reading Christine's thoughts that most involved ligaments and curves "do not allow the uterus or bladder to descend much past the vaginal opening." That Christine-share was like a soothing balm in itself for me, putting my mind more at ease. Of course, given a set-back (heaven forbid), I will likely pick up that dreadful "down to my knees" fear again, borne worrier that I am. In the meanwhile, I'm keeping a tight hold on Christine's 'no-knees' balm. = : )

I was wondering if your "dead cockroach" was a yoga position, but in googling the phrase, I found a fair description and image on a greyhound-rescue website. lol - Either way, I get it!

Thank you again for your patience and generous sharings, Judy. I understand the controversy on the use of the tampons and will certainly take care in that regard. I can't see any harm in giving their use a try, at any rate, and seeing if I might reap benefits similar to those you've seen so far. If not, I'm sure I'll be okay as long as things don't worsen for me with time; I really feel like I'm coming to terms with my new normal. The Posture is becoming much easier for me to maintain lately, with the once accompanying upper back-aches having subsided. That my back muscles are no longer balking is a sign of progress that I'm happy to report. Heck, I'm happy to report that I'm happy for a change! -- Yesterday my DH noted that I've started whistling again! lol . = ; )

Hope your week's off to a good start, Judy. Make it a great one!

~♥Blue

Hi Sue! I was thinking of that very point from Christine's archived post (1913) after reading Judy's recount of her four-fears. I'm not surprised that it's such a shared fear experienced by many of us at one time or another along this journey. Like you, I was able to breathe easier having read Christine's sharings; yet another of her "soothing balms", eh?

Regarding your pre- and post-fall posture wonderings, I too have to believe that the muscles we're retraining/toning through our efforts to sport the WW Posture, along with its putting a better 'slant' on things overall, has to make a difference when we find ourselves so abruptly thrown off course. I know the jarring jolt the entire body takes when abruptly thrown off balance, having tripped over my share of unseen, raised tree roots that would cross the paths I use to hike so often pre-prolapse. As Louise shared, we go into an instant and automatic stabilizing mode using any and every muscle in order to stay upright when push comes to shove/trip/slip... I'm glad your impact didn't pull you down to that draggy feeling (been there). As for your "weird peaky feeling", I know that while peaking seems to be the stage I've settled into to date, I'm more apt to actually "feel" it when I'm in need of a bit of lubrication. If you haven't yet, do try a balm or some such to see if it helps.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Sue. Continue to take good care -moving, breathing and being good. = : )

~♥Blue

Blue,

Go for it. But don't get discouraged if it turns or if it is hard at first. You have to be lubricated and often dryness is the reason the tampon won't stay up.

Also I'd poo before I used it, although on a good day it doesn't matter.

I'm so active, I simply had to find a solution. Today it's swimming for four hours with as many as 50 children at a public pool. I will be on my feet from about 6:00 to 6:00 this evening. I'm sure that's why my bladder was getting worse - I simply never gave it a rest.

Thanks for the condolences on my mother. It was the best thing for her. She was 90 and facing a feeding tube. My mother and I had issues and I don't miss her at all. I know that seems cold, but if you knew...I'm writing my eighth novel as a catharsis. It's called Romancing Rachel. Just got my second published. And about this my mother would say, "I never thought you'd amount to a hill of beans." Issues ;)

I do hope you find that the tampon works for you. Even as an on again off again thing, it's worth doing.

And for the UK guys, Can you order on line from Playtex? What about ordering from Walmart?

Judy

Hi Bridi,

I am stage 2 cysytocle. Thank you for your info. I'll be looking into one when I see my doctor in 5 months.It was awesome help.

Sarah

Hi there Judy, I liked that you have this solution that is easy in and easy out. Have you read if eventually this will dry out all the moisture inside the vagina because it is absorbent material drawing all the fluids that the keeps the cystocele moist?