prolapsed urethra driving me crazy

Body: 

I'm 51, peri-menopausal and suffering from a prolapsed urethra. I feel as if I'm going crazy. It's taken 18mths to get this diagnosed as everybody was convinced I have a water infection, not that my water samples show this! Trying to describe the constant pain that you feel, and the awful urge to pee is so difficult for anyone to understand, it would appear. I'm off to see a specialist next week but have had to return to the doctor again today, because I feel so weak and generally unwell. I feel like I have something twisted in my stomach and my doctor thinks he can feel it too. He's arranging for me to have an emergency scan to check this out.

My doctor is taking me very seriously, but am I just making a fuss? Wish I could pinpoint exactly what's wrong with me and then I wouldn't feel such a nutter.

Does anybody else relate to these feelings?

Hi there,
It sounds to me like you have had a long-term problem that has had no name nor recognition. This would drive anyone a bit loopy and I can understand why you are questioning yourself, but honestly, take a look at the facts of what you have just described. 18 months of constant pain, an awful urge to pee that most other people cannot conceive of, and now a twisty stomach symptom.
Why would you think you are making a fuss? We come from a long cultural history of negating women in general, and women's reproductive problems in particular. You deserve to get these things checked out and remedied. Simple as that. No fuss, not a nutter, just a grown woman wanting answers. Good luck, and don't settle for less!

Thanks for that. Women's problems. What a nightmare!

That sounds just horrible. I can't believe it has taken them so long to diagnose you. I'm interested in your urethral prolapse as I'm thinking my issues seem to be mostly around the urethra - feels locally irritated and swollen most of the time plus I have got the constant urge to pee. Does this sound like you?

I hope they manage to find out what the stomach twisty thing is soon for you too. Sound awful. {{{hugs}}}

Yes, exactly what I'm experiencing. I know I don't actually need to pee though. I never, ever experience any form of incontinence which appears to be unusual. I'm sure I'm not emptying my bladder properly and sometimes I find myself pushing, which is when everything flares up. I can be up at least 8 times at night. I've had so many gynae problems over the years and should have had a hysterectomy. The twisting is either something to do with that, or else the prolapse has got worse. Onwards and upwards, as they say. Hope you get sorted soon.

Women with cystocele are not usually incontinent due to the angle of the bladder. Do you feel like this might be the case with you? And yes, that irritation sounds extremely annoying for sure.
I think you might find that there are many, many women who regret have lost their uterus. The fact that you still have your organs means that your potential for healing and improvement is far greater than that of a surgically altered body. Read through this forum and you will find some pretty telling stories of the fallacy of taking out the womb.

That's exactly why I've always fought against it, although I shall never know if that was wise, especially with the latest fiasco. I think the angle of the bladder must be playing a part. The irritation itself does die down and then comes back to bite me! I don't know why it dies down and what causes it to return. If I could work this out, then I might be able to make a more informed choice about how to fix the problem and save my sanity!

"LUTS" is the new acronym being bandied about in the literature. It refers to the exact symptoms tillymama and crazy are experiencing. Isn't it interesting that it can occur acutely in the postpartum period and chronically in older women.

It is no secret that postpartum women heal much more quickly and we have had many say over the last few days that those very symptoms resolved over the course of several months to a year.

While the older prolapsed woman does not bounce back nearly as quickly, it would still be very well worth your while to see if you could reposition your organs enough to relieve these symptoms. You think your nerve-rich bladder is irritated now? Just wait until it is dissected away from your uterus in a hysterectomy. The new edition of the Village Post is still being uploaded, but you can read right now (sacral neuromodulation) about what scores of post-hysterectomy women are going through to try to normalize their mutilated and dysfunctional bladders.

I hope you will be able to see the benefit of self-healing the prolapse condition.

Wishing you well,

Christine

Well, there can't be that many causative factors, maybe narrowing it down would be a good place to start? Hormonal fluctuations, inflammatory conditions, and structural causes come to mind immediately. Have you considered keeping a record of your diet, activity during the day, and other indications of what might be going on hormonally (being perimenopausal and trying to find some rhyme or reason might be crazy making indeed ;0 )
i found this article, pretty easy to read and mentions the various forms of urethral prolapse or irritation:
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/443165-overview
Good luck...hope you find some answers soon

This can cause severe urethral symptoms and new-onset urinary incontinence.

Hi Crazy

You may feel crazy. Perimenopause can be a very confusing time, because so much is varying in your body, and often several things are varying at the same time, in ways that they have never done before. Crazy indeed.

However, the good news is that this hiatus of abnormal things will pass eventually and a new normal will emerge. You will probably find that when you finally reach menopause (12 months after your last period) your body will be much calmer. You might be having different symptoms. You just deal with them as they present.

I look at perimenopause as being like labour. The contractions are mild and occasional at first, but become more frequent and more intense as labour progresses. Eventually it all reaches a crescendo at transition, and you want to scream out, "I can't do this any more!" Then second stage begins; things calm down a bit, and you can see that you are getting somewhere after all.

Hopefully we will be able to help you to navigate this challenging time, and help you to deal with this troublesome urethra of yours.

Louise

Thank you Louise

I do hope you're right. HRT has been suggested and I am about as excited about that idea as I was a hysterectomy! If only men could have babies, but then could we cope with the pain they would feel!

If men had periods they would have done something about it by now!

But seriously, I didn't know whether or not you would be interested in HRT, but as I am not particularly keen to try it myself I didn't mention it. It is another possible ace up your or my sleeve, but I hope I never suffer enough to be tempted to use it. It was suggested to me about 2 years ago, but I just thought it was another can of unpredictable worms, and a way to get me back on the pharmaceutical drip feed. No thankyou. Yes, it was about as appealing as the hysterectomy that was suggested for me too!

Louise

anyone heard of her? She promotes natural foods for HRT instead. She has a book. You can probably read it at the library.

Christine, I've just read your very interesting article on Kegel excercises and couldn't agree more. I have continued to exercise since having my children many years ago and can't imagine that I have a problem. However, I am expecting my consultant to suggest that I do plenty of these exercises when I see him next week. I really hope that he doesn't and that I'm wrong. Everything you say makes perfect sense to me.

Women can easily sense of the truth of their bodies! Thanks, Crazy!

We are on her resource page!

Click here

I recently started inserting a probiotic capsule vaginally as the 'itchies' were beginning to get me down. I then read the following article and am now so confused. "Estrogen and Its Effect on Vaginal Atrophy in Post-Menopausal Women: Vaginal pH and Urinary Tract Infection" - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/555702_7

It seems that using a local estrogen decreases UTI and vaginal infections - "Since the glycogen content of vaginal tissues is *increased* in the presence of estrogen there is a more acidic environment which allows lactobacillus to be the most predominant bacterium present in the vagina".

Time to make Red Clover salve I think!

Funny you should say that. I bought beeswax today!

Re the article, yes, it can be very confusing. However, don't let your confusion get in the way of your scientific thinking. They are saying that local oestrogen changes the vaginal pH from alkaline back to acid again. This is in a population of mostly old women in aged care facilities, many of whom would be incontinent, and subject to getting faeces in the vulva and vagina, along with the e. coli that is in faeces. If you read one of the boxes, the fact that it only needs changing every three months makes it much more acceptable to a woman modesty-wise. These women are in a no win situation, so the more modesty respecting Estring would be a much more acceptable alternative to daily application of a vaginal cream.

Just because oestrogen changes vaginal pH in a helpful way does not mean that probiotic capsules will not help vaginal pH in a helpful way (or that they will, either).

According to the article the Estring only releases 1/4 of the dose of oestrogen as the oral equivalent. The fact that they are not particularly worried about cancer in the trial group does not mean that they would not be worried about it in younger women who might want to use it for 40 or 50 years, which they have not studied yet, and are not really likely to. Long term usually means only 5 years in medical research. These women are old. They will die of old age or some other cause way before uterine cancer. On the upside, they seem to have discovered a way of preventing UTI in very elderly female patients. UTI in old women is not a pretty condition, causing all sorts of symptoms that younger women don't get. They need all the hope they can get, and respect for their feelings as well.

Estring appears to be a new way of getting oestogen into the vagina. It is still a foreign object in the vagina, and it is still exogenous oestrogen that wouldn't normally be there. There is no progesterone with it, which is usually not recommended. Would a woman with prolapse be able to retain it? And would there be the same fitting trial as you get with a pessary? Is it the same thickness as a ring pessary? It looks smaller to me, in the diagram in the patient information sheet, http://www.pfizer.com/files/products/ppi_estring.pdf . I think my vagina would probably shoot it across the room at first sneeze!

Check this info sheet out before you commit yourself.

I would be trying the red clover salve and and other well-researched alternatives that I could, before trying this ring. Do your research, then listen to the doctor, then you be the one who makes the choice. It is your body.

Louise