Uterine prolapse?
May 30, 2012 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Uterine prolapse?

First of all: I will be going to my doctor ASAP, but as I only have a crummy student health plan and a non-urgent problem, I mostly likely won't be able to get in for a couple weeks (when I may be moving anyhow!). So this question is to get my thoughts in order in the meantime.

For the last few months (actually, possibly since I had surgery on my anterior vaginal wall last November), I've had an odd feeling in my undercarriage. Basically, from front to back, I feel a very odd "fullness" (not an ache or a pain, just a kind of dull full feeling) in the front, where I usually have cramps during my period (so, my uterus?). I feel a sort of swollen, heavy feeling in my vagina, particularly around the rear wall, and I feel a full feeling in my rectum. A few times I've thought it was constipation and after "clearing" that problem, thought I had recovered at least a bit, but the feeling came back. Right now I feel it in particular, and there's a kind of burning sensation (mild) in my vagina. I've also noticed that I'm less sexually excitable lately and g-spot stimulation doesn't seem to feel as good (sometimes I can't feel it at all).

So, what the hell? It sounds to me from some Googling like textbook uterine prolapse. I've also considered that it might be a yeast infection or some kind of complication from my past surgery (which was for a urethral diverticulum; see my past Asks). I considered the yeast infection because of the vague burning.

Also, I've felt around inside my vagina with my finger a few times, and I could feel a kind of fleshy lump on the anterior wall. I don't even really know how to describe it, or if it's my cervix-- it felt like it was too far sideways(??) to be that, but maybe that's normal, or maybe that's my problem. I generally don't feel around in there very much since it's not something I enjoy sexually on my own, so I don't really have anything to compare it to.

I was pretty freaked out around the time of my surgery and now I'm freaked out again, especially considering the possibility of another surgery or potential sterility. I'm starting to feel like I should get pregnant tomorrow before my whole reproductive system just, like, falls out. (The surgery in the fall left me pretty despondent about my body/femininity for awhile.) I'm a fairly young lady, sexually active (one partner, STD check-ups all good), no history of STDs beyond bacterial vaginosis, never been pregnant. I'm wondering the following:

1) What should I ask my doctor when I see her? Should I specifically ask about a uterine prolapse?
2) Is that lump... my cervix?
3) Is it likely that my surgery caused a prolapse (it seems so)? If not, can "vigorous" sexual activity cause a prolapse? (I have been guilty of some pretty intense action in this area, but my memory of the feeling only stretches back to around the surgery-- it may have been going on before while I was less paranoid and didn't notice.)
4) Does this kind of thing get pretty serious? In terms of health impact, or not being able to conceive?

The most annoying thing is when I'm laying in bed at night (or at other times when I'm not concentrating on anything else) I feel the need to tense my kegel muscles to "pull everything back in," it feels like. There's nothing actually hanging out, just a feeling that everything is sagging and I need to pull it in and hold it there by flexing.

Anyway, I'm not going to try to get pregnant before my vagina turns inside out, but I would like to hear from anyone who might have experience with this (what I've looked up has seemed either dire or very confusing). Thanks for your help.
posted by stoneandstar to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Is it possibly rectocele? There are a number of prolapse-y things, but I think you should ask your doctor.
posted by thylacinthine at 9:03 PM on May 30, 2012

kind of fleshy lump on the anterior wall

Sounds like the same thing I had, it was my bladder. My uterus was sagging from having heavy babies and was sitting on my bladder.
posted by JujuB at 9:05 PM on May 30, 2012

My mom had this. They thought it was uterine prolapse. It was actually ovarian cancer. Get to the dr asap. Make sure they ultrasound you and MRI you. Best of luck
posted by zia at 9:17 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Could the surgery have damaged your pelvic floor muscles? Damage to the pelvic floor can lead to prolapse but isn't the same thing. How's your continence? Stress incontinence is a clue that would point to pelvic floor issues.

I had that feeling of needing to pull everything up or in for a few years after complicated, physically traumatic child birth. It felt like my pelvic floor, at rest, was in the position it would previously have been if I were bearing down. I went for pelvic rehab physiotherapy and after several million Kegels (and other stuff) things are much better.

Personally I wouldn't delay seeing a doc in this case, though. Lumps of any kind should always be checked out pretty quickly.
posted by looli at 9:23 PM on May 30, 2012

Best answer: If you mention the lump and discomfort up front and emphasise those over other details, you are more likely to get seen quickly. Do as zia suggests and request a full ovarian/uterine cancer exam. It may well be something far less worrisome, but reproductive cancers are devastatingly unpredictable.
posted by batmonkey at 9:24 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If your Gyn doesn't find anything wrong, which isn't out of the question as these things go, particularly given you are usually examined while lying down, get checked by a physical therapist specialized in pelvic floor therapy. They tend to understand the issues differently and tend to try to resolve things non-surgically.
posted by Dragonness at 10:18 PM on May 30, 2012

Best answer: IANAphysician, this is not medical advice, but
- tell your doctor that you've had a urethral diverticulum repair, and your symptoms, and your concerns.
- I don't know if that's your cervix. (Surgical scar?)
- yes, pelvic support structures could be injured during pelvic surgery
- no, they are not likely to be damaged during vigorous sexual intercourse that stops short of acute trauma (and it would probably be very painful)
- how serious it is depends on the degree of prolapse

It's pretty unusual for a young woman who's never given birth to have this problem.
posted by gingerest at 10:58 PM on May 30, 2012

Best answer: IANYD but I came to say what gingerest said - prolapse is mainly a problem of older women or women who have had multiple children. This makes it less likely to be your issue.

In medicine, a lot of things have similar symptoms, and pelvic discomfort is a pretty vague symptom, so I think it would be tough to say this was textbook anything unless you could clearly see the physical findings of prolapse.

If I were you I'd just keep bugging your healthcare provider to see if they have any earlier appointments that open up, and make sure you get this checked out before you move, because it may be a hassle to do it if you're relocating to a new place with a new provider.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:19 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

One last thought. Cancers of the reproductive system can be ... aggressive, so I would definitely push hard to get in to see a gyno this week or next. The sooner, the better.
posted by zia at 11:42 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It sounds to me from some Googling like textbook uterine prolapse.

Stop Googling and go to the doctor. It's more likely that you possibly have a tipped uterus, a retrocele or any number of significantly more normal and more likely things. But the outside possibilities are serious and benefit greatly from early intervention. I know this is both scary and annoying, but it's a really good idea to just figure out what this is and not just ruminate and worry about it. A good doctor should be able to take your list of symptoms and give you some quick answers [especially to questions like "What is this thing I can feel in my vagina] in a non-judgmental and informative way. Good luck.
posted by jessamyn at 5:15 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Okay.

Cervices are weird.

Your cervix can range from mushy soft to firm as the tip of your nose. It also moves during the course of your menstrual cycle and could be more forward toward the anterior wall or more back toward the posterior wall. It very well could feel like a lump.

People are also asymmetrical. Cervices can kinda tip sidewise on some people and you might find your brushing up against the side of it rather than the tip of it. You can find your cervix easiest by squatting, inserting your middle finger, and pushing it gently all the way back until you feel a bump. You may have to then feel around a bit for the opening if you have any reason to want to know how soft or hard you are (woman usually only want to know this when they're trying to get pregnant).

And sometimes it can be impossible to find.

I'm betting that the lump was indeed your cervix in a forward position.

Even so, make an appointment with your doctor, and in a few days, try finding that lump again. If it's moved a bit, it was probably your cervix.

And it is possible you experienced some pelvic floor weakening from your surgery and you need things checked out. But I don't think you need to hit the panic button just yet, either.
posted by zizzle at 6:20 AM on May 31, 2012

That fullness sounds a lot like what I have with fibroids. I'm having surgery next month to have them removed but the feeling you described is exactly how I feel with these things pressing on my bladder and bowels. Doctor. ASAP.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:26 AM on May 31, 2012

It's also possible the lump is a cyst. But in any case, get thee to a physician asap. And yes, for godssake, quit Googling!
posted by deborah at 1:43 PM on June 1, 2012

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