Thursday, February 05, 2009


And to update on the surgery option, it's scheduled for Feb 25. I will admit myself to the hospital on Feb 24 and hopefully if all goes well, I should be out by Friday or Saturday. So that will be it - a permanent end to child-bearing for me. I'm 40 going on 41 and about to say goodbye to a very important phase in my life, a very important part of what makes me a woman, what makes me me.

I'm feeling mixed.

My womb has housed all my children. So there is a sense of regret. There's also a bit of fear - about post-surgical pain, about the possible premature menopause I might find myself in. While I am keeping my ovaries, the risk of menopause is there due to the slowdown of blood supply to the area.

But yet, I know its got to be done. Its not going to get better. While I am in no discomfort, the condition has become annoying - in terms of the incontinence, in terms of the slack muscles. If I don't do this now, it will just get worse and when I finally HAVE to do it, the recovery will be longer and the risk of recurrence is much higher - as much as 30%. For menopausal women who do this, recovery is slower because of drier vaginal walls thanks to the lack of estrogen. So I think there is little point in waiting until everything really hangs out.

I've surfed websites that talk about posture helping etc but there are no randomised controlled trials for this and I honestly think there is a limit as to how much posture can help. It might help a situation not get worse so quickly but it won't improve things at all. Only surgery can offer the possibility of repairing the damage.

In a case of pelvic floor proplapse, prevention is much better than cure. This means avoiding episiotomies, avoiding purple or coached pushing, avoiding the whole cascade of interventions during labour and birth that lead to assisted births, birthing upright, actively doing kegels before, during and after pregnancy. C-sections are no guarantee against prolapse. The risks of C-sections far outweigh any risk for prolapse in a vaginal birth. So I tell my clients these days, among so many reasons for avoiding an episiotomy, this is one of them to think about.

I wish I'd known of all these before I had my babies. Now I just have to fix the problem and make kegels a way of life in the future. No point looking back. Just look forward. And look on the bright side. Come Feb 25, I'll have no more womb, but I'll have a brand new vagina!

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