Stacy

Symptoms:

Some urine leakage with coughing or laughing, pelvic pressure and occasional pelvic pain.

Diagnosis:

Pelvic Organ Prolapse – Grade 2 Cystocele

Age at diagnosis: 31
stacy-pelvic-organ-prolapse

How did you learn about your diagnosis?

I told my doctor about the symptoms during a routine check-up after my second vaginal birth.

How did this condition impact your life?

I was only 12 weeks postpartum, so I was expecting my body to be changing, but it felt different than after my first child. The discomfort was definitely frustrating, especially since I was already worn out with a toddler and a newborn at home. Pads were adequate for the leakage, but no one likes to need them. Mostly, it was just really scary to feel like your body isn’t doing what it should be and you have no control.

What treatment options did you explore?

I asked lots of questions so I knew there were many of options – including surgery – but with two tiny kids, that didn’t feel like an option at the time.

How did you make your decision?

Timing is everything. Since I wasn’t too far removed from having a baby, a permanent choice, like surgery, didn’t feel right because everything was still shifting and healing. For me, that meant supporting my body in that process. My doctor fitted me with a vaginal support device called a pessary and I planned to start working with a physical therapist. From there we agreed to continue to assess my progress.

How has your life been with your chosen treatment?

So far, so good. My body is still healing and I am trying to care for myself even while chasing down a toddler. I continue to do physical therapy and monitor my pelvic organ prolapse. It has improved, but isn’t gone yet. It will always be something I am aware of in my life. Surgery may be a possibility down the line, but I don’t worry about it for now.

What would you say to another woman experiencing your same type of symptoms or diagnosis?

Be gentle with yourself. Each pregnancy and delivery is different and you never know what may happen. Caring for your own body is just as important as caring for your baby. Be aware and take action sooner rather than later while more options are still open to you.

*This story is fictional and the information presented is only intended to represent common experiences of women receiving treatment for POP or SUI. It should be used for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. We strongly encourage you to discuss all health matters and concerns with your physician before beginning, stopping or changing any treatment strategies.