PP self-diagnosed cystocele and/or urethrocele improvement


I will try to keep this short but I just thought I need to give some background info, as well as maybe some encouraging words at least for new mamas out there who might be experiencing some concerning challenges in their new body.

I'm 21, had my first child about 9 weeks ago. I had a 30 hour labor with 5 hours of pushing. Transferred from my home birth to the hospital 3 hours into pushing because I guess things were slowing down. I ended up pushing for another 2 hours (baby was in perfect position so that wasn't an issue). They gave me an episiotomy (second degree perineal tear) in the end but other than that I had no other intervention. I was told that I had 'tight' muscles. I was accepting of this unexpected turn which I had initially had zero preparation for (I was avoiding the thought of the possibility of being transferred at all costs), and glad that I didn't have to face any serious intervention and that I birthed a healthy baby girl. Anyway!

Postpartum the only major difficulty I felt for the first days was my sore tear other than the usual fatigue of labor. I wore a belly bind for about 2 weeks. I felt like that really helped bring things back together. At about 10 days, my episiotomy was healing well enough that I could sit and move around a lot more comfortably. I think around that time was when my midwife said I should start doing kegels. Now I was never a fan of kegels prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy. However I don't know why I listened to her this time and thought it might bring more blood flow to the area or something and speed healing. By the second day of starting kegels, I was doing kegels when all of a sudden, I had this really weird pulling sensation that wasn't exactly painful but definitely uncomfortable. It felt kinda sore. I couldn't tell where the sensation was coming from. Initially I assumed it was bruising from all the pushing or my pubic bone coming back together. It was around the pubic bone/clitoral region. But nevertheless, that made me stop kegeling. And then, I began to question, ok so if I was told I had tight muscles during labor, why am I supposed to be doing kegels which is supposedly for loose muscles, and how can one heal tight muscles? Long story short, I began doing lots of research. I came across some useful resources which lead me to the conclusion that, yes, all the WRONG sitting and lack of movement for the last one year of my life (I moved from a different country where I moved a lot more including regular home-practice yoga) as well as bad posture (I thought tucking your pelvis was good for you because of a misleading online yoga instructor who implanted that in my mind) lead to tight muscles. Another symptom of this had been painful intercourse. Nothing too problematic but totally pain-free intercourse was only occasional.

Eventually I realized that the discomfort I was feeling was from my urethra because it would come when the urine flow would come to a stop. I'd also feel it when changing positions sometimes, from getting off the floor (we don't use couches or chairs) to stand on my feet, or from scooting. This didn't happen every time but definitely multiple times every day. I informed my midwife. They just said to make sure I didn't have a UTI. I did not.

One day I decided I was ready to do some internal check of what's happening in the vaginal canal since the birth. When I checked, I felt like the entrance top part of the vagina was a little too curved and rough from what I could remember! I thought maybe I just forgot how it's supposed to feel lol. When I checked the second time a few days later, bladder prolapse came to my mind. But after reading Christine's self-exam, I think she mentioned that prolapsed bladder feels squishy whereas uterine prolapse feels muscular. I didn't think it was a uterine prolapse because my cervix was way up and couldn't even reach it. That's when I thought maybe it's a urethral prolapse rather. I don't know. I did have that 'everything about to fall out of me' type of feeling for a few days early postpartum during some days where I would stand for too long, but that was only for a short period of time and never got it again. Anyway, I found Whole Woman via mothering.com on the prolapse support forum. I read a lot of the threads on the forum. I got the First Aid for Prolapse online video and I've been trying to make sure that I'm really keeping a good WW posture - I didn't find it very challenging thankfully. I mostly catch myself out of posture while seated, and I tend to bring my shoulders up a little from tension.

But here's the good news. It's been about 2-3 days, and today I had almost zero of that weird discomfort during urination. The initially slow stream with the feeling that I wasn't emptying enough has also gone, and although it's still not the stronger stream that I remember it to be, it's still stronger. During toilet time, I make sure I keep the spinal curve without tucking and lean forward. I find that really helps during number 2 as well. I'm also doing the 'new kegel' and fire breathing. I know it takes time to heal postpartum, and I have to be patient, but I was really starting to get anxious and I'm really happy to see a positive difference already. So I want to thank Christine and everyone else who takes their time to share their wisdom. I hope this will also be encouraging to anyone else who might be experiencing similar feelings. I know my symptoms don't sound very problematic but they were definitely eating at me! Will I ever get better, is it going to get worse, will I be strong enough for a second pregnancy etc.

Please forgive me for the super long post! Yikes.

Also one last thing.. I was really considering going to an obgyn to get checked just to know what type of prolapse I have exactly for peace of mind, and I wasn't going to ask for any type of treatment (not that there would be much they could offer other than kegels probably). But after noticing improved symptoms today, I decided not to and just continue with this approach. I will also continue with yoga. Do you think it would be better if I still went? My mother in law called me today to ask if I went to see an obgyn and I said no because I feel much better today after incorporating what I've been learning. She asked what it is that I'm doing, is it an exercise? And I said well, it's a change of lifestyle. :)

Beautiful story, rahmabirth,
You should really have the posture down and be aware of what throws you out of posture when doing other activities, especially yoga, because some of their positions are male orientated. Christine does have some wonderful yoga DVDs that she created with posture in mind. Second Wheel is perfect for the postpartum mom, but I love that one too.
Sounds like you are on the right path.

Hi rahmabirth,
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story; from difficulties to healing. It is amazing how effective the relatively simple the WW treatment for pelvic organ prolapse is.

I am a yoga teacher & practice yoga most days. It is important as Aging gracefully says, to have a thorough understanding of what helps & what doesn't help, not only for yoga but for daily life & other activities as well. I find women are able to pursue most activities, (but not all), but they probably have to make some adjustments so that it fits with the WW posture/approach.

I good way to do this it to follow some of the yoga dvd/s; wheel of yoga 2 is a good one for post partum mums - & find out via the book/on-line courses & lectures/website/youtube/one to one consultation... about what's good & what's contra-indicated. Then when you have a thorough grounding in this, you can go solo:)
Good luck, wholewomanukx

I must say that for one so young, you are very wise and surprisingly able to see the "big picture". Understandably, many of our new moms are very panicked and just want to make it all go away. This is a great post, thanks so much for sharing.

In reading through it.....I wonder if the 2 weeks of belly-binding may have contributed to your initial manifestation of prolapse. I realize this is a common practice in some cultures and some circles. But anything too tight across the belly is just simply pushing things in the wrong direction, at a very critical time in your recovery, when the organs could start settling comfortably forward in the belly if we just give them half a chance.

I personally have never seen a doctor for my prolapse. We can't advise women to go or not go; that has to be your choice. But Christine has pointed out on numerous occasions, that prolapsed women who cannot separate themselves from traditional medical opinions and approaches, are the ones who tend to have less success with this work. I can see that's not you. Whatever you decide to do, you will have both eyes open. Thanks again so much, for coming onto the Forum to share. - Surviving

Thank you everyone for your kind and encouraging words! Since my last post, I've had good moments as well as some of the original discomfort but I want to say that this hasn't discouraged me at all. I just wanted to throw that out in case any of the readers may also find themselves having good and bad days. It takes time, I understand that, and I have come to terms with it. Also the day before I had almost zero discomfort, I went for a long and much needed walk. Nothing too crazy, just a gentle walk down the river behind our house. Maybe that contributed to the positive progress.

I'll be looking more into what yoga poses as well as daily activities may be contraindicated - thank you for that. I am assuming, as I've also read on some of the threads, that poses such as the boat pose especially with an acute angle are not OK. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't usually find that pose comfortable. Also yesterday the sequence I was following included happy baby, and although prior to childbirth I felt fine doing that, I didn't go along with it this time. Perhaps it's not a pose that would cause further harm in case of a prolapse but I preferred to listen to my body and took a different hip stretch instead.

I'm not a yoga expert, but you are correct that a boat pose is pretty hard on the pelvic organs. Please check out the figures in the exercise appendix of Christine's book - best illustrations of the difference between an acute angle (less than 90 degrees) and an obtuse angle (greater than 90 degrees). It's the obtuse angles that you want to avoid - acute angles actually do help keep the organs pinned in position. - Surviving

Right, that makes sense. Thank you for clarifying Surviving!