i'm 31 & delivered a 9.4-pounder 21 months ago. i developed large but painless hemorrhoids during pregnancy that worsened during delivery (i pushed for 90 minutes while lying on my back) and are still there. i tore-i don't know if it was 2nd or 3rd degree but stitches took a half hour.
over the last 5 months i've been experiencing varying degrees of rectal pressure & incomplete bowel evacuation (even with soft stool). as a longtime sufferer of health anxiety, i've become preoccupied w/ the possibility of colon cancer, because i've lost lots of weight this past year (although i'm chasing a toddler and still breastfeeding quite frequently--plus i was thin to begin with). often i don't feel like i've emptied my bowels completely, & will continue to try to go more throughout the day, sometimes i'm able to get more out & sometimes not. it's better when i'm not home because i can't keep trying to go, and the pressure lessens. but once i go, i'm left feeling unsatisfied, though it is never painful (so i doubt that the sensation is caused by internal hemorrhoids).
i'm worried abt a rectocele but am ashamed of how totally unfamiliar i am with my anatomy. if i squat over a mirror without touching my vagina and bear down, nothing happens. but if i spread it open, i do see what i guess is the walls? it is pink tissue that doesn't move much when i bear down. however, when i insert my finger i feel soft bulges on the front and back. i just don't know if this is just walls or a cystocele/rectocele. i was convinced i could see my cervix but my husband assured me it was my urethra! i feel stupid for not knowing what i looked/felt like before. I have an iud and think i can feel that way back (full-finger length).
when i squeeze to pass gas, sometimes i pee more than a drop but not a bladder full. for the first 2 months pp, i'd put my hands in warm water sometimes & my bladder would empty completely before i could stop it. doesn't this indicate pelvic floor damage? thank you.
No need to feel embarrased. Many womeb do not know about their pelvic anatomy. No one ever taught them about it.
Think of the vagina as a long, flattened tube, pulled up and back to the tailbone, and also stretched side to side across the pelvis. The bladder sits on the front side of the vagina, and the rectum is held in place by the back side. The uterus and ligaments hold up the top.
Sometimes during vaginal childbiert, the vaginal walls can tear, and/or the top/side supports can break when this happens, the front, top, or back of the vagina can droop. This is called prolapse. If the drooping is mostly the front wall, it is called cystocele becaule the bladder is likely droopilg along with the front wall. If the back wall is drooping, its called rectocele. If the top is falling, it may be called enterocele or uterine prolapse.
Prolapse can be quite dramatic, qith the vaginal walls protruding past the labia at rest. If you cannot ser a protrusion when squatting and straining, you probably do not have significant prolapse. Your concerns about colon cancer need to be addressed with a gastroenterologist.
Your rectal pressure and feelings of incomplete emptying can aldo be evaluated by a good gi doc.
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