Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) Community
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Avatar universal

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (MUST READ)

Ladies/Gentlemen I don't have a question so much as it is a statement.  If you don't have a copy of  Sherrie J. Palms book, "Pelvic Organ Prolapse, The Silent Epidemic," please get it.  I ordered mine from Amazon.com.  You will be amazed at the knowledge she has compiled and the "hands on" advice she gives is superb for the "before and after" surgery questions/care because she has lived through it.  Reading her book was like having one of Oprah's "AHA MOMENTS."  I've marked, highlighted, and made comments in the margins of most of the pages as it related to me.  It was like I was walking in her footsteps.  

I am 60 and had a stage III Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP).  I had my surgery (cystocele, rectocele and mid-urethral sling) on Jan 21, 2011.  I'd been diagnosed back in June 2010 by my gynecologist and referred to a urogynecologist at the Washington Hospital Center.  After a few visits and some urology tests, I was diagnosed with Stage III POP in July 2010.  Never heard of it!  Come to find out it was almost as common and "apple pie."  Women just did not want to talk about it because it was so embarrassing.  WELL I WANT TO SHOUT ABOUT IT!  I am 10 a year breast cancer survivor and I feel I'm a POP survivor too!

I was "flapping in the wind" trying to find as much information as I could about POP.  I was all over the internet trying to find information about it.  It was sheer luck that I stumbled upon Sherrie's first internet video.  She was asking the same questions I needed answers to regarding POP.  Some questions, I didn't even know I should be asking. She was starting a grassroots advocacy for women suffering with pelvic floor health issues. I followed every search engine leading to anything she had posted on the web.  I found a web page www.sherriepalm.com and found her book.  

Although I was extremely anxious to get the surgery done, I held off until because I had a pre-paid planned trip in late August 2010.  And I wanted to wait until after the holidays once I knew it was "life altering" and not a "life threatening" condition and the recovery period would be 6-8 weeks.  Although it sure felt like it was "life threatening" when I first heard the diagnosis. I wrote to Dr Oz and asked if he would do a segment on POP in late November 2010.  I gave him my surgery date in hopes that something would be aired before them.  The second week of Jan 2011 he did a segment on POP and it was titled "women suffering in silence."  I almost cried.  That's it in a nutshell so to speak.  I'm in my 5th week of recovery after surgery and doing fine thanks to my urogynecologist and Sherrie J. Palm's book (or should I say POP Bible).
36 Responses
1128665 tn?1269277071
Yes, in general women do not share info with their husbands beyond that they have pain, there is so much stigma attached to symptoms POP. The more we spread the word, the more comfortable everyone will be with talking about it, even the "yikes" stuff.
i told my husband soon after i discovered the name of my condition. really no one had ever told me this can happen! i really freaked out and now he seems to feel sorry for me, encouraging treatment. it is now definitely at stage 4 and causing problems. btw i'm only 47! this was first noticed in december last year! my underwear/jeans do not fit right, i can't clean properly, my very unpredictable periods are more of a mess, and of course i have constant pain. currently i am trying to find help without having a hysterectomy or the mesh. i read about laparoscopic suture hysteropexy, but can't seem to find out if anyone in florida will perform it, even better using the robotic method. also no one can tell me if this can be outpatient surgery. so far all i can do is call to see who can work fairly with my very low (almost nothing) income! this is embarrassing and depressing!
Zomblien - It seems prolapse surgery is risky as far as how effective it is and how long the effects last. And it is major surgery. Many robotic surgeries are done by surgeons with very little robotic training and not everyone is a candidate for it due to surgical risks such as nerve damage. Unfortunately too, many women diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse are told they need a hysterectomy and their bladder tied up. Hysterectomy makes you even more prone to prolapse without the uterus there to anchor the bladder and bowel. And hysterectomy has many other adverse effects as well.

Are you aware that a pessary can be used to suspend your organs? They have to be custom fitted and there are a number of different types. They don't need to be removed and re-inserted very often. There may also be some exercises you can do too. The Whole Woman website may be helpful. Best of luck to you!
1128665 tn?1269277071
I sure appreciate the positive feedback but the most important thing here is you found info you  needed to help you through the process and get your questions answered. If every woman who learns she has POP finds the answers she needs and then pays it forward by telling other women, soon the grassroots movement will snowball and women around the world will become aware of pelvic organ prolapse-a health condition that has been on medical record since Egyptian times yet sadly still remains in the closet because the media won't touch a subject with such "yikes" symptoms. It's women like you that spread the word that help me help other women and for that I'll always be greatful. We are a huge club,women helping women.

1548028 tn?1324616046
This is wonderful!  I hope you make a web page so other women may contact you if they have questions.  I think you could help many women.  God bless.
1128665 tn?1269277071
I'll send you a PM (private message). Yes, the more all of us spread the word, the more women are helped!
Avatar universal
I hope more women find the MedHelp page as well as Sherrie Palm's web site. I really like my urogynecologist and fell she has done a great job.  But the hands on info that Sherrie provides especially as it relates to the before/after surgery is awesome.  My anxiety about the "what and how' of Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) was calmed once I read her book.  I felt she was talking directly to me and walking me through I what I needed to know about POP.

Since my surgery, I have found quite a few women that have had this procedure.  I find they were not only "embarassed" about their situation, but that they did not know the various procedures they had were all related to POP.  I, too, found that to be true.  I never related baldder prolapse or vaginal proplapse to POP.  I certainly never heard of rectal prolapse or intestinal proplapse. So I think the more we (women/men) spread the word about POP the more "common" it will become known.  I include men because it affects them too when their wife or significant other has this problem.  I was taken aback when one of the women on the Dr. Oz show said, "to this day, I don't think my husband knew about it."
Avatar universal
It is so refreshing to hear a success surgery, I have read nothing but horrific experiences about prolapse surgeries that my mind is confused as to whether to go ahead and have cystocele and rectocele repair or whether to wait and see certainly your own experience is inspiring.  We need more prolapse awareness and this is what is lacking, even GP's do not discuss with women folk until something gives and not many people know of websites such as the Med Help I found it by searching and more searching on Prolapse.
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