Cystocele & Rectocele

Cystocele = Anterior prolapse = Prolapsed bladder
Rectocele = Posterior vaginal prolapse = Herniated rectum

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Unhappily living w/ prolapsed bladder/cystocele

Jan 2012

Hi - Can anyone who has had a prolapsed bladder/ cystocele recommend their knowledgeable gynecologist. I have always been very active, but since the birth of my daughter over 2 years ago, I haven't been able to do strenuous exercise with out worsening my cystocele. My gynecologist is very hesitant about surgery, telling me to do kegels, which hasn't helped. She also says if I do surgery, I should wait until I'm finished having kids. But we have been trying, and I have a feeling we have been unsuccessful because the bladder is in the way. I'd like a doctor who is more knowledgeable with prolapsed bladder and will be able to tell me what my options are. Also, if you had a prolapsed bladder, can you share your experiences with me? Was it difficult to conceive again after having the cystolcele? If so, what did you do? Are you able to stay active while living with your Cystocele? Did you have surgery done? Thanks for any info and advice. anon

I also had a significant prolapsed bladder after my last pregnancy. It was such a drag! I ended up consulting with Dr. Ed. Blumenstock who was fantastic. We chose to do the surgery after he did a semi comprehensive test on the severity of my bladder control issue. The surgery was fine and the recovery a bit challenging since I couldnt lift my kids for several weeks--but now I have no problem with my bladder. No leaking at all. One distinction in my story is that I was for sure done with having kids. I'd totally trust Dr. Blumenstock regarding this variable.

I have another younger friend who had a somewhat less severe bladder control problem after the birth of her daughter. When she exercises she inserts a ring type thing (like a diaphragm for her bladder) and she has no leakage issues. This was an easy, non surgical way for her to address her post-birth bladder issue. I hope this info is helpful. --no more leaks mom

Ed Blumenstock at OB GYN partners for health in Oakland - specialty is hysteroscopy and gynecological surgery. Very thorough. Can't speak to the pregnancy issue but had surgery (hysteroscopy) with him that went well. It's a great practice - been a patient there for a long time. Good luck

I completely sympathize. I've had vaginal prolapse and cystocele since my kids were delivered 5 years ago. The good news is it's gotten a little better over time. Still, no way I can do impact exercise, and even fast walking is annoying at certain points in my cycle.

My GYN also said not to consider surgery until I was absolutely done having kids and she was even lukewarm on surgery period. She said technologies keep changing (there was a new one out there a few years ago and she suggested waiting to see what its longer term outcomes would be).

I did get fitted for a pessary a few years back, but I found it a hassle and prefer just living with the prolapse, sucking it all back up as needed. We haven't been trying to get pregnant, though may soon and I'm curious to see other responses on that.

Ultimately I can't offer any great solution, but just wanted to let you know I commiserate! similar boat

There is a new laser procedure that can help you with this. Groundbreaking! It is non-surgical and there is no down time. Dr. Fillmore in Concord is 1 of 4 ob/gyn's trained in the nation on this new procedure. It has been recently featured on the Doctors. Her office number is (925) 676-3450. The website on the new procedure. Kristina

Gynecologist surgeon for rectocele, cystocele

January 2006

Need recommendations for a GYN surgeon for rectocele, cystocele repair in the Berkeley/Oakland area.

I just had the rectoscele and cycstoscele surgery done last month, and highly recommend any of the doctors at Sutter East Bay/OB Gyn Fertility, 2850 Telegraph Ave. My doctor was Dr. Arzou Ahsan and she was terrific. This surgery is becoming very common and all of the doctors there do the procedure. Any questions you could call me 510-334-8750 Sandy

Anyone had success healing without surgery?

January 2006

I am 4 mos. post partum with a rectocele from the delivery. Has anyone had success healing without surgery? I have gotten mixed advice from the doctors, but one specialist said to give it time and it would improve. Has anyone had this get much better? Did the end of brestfeeding help? Any advice to speed healing?
Still healing at 4 mos.

I also had a rectocele as well a cystocele and noticed it at about 4mo. postpartum of baby #2. I did stop nursing b/c I was told that estrogen would help re-tone the muscles down there. It's hard to say if it made a difference. It seems that the healing is a very slow process. I am 1 yr. postpartum now and it's hard to say if it got better or I just got used to things being in a bit of a different place. I think it has gotten a bit better, but after days of heavy lifting or pushing I can feel things a bit out of whack. I did some physical therapy, learned exercises to re-tone the area and electric stimulation to re-teach the muscle what to do. It was hard to keep up the routine on a daily basis with working full time and having 2 kids. The physical therapist seemed to think it would get noticible better If I could dedicate that kind of time. Meanwhile I try not to think about it and hope to have more time for exercising in the future. Also anti- depressants really helped me b/c I was pretty bummed about it. anon.

Rectocele following vaginal birth

December 2005

I have a rectocele follwing a vaginal birth with a second degree tear 3.5 months ago. I have gotten mixed messages from the doctors, but a specialist said it would improve within the year. Has anyone recovered from a rectocele without surgery? How long did it take and how full was your recovery?
Thank you
still healing

I have a rectocele I never repaired, and it's 20 years later. It definitely improved in the first year, but it does remain with me. The condition varies so it's hard to give advice, but obviously, in my case, I've lived with it. It's embarrassing to discuss, but the greatest problem is with bowel movements, and I've really improved my diet (lots of veggies and fiber!) to contend with the problem. I've read that rectocele repairs may not last, and surgeons are therefore less likely to repair. That said, I am actually considering having my condition repaired after all these years..... I'd hang in there to monitor the healing and evaluate surgery later. Good luck to you. anon

Considering surgery to repair cystocele and rectocele

July 2003

Hi, having suffered a fair bit of damage during my second child's birth, I am thinking of having surgery to repair a cystocele and rectocele. Has anyone been through this, and can you recommend a good doctor? Were you glad you had the surgery? Thanks

I gave birth to two very large babies with the same consequences. After the second delivery, I suffered from incontinence for 12 years, not realizing how simple the repair can be. Dr. Peter Schneider (a urologist) performed a 'bladder sling' procedure, and I've been cured ever since! His no. is 848-1727. He does not repair rectocele - this is a gynecologist's domain. I cope with the problem with diet and manage well enough. My gynecologist, Richard Rudd, 841 5510, routinely does these surgeries, and I've heard he's an excellent surgeon, but obviously I can't attest to that. anon

I was also diagnosed with a cystocele, rectocele and prolapsed uterus. When my first gynecologist was nonresponsive to my complaint, I fired her. My new gynecologist referred me to physical therapy and it has really made a difference for me. Of course, the degree of benefit you'll derive depends on how severe your symptoms are. Many gynecologists do not refer patients like us for PT, perhaps because they are unaware. If yours is similarly unaware, get her/him to refer you to Physiotherapy Associates and ask for the therapist who specializes in ''women's health''. Not all therapists are educated in this specialty, and the one with this organization only works in their Oakland and Walnut Creek locations. I urge you to try it. I highly recommend it. Been there and back