I’m writing about my mom, she is in her 70’s and has some kind of prolapse. I’m not sure exactly what is prolapsed but she had a procedure to partially repair it a while back. She asked about a pessary but was told it wouldn’t be effective. She says it burns when she goes pee but she has no UTI and she also has issues with bowel movements. Her doctors want her to have a hysterectomy and she seems to be OK with it but I worry about her having this seemingly major surgery at her age. I’m also concerned that the problem isn’t really with her uterus and the doctors might just be getting snip-happy. So my questions are:

1. Can uterine prolapse cause urinary and bowel problems similar to what she”s experiencing?
2. Are there other less invasive/destructive ways of fixing a prolapse?
3. I’ve heard that having a hysterectomy kind of ages you. Is that true of only pre-menopausal women? My mom is still fairly vital for her age and I’d hate to see the surgery affect her vitality in some way.

I’m really uneasy. She’s acting like she’s just going to have her tonsils out or something and I don’t think she realizes the seriousness of what she’s about to agree to. I want her to make sure she really and truly needs this before she goes through with it but she just brushes me off. Or maybe I’m overreacting and it is like having your tonsils out? hehe Any info or advice you have would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Tagged with →  

6 Responses to prolapse and hysterectomy

  1. EirFriut says:

    My mother had some kind of prolapse but I can’t remember off the top of my head which kind so I can’t give you any specific advice. But there are quite a few different types of prolapse, and I’m guessing treatment protocols vary for each, so it’d be worth figuring out which sort your mom is experiencing and then maybe doing more research into that specifically. There is a good little outline of the different types here: http://www.solutionsforvaginalprolapse.com/what-is-vaginal-prolapse/

  2. Tenne says:

    I would second this, and add that there are also lots of types of hysterectomy. Can you go to the doctor with your mother and ask some questions? It may put your mind at rest?

  3. Hteall says:

    If she’s already hit menopause (as I would assume), then her ovaries aren’t doing much for her anymore. That’s one of the “ages you” issues for hysterectomies that take the ovaries as well; it dumps someone into menopause immediately. So that concern isn’t likely to be an issue.

    It might be an issue about her sexual activities; some people get more pleasure out of cervix stimulation (or jostling) than others, and I don’t know how much cervix is generally left intact with hysterectomies. I have no idea if you want to ask her to bring that up with her doctor, but her doctor may be assuming that Old People Don’t Have Sex/Masturbate and if that assumption is wrong, then she should correct him so that he knows that messing around down there is something to be done with care and not, “Oh, she’s not using anything down there anymore.”

    Luck to her!

  4. TeoFire says:

    Yes, those are definitely common symptoms with prolapse.

    There are various treatments but a lot depend on specifics. This may indeed ultimately be the best choice for her, but it is almost always a good idea to get a second+ opinion if that is at all possible.

    There are downsides–some concerns are indeed reduced/eliminated post-menopause, the sex thing archangelbeth mentioned, and there is some concern that if someone is having issues with support in there, making MORE room and further weakening the abdominal muscles might not be the best approach, even if one of the major players is eliminated, if you know what I mean. But most people do have a good experience ultimately, but there is a lot to weigh.

    There’s always risk with major surgery, but this is really routine, in fact I believe the most routine one, so there isn’t too much extra worry there.
    Best wishes to mom no matter what happens!

  5. 33377 says:

    My mother had a hysterectomy in her 50s because of very bad fibroids. In mid-March, this year, she had surgery for a prolapse of the bladder. She is 65 (she’ll be 66 at the end of April). She is doing well now, after the surgery. The hysterectomy didn’t seem to age her at all. She was in menopause at the time it happened. Also, my older sister had to have a hysterectomy because of fibroids (the same condition as my mother) when she was about 41 or 42 and she is completely okay!

  6. Ttefornia says:

    My mum wasn’t noticeably “aged” by her hysterectomy at when she was premenopausal and just-before-50 – and that was major abdominal surgery (slit from navel on down) to remove everything because of cancer. (She’s fine now, and likely to be for at least the next 20 years if her mum’s anything to go by!)

    As for the surgery… except in cases where there are complications (as there were for my mum, i.e. cancer; as there will be for me if I have one), hysterectomies can these days be carried out via keyhole surgery, which hugely reduces the chances of complications and so on. Honestly, I think she’s very likely to be fine 🙂

    As for urinary and bowel problems — I don’t know for definite, but there’s a bunch of tendons and whatnot in there and everything is smooshed up quite close together; from personal experience, if anything goes wrong it tends to be pretty noticeable. (In my case, endometriosis makes its presence felt!).

Leave a Reply