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So complicated

— PLEASE NOTE: I am writing about my personal experience here, and my own understanding of the issue…I am by no means a professional in this area, please consult your healthcare professional for advice on your specific circumstances —

I had travelled across London to see a specialist, a consultant who I had learnt so many new facts from. She diagnosed a different type of prolapse I didn’t know I had, a ‘uterine prolapse’. Apparently it was not only my bladder like I originally thought (a cystocele) but also my uterus had lost its original position. It obviously didn’t change my actual and current symptoms, but along with these prolapse news a much more complicated reality hit me..

My takeaway message from the appointment was: The uterus has fallen out of its position and is pushing down on the bladder. What is visible is the frontal wall of the vagina which the bladder is pushing into. The first few professionals I had seen had only identified the bladder prolapse – but basically behind that there is also my prolapsed uterus which sits on top and makes things worse… To do surgery only for the bladder prolapse would be pointless as it would likely make the uterine prolapse fall down even more. To fix the uterine prolapse there are only complex and risky options to consider, procedures that may or may not work at all. The best option would be to have the uterus removed completely (a hysterectomy). But the issue with that is that even if I would consider such a massive thing (maybe not now but in a few years time?) is that even removing the uterus would not be certain. It may help, but there is a big risk that ‘the top of the vagina’ could prolapse instead, in absence of the uterus… basically I could sustain something called a ‘vaginal vault prolapse’ as a result of a hysterectomy.

So many new words to learn. And too many question marks.

Additionally, even if a surgery turns out successful it generally doesn’t seem to mean success for a lifetime. The problems might eventually come back and another surgery (potentially more complex) will be needed – but who knows after how long, would it be after 8-10 years? Maybe less if I would do the repair and then go on to have that physically active life as I would hope. Would it then only last for 5 years? Or 1?! Nobody can tell. And each case is individual anyway of course. There seems to be endless of medical terms and possible diagnosis and so much at risk…

I had (naively) hoped that the consultant could give me an option that might be a big decision but still something that could solve, or minimise my issues. At least temporarily! But all these risks… and the uncertainty of actually making things better at all. What if I ended up with other problems instead, making my situation different but worse than today? It all felt so complicated.