I keep telling people that I’m going to write a post about pelvic organ prolapse and what I’ve learned. I keep saying that I’m going to write my story down. And yet I don’t.
It’s taken me more than a few weeks to write this post. Just like it took me a month to mention pelvic organ prolapse (POP) on the blog. I’ve pondered why that is and I’ve figuered out that it stems from two places.
The first is my mental state. I think the mental aspect of POP is almost the worst. It brings a new set of unknowns and worries that weren’t there before. It feels like a part of me is suddenly broken – a part that is more important than I ever knew. The unknowns and lack of answers are hard.
The second reason I’ve been hesitant is much more important. I’ve put off writing this post because I’m afraid of your reaction. I’m afraid you’ll read my posts and feel sympathy for me. I don’t want sympathy. Sympathy won’t help me overcome this obstacle in my path.
I’m afraid you’ll read my post and you won’t get the message behind it. I’m afraid you won’t truly realize that POP can happen to anyone and that many women will experience some form of it during their lifetime. (I’m not giving exact statistics because they don’t exist in agreeement. It’s unknown exactly how many women deal with POP.)
Despite these reservations, I’m going to continue to write about my journey. If I can help one woman avoid POP or give one woman with POP hope, then these posts will be worth it. After all, I wish someone had truly warned me about POP.
I’ve broken the story up into parts. I thought I’d start by sharing a very basic overview of pelvic organ prolapse today. I’m not citing sources because this is an accumulation of what I’ve put together through reading and experience. I do plan to compile a list of resources in the future. I’ll be sharing the first half of my story tomorrow.
Pelvic organ prolapse is when your vaginal walls are weak or torn and your bladder, uterus, and/or rectum fall into your vaginal canal. You can have one organ that has prolapsed or you can have multiple organs.
There are different degrees of prolapse and you can have one without even knowing it if you never have symptoms. They most commonly happen postpartum and during menopause when there are hormonal shifts in a woman’s body.
It is unknown how many women have a prolapse since it’s not always discovered or reported. There are many factors that can contribute to a prolapse and I’ve been amazed when reading stories in different groups and forums.
There is a lot unknown about pelvic organ prolapse and it’s not talked about as much as postpartum mood disorders or diastasis recti. Yet, many women are dealing with it. This is why I’ve decided to refer to it as the wallflower of the postpartum world.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the beginning of my story. In the meantime, feel free to drop your questions and experiences regarding POP in the comments below!