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My Bits Fell Out!

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Have you ever heard of vaginal prolapse? I hadn't either, until it happened to me. Here's my story.

vaginal prolapse

Allison Henry: My first pregnancy was totally normal and healthy and fine. When my daughter was 11-and-a-half months old, I got pregnant with my second child.

About ten weeks into my pregnancy, I was doing prenatal yoga and it felt like someone had rammed a pitchfork up my butt, so I stopped. It was an intense, sharp pain, but it passed. As I was feeding my daughter lunch a short time later, it felt like I had peed my pants, and when I ran to the bathroom, I saw I was gushing blood everywhere. It was the biggest scare of my life.

I rushed to the OB/GYN, and they said I hadn't lost the baby, thank God. But they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and I kept bleeding for 15 weeks straight. When I was 25 weeks pregnant, they put me in the hospital for three-and-a-half weeks on bed rest. That was the first time I had stopped bleeding in four months, and I was so relieved. When they released me, they put me on hospital-level bed rest at home, but even walking from the couch to the bathroom made me start bleeding again, so they had to put me back in the hospital. My son was born six-and-a-half weeks early, at 33 weeks.

What they ultimately found out was that I developed a hematoma outside the placenta. The baby was fine, thank God, and after he was released from five weeks in the NICU, we thought the whole ordeal was behind us. Boy, were we wrong about that.

One day in the bathroom, I felt something kind of strange when I was wiping. There wasn't really a hole there -- it felt kind of flat. I thought it was a little weird, but I had a 19-month-old and a newborn to care for, so I brushed it off. I wasn't bleeding, I wasn't in pain, so I didn't address it.

Over the next year, I noticed this more and more and more. I would feel that something was poking out of my vagina when I was wiping.

In the meantime, I had a massive emergency appendectomy, I got gangrene, and I was hospitalized. It took me about eight months to heal from that whole thing, so I didn't really address what was going on with my vagina.

One night, I took a look down there, and it was like my insides were on the outside and they were coming out. I knew I couldn't put this off any longer. I went to my doctor and said, "My vagina is falling out of my body!"

I was referred to a pelvic floor specialist. She took a look and said, "Holy crap -- your vagina is falling out of your body, and it's dragging your bladder and your rectum along with it!"

It turned out I had complete uterine prolapse, where the uterus is falling out of the body. I also had rectocele, where the walls of the vagina are weakened, and your rectum is pushing into the back wall of your vagina. That explained why I had been constipated for months. They also told me I had cystocele, where your bladder pushes through the other wall of your vagina. I had been having trouble peeing -- even though I always felt like I had to go. This was apparently why.

The uterus is supposed to be 8 or 11 centimeters up inside your vagina. When I was lying down in the doctor's office, mine was 3 centimeters up, but when I was standing, it was plus-five centimeters! It was literally falling out of my body.

I had to have surgery, and they took my uterus out. All the ligaments that hold the uterus in place were completely shredded by all the blood I'd lost in my second pregnancy. My husband and I had thought about possibly having another child, but that took care of that.

Then my doctor had to resupport and restructure the back wall of my vagina so it wouldn't collapse again. She put my rectum and my colon back in their proper place. She had to untwist my bladder and place it right-side-up. It had twisted and turned upside down.

On top of this, I had a labia reduction, which was brutal. All of "Dr. 90210"'s patients who say it doesn't hurt are lying. I'd rather get my teeth pulled out than do that again!

After a few days of recovery, I was released from the hospital ... but unfortunately my story doesn't end there.

Every complication that could happen to me happened.

I was throwing up, constipated, and completely backed up for days. I had a UTI, and I was on antibiotics for that and painkillers.

Then seven days after my surgery, I was watching "Snow White" with my daughter when my son came into the room. He didn't like the seating arrangement and sort of lunged on top of my daughter. I had to push him off her, and when I did, I heard a loud ripping sound. Oh, no. I looked under the comforter, and my entire bed was covered with blood. It was like a horror movie -- you could see the blood filling the entire white bed. Since it was under the covers, thank God the kids didn't see anything.

I screamed, "Call the doctor! Call the doctor!" In 15 minutes, I had passed 10 huge palm-sized blood clots.

My stepmom rushed me to the emergency room, and the ER doctor was trying to figure out where the blood was coming from, but couldn't see because there was too much blood gushing out. He was poking around down there -- and I was still extremely tender from my surgery. It was the worst pain of my life.

He called my doctor and said: "I can't see where it's coming from. She's bleeding so fast and so much, I can't see. I'm killing her!"

So they prepped me for emergency surgery. It turns out when I pushed my son off my daughter, I ripped through eight way-deep internal sutures. My doctor had to go in and stitch everything back up once again. After having two surgeries in one week, I was beyond sore afterwards. I was in so much pain.

They put me on an antibiotic that I was allergic to -- I got a full body rash and was covered in red bumps from my head to my ankles.

The cumulative effect of all the anesthesia in my body did me in. I lost 30 pounds. Not that I minded being super skinny, but I was so sickly skinny, it was scary.

Six months later, I started having this weird discharge that had a funky odor. I was still in pain. It turned out my body was now rejecting the second set of sutures, and I had to have -- guess what? -- another surgery!

That was a year and a half ago. Since then, I've had some bladder issues, and they had to go in and slough off some of the scar tissue that had grown on the inside walls of my bladder as a result of my surgery.

The experience has been a total nightmare, but I'm happy to say I'm on the mend. We just had a cocktail party to celebrate me feeling healthy. And I do have the vagina of a 13-year-old virgin, with a perfect labia, as a bonus.

Within 10 or 15 years, there's a 90 percent chance I'll have to have another reconstructive surgery to resupport the walls of my vagina, because the results don't last forever. But that's something I knew going in.

There are definitely other women out there who've had this, or are experiencing the symptoms now. My advice is to go to the doctor sooner rather than later. If I had gone sooner, I would have had a much less complicated surgery. But I was dealing with a toddler and a preemie, and I thought I'd just deal with it later. It took me years to see my doctor.

If I had addressed this when it was just partially prolapsing, there's a possibility I could have had kids again. So don't wait like I did. If something doesn't feel right, get checked out right away.



next: Missing Fla. Baby Found Alive Under Baby Sitter's Bed
171 comments so far | Post a comment now
hans November 4, 2009, 11:44 PM

So no sex for hubby for a couple of years now? I hope for him you give at least a mean BJ.

Yeah, marriage is super.

candy man November 5, 2009, 9:52 AM

Women, lulz.

Sara November 5, 2009, 11:18 AM

I knew a woman who had this happen to her (caught a little earlier though). I am so glad that you are okay now and thank you for sharing this story! Although I’m sure this is a rare thing to happen, there are inevitably people out there who will read this and relate and feel better knowing that they’re not the only ones! Thanks for sharing your story!!

freddy November 5, 2009, 2:30 PM

It sounds more like you ignored ailments within your body and let a lot of these problems get out of control before seeking medical attention. You should take better care of yourself and actually listen to what your doctors tell you, rather than having the inside of your vaginal cavity sutured up then wrestling around with your kids. It’s not surprising at all that you suffered from such a diverse range of symptoms, considering the fact that you treated your body as if nothing was wrong until you were in excruciating pain or oozing odorous fluids.

I hope you do well in the future, but I as well hope you do well to remember how to manage your damaged body correctly.

lisa November 5, 2009, 3:59 PM

Woww! I cant believe what sick people there are out there who leave such disgusting comments! U know who u are!
GET A LIFE ….FREAKS!!!!

Myke November 5, 2009, 3:59 PM

Rough reading for a guy. That is the worst experience I’ve ever read about, even worse than what happened to John Wayne Bobbit.

Roy November 5, 2009, 10:10 PM

Yes, THANK GOD the baby wasn’t hurt.

ALSO THANK GOD that he gave you a prolapsed vagina.

Not listed November 6, 2009, 4:03 AM

You already had two kids, is it really a loss that you couldn’t have yet another kid? Slow down, we are not an endangered species.

master November 6, 2009, 7:02 AM

While all this was going on.. where was the husband?

Did they just never have sex? I’d leave my wife if we didn’t have regular sex.

Libby November 6, 2009, 9:15 AM

Dear Lord…..I can’t even imagine the hell you went through, both physically and emotionall, from dealing with that nightmare. I hope that you are blessed with a damn near perfect life from here on out, because it really sounds like you have suffered more than anyone should have to in life!

Maily November 6, 2009, 9:34 AM

Part of this happened to my MIL. She had uterine prolapse. Her innards were pressing down on her uterus and caused it to collapse. She suffers from bulimia and anorexia now. She had been overweight and then lost a bunch of weight too quickly. The muscles lost the ability to hold her insides together plus she is a little older so she didn’t bounce back quite as well. She had to have a hysterectomy. It is hard being a woman.

danielle November 6, 2009, 12:37 PM

Wow, this story is both horrific and inspiring. How you managed to get through all of that and still be able to laugh it off is amazing.

cara November 6, 2009, 6:29 PM

The embarrassing part of your story is not the prolapse — that could happen to anyone. It is that you had a labial reduction. What the bleep for? It can’t have been for yourself, since apparently during the YEAR in which you had this problem but didn’t know it yet, you never looked at yourself or touched yourself other than to wipe. It can’t have been for your husband, since he either never looked at or touched you either, or he is so massively insensitive to the state of your genitals that he didn’t notice that your vagina was falling out. Since apparently no one sentient is looking at or touching your genitals, why subject yourself to extreme pain to try to make them like some ridiculous surgeon-invented ideal? Geez, if I was that stupid, I wouldn’t want the world to know it.

Ricky November 6, 2009, 9:11 PM

Wow, glad you’re on the mend.
I’m absolutely horrified by the fact that you went so long without seeing a doctor.
Do a lot of women neglect to regularly squat over a mirror?
I’m a a male nurse, and though most of the prolapses I see are rectal, if most women don’t regularly have a look downstairs it might be something I should get used to talking to them about.
It only takes a minute and it’s a very important part of your body.

susie November 7, 2009, 9:41 AM

ok now allow me to ask this
how did your hubby not notice this was happening? my husband would have noticed a hair out of place— and time would not have gone by? did you not have sex??? or look at yourself ? I am almost 60 and apparently I have sex than most- because my husband would never have let me suffer for weeks much less months.

Doubtful November 7, 2009, 10:04 AM

Part of this story doesn’t ring true.

First - I can’t believe she had an emergency appy and the doc/surgeon didn’t notice a problem. A) prior to doing the surgery, they would have done a CT, ultrasound or pelvic exam to confirm the appy diagnosis and rule out an ovarian cyst. B) Why, as a responsible new mother, did she not have an annual exam following the birth of her second child? You’d think with her medical problems (emergency appy) she would have been in to see her ob/gyn soon after.

She may have had a prolapse - but I think she has rewritten her history and experiences. I can’t believe she and her husband didn’t notice this significant change when attempting sexual intercourse. And if she’s given birth twice, she’s not so shy as to ask her husband to “take a look” if it’s not feeling right.

Not to minimize the condition - it is serious. I just don’t think the story needs to be fictionalized and dramatized.

dee November 7, 2009, 10:17 AM

Uterine prolapse is NOT uncommon. 5 know of others aside from myself who had this. Uterine prolapse can affect the bladder; I started with a urologist due to urinary/bladder discomfort. It took several specialists before the starting issue was identified. It takes several specialists to piece this together yet it is not uncommon to have any vaiety of these symptoms and conditions

macy November 7, 2009, 11:48 AM


I had two big babies vaginally 20 years ago (over 9 lbs.). No female problems since. But I first noticed about five months ago that, when I wiped, it just didn’t feel the same. But when I asked my gyno, he couldn’t find anything. I know now that that is because I was lying down for the exam. I think the gyno should examine a patient while she is sitting over a toilet with no support at all because, for me, that is when the uterus protrudes. Last week I could feel something protruding out of the vagina, so I got a mirror and looked at it. It looked just like the photos of a cervix, but I didn’t think it was since I knew where the cervix is supposed to be. I walked into my gyno’s office and said that I needed to see him and I would just wait. He was out of the office for two weeks, so I saw the gyno on call. I told her and she diagnosed it, although it wasn’t evident to her because I was—again—lying down. I am seeing a urogyno next week as a second opinion and then my original dr. when he gets back. I may have to have a hysterectomy, but I hate to read that my vagina will fall out eventually….As for the sex, you can still have great sex with the prolapse, especially if you don’t know exactly what has happened. Lying down, it sort of falls back, I guess. Not sure about so many things that may be a part of all of this.

Anonymous November 7, 2009, 12:51 PM

when your vagina is normal do u want to have sex with me?P.S. i am a young woman.

Jim November 7, 2009, 1:15 PM

Alison,

I just wanted to say that I personally know what you went though. My ex wife had it happen to her during sex..not being funny it seriously happened. They repaired it and it happened again a year later.. not with my help again thank God. We used to have a running joke that I f’d her insides out.
becareful it can happen again


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