Post-Op Recovery Week 5 - Prolapse Surgery - Rectocele Repair

pelvic organ prolapse post-op recovery prolapse prolapse surgery rectocele rectocele repair Jan 18, 2021

As I write this I am at the tail end of week 5 post-op.  Tomorrow will be the 6 week mark but technically 6 weeks will end on Monday the 25th.

My prolapse symptoms are gone but I am struggling with how weak I feel.  I recently reviewed my DUTCH test results and it showed that my estrogen is in the post-menopausal range!  Here I was thinking I was being proactive and doing the surgery before I reached menopause.  I was quite shocked by that result but it could explain some of the laxity I feel in my pelvis.  I will be starting vaginal estrogen again (I was only on it for 2 weeks prior to surgery) the week of the 25th.

I am surprised by how weak I feel.  I was strong going in to surgery and I felt like the repair to the vaginal wall would make things feel more 'tight'.  So far I don't feel that.  I know that my strength will continue to improve and I am going to be fitted for a pessary so I feel that may make a difference.

I am more aware of my urethra which I believe is related to the estrogen but also I wonder if the bulge of the rectocele was masking other symptoms or if some of the symptoms I felt before surgery were not actually from the rectocele.  It could also be that new symptoms, or what I perceive to be new symptoms are a result of the incision and the healing/adhesions.  I will know more once I see my surgeon and my pelvic floor physio.

My pooping, especially later in the day, has definitely improved so that is a win and I no longer feel like I have gas or stool trapped.  

My perineum is finally feeling better. I determined that Epsom salts were actually irritating so I went back to my perineal herbs and I also started using a perineal herb spray as well which seemed to help.  I did red light therapy about 3 times this week.

For exercise I am now doing the core breath, the bridge, the clam, the bent knee lift and added in the seated march.  I noticed my incision a bit more being seated on the ball and missed a couple days but have aimed to do my exercises at least once but usually twice a day.  I checked in with my friend and former business partner Julia who is a pelvic floor physio in Toronto.  She supports kegels and the core confidence program for my recovery.  It was nice to get her reassurance too!

I am really interested to see if my 'lift' part of my Kege is better after surgery or not.  I feel like it might be so I am hoping what I feel is what my physio feels.  My lift was hindered prior to surgery and my physio wasn't sure if it was from the rectocele or because I was already partially contracted (not releasing).

I am doing about 50% of my hypopressives as well which feels good. I really missed them!

I have found this week hard mentally because of the weakness I have felt.  I found it hard to be patient.  I worried about what fitness will look like for me if I continue to feel weak.  I worried about sex and what it will feel like.  I worried about if all the things I was doing were right.  I worried about a lot.  I kept reminding myself of a quote I heard from the Chopra App "worrying is like praying for what you don't want."  I am trying to stay focused on a positive outcome and remind myself that the return to higher intensity fitness for postpartum people is 4-6 months at least.  It is the same if not longer for post-op.  

I had a day of frustration and tears yesterday when I got my DUTCH test results and crying felt cathartic.  This has been a VERY emotional process.  

My mantras and affirmations each day go something like this;

I am strong, calm and confident
I am getting stronger every day
I will return to pain free sex
I am healing beautifully
I am grateful for my body

Oh - and....I had 2 orgasms this week.  No penetrative sex for at least another week (not sure I will be ready then to be honest) but we tried some other stuff ;-) including my Empress from VUSH