Phillipa the daughter of Joyce phoned me about her mother’s bladder prolapse. My name was given to her by Alan Glasser Pharmacist and owner at Mark’s Pharmacy at 80th and 120th Street in Delta.
Phillipa was very distressed as she told me about her mother. At 85, Joyce was diagnosed with bladder prolapse (cystocele) and was fitted with a pessary, a small device inserted into the vagina to support an organ that has fallen down. At 89, the pessary was not longer working and in the past six months, she had been to the doctor 9 times for a re-insertion or a re-fit. Every time, the pessary fell out within hours.
When I went to see Joyce in her home (yes, I do house calls), I found a lovely and pleasant women who was very distressed at her situation. She said because of her prolapse, she felt dizzy, was in pain whenever she sat down and leaked urine frequently. Her life had changed drastically since the ring pessary stopped working six months prior.
When I examined Joyce, I found her bladder had completely fallen outside of her vagina. The ring pessary she had been fitted with by her doctor never would have worked for this significant prolapse. I proceeded to measure her with my gloved hand and fitted her with a #5 Gelhorn pessary. It is a far more supportive and stays in place due to suction.
Joyce found the pessary to be very comfortable and she immediately had to go to the bathroom. She had a very good stream and emptied about 400 cc’s. She said she had not voided that much in ages. I suspected that the prolapse was obstructive and that was why Joyce was leaking. I don’t believe she was emptying her bladder.
Walking around was great and no longer did she leak urine. She also said she no longer felt dizzy when she walked. Joyce was also able to sit down without any pain. Joyce was simply delighted as now she had hope that she could get back to a more “normal” life and go out again. She had been too nervous with all of her prolapse issues.
I suggested to Joyce that she use a personal moisturizer with her pessary as that will help to keep her vaginal tissues healthy. The vaginal dryness may have contributed to her worsening prolapse. If she wanted to use an ovule to be inserted into the vagina, Repagyn would be good or if she was more comfortable applying cream to her labia then Joygel would work.
I was quite happy that I was able to help this woman in such a short period of time. When one knows what they are dealing with and has the right tools, the job is always easier. Onto my next patient.
Maureen McGrath is a Registered Nurse host of the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW, feminist, women’s health expert and a 2016 TED speaker on the Sexless Marriage. Her book is available on Amazon.ca : Sex & Health: Why One Can’t Come Without The Other. She is recipient of the Vancouver Board of Trade Community Catalyst Award 2016 and a finalist for YWCA Women of Distinction.