Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman

by Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK 

I recently had a hysterectomy; it was the final solution for a vaginal prolapse that had been around for many years, although I had largely been unaware of, until it became too uncomfortable to ignore.

What is a prolapse? Well basically, a weakness in my pelvic floor muscles and vaginal wall, so that what is normally held inside is no longer supported, and begins to protrude on the outside, making walking uncomfortable.

What caused it in me? Many reasons, I suspect. Giving birth is acknowledged as a common one, and new mothers are always encouraged to do their pelvic floor exercises afterwards. I didn’t, so that may have contributed in my case. Add to that was my attitude to what I felt my body could do. I played squash 2 or 3 times a week; that’s a game that can be pretty hard on many areas of the body. Not only that, but I was strong and therefore allowed myself to lift heavy things, and enjoyed the weekly battle with a wayward shopping trolley and all the heavy shopping, not knowing how much lifting heavy things was affecting my pelvic floor muscles.

The prolapse manifested in a big way recently, when I was doing two things: working in a busy café on my feet all day walking about with heavy trays, pushing/pulling trolleys full of used crockery and washing up with a huge pull down dishwasher hood. Outside of work I was packing up my house ready for a move abroad, with boxes weighing up to 20kgs. All because I could.

One evening in the shower I noticed a bulge in my genital area where there should have been an opening, something was sticking out of my vagina and this then happened whenever I spent a day on my feet. Afraid of getting an infection through having what should be inside on the outside, I went to my local GP Surgery.

I was told it was a prolapse and I was given pelvic floor exercises to do and told to come back in three months – they would only operate if it was really uncomfortable. I went back a week later, unsure of the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises in curing the problem and was assured it would be fine.

Conscious of the increasing discomfort and aware of my upcoming travel plans, I called the Doctor’s secretary and asked if I could be referred to a gynaecologist for further advice as soon as possible. They said it would be weeks before I got an appointment, beyond the date I’d planned to leave, so they suggested: What about going private?

Fortunately I had enough funds so I looked up the local private hospital and made an appointment for two weeks’ time. In the meantime I looked up on the Internet about prolapse and possible treatments, which included pessary rings or surgery. In view of the fact I was travelling to start a new relationship, I didn’t feel a ring would be the solution, so I looked at surgical options. They mentioned repairs including using gauze, but these could be complicated by infections so that was out. They also mentioned hysterectomy as another solution, so that got me thinking and aware of that as a possibility.

When I finally met the consultant, he said it was the front wall of my vagina that was weak and that it was the bladder pushing through. This made sense to me and fitted in with what I felt in my body. He also said that once in the operating theatre, if they found a repair wasn’t possible they might need to do a hysterectomy and asked if I would consent to that, which I did. I was a given a date for surgery in two weeks, with a six week recovery time.

I cancelled my flight and left my travel plans open for a later time. I was disappointed, but felt this was important enough to deal with urgently.

In the meantime, aware that nothing happens in our bodies for no reason, I sought advice from Serge Benhayon, asking for a reading on what the prolapse meant. I already knew what had caused it and he agreed, adding that it was me not in my full expression, in fact pushing against being who I naturally am and he also said that it was showing me to ‘…endorse being a woman, and a beautiful one at that, to a much deeper and far reaching level.’

That made sense, I have always seen myself as a ‘person’ and ignored the feminine side, and in truth in recent years had largely been numb to what went on in my pelvic region apart from the bodily functions of going to the toilet. This was calling me to feel my uterus and cervix and vagina. I had been doing some Sacred Movement exercises, but still resisted feeling my sacredness as a woman, so this was all a huge wake up call.

Keen to make the best use of the healing offered to me, I spent the time before the operation preparing my body by eating well, doing the pelvic floor exercises and generally resting. I had already given up work, so there was no more need to be on my feet all day. The boxes were all packed and stored ready for shipping, so I did no more heavy lifting. I came down with a cold and the operation was delayed one more week, and that gave me more time to rest and prepare.

I had asked Serge Benhayon for support during the operation and I found that just before going down to the operating theatre I felt an amazing stillness and felt Serge would be saying, ‘Enjoy it,’ so I relaxed and surrendered to the procedure. The staff were amazing, the anaesthetist who already knew of my anxiousness was so sweet, caring and supportive that I drifted off with no qualms and woke after it was all over to find myself in pain, like a bad period pain. They took a long time and care to get the pain management right, but we got there in the end.

I was a bit woozy for the next 24 hours. I’d been eating a pretty light diet and had no medication other than warfarin for years, so my body was a bit in shock from the procedure and the drugs, but the staff were very understanding and supportive. I didn’t eat for 24 hours, just drank water, but, once I had vomited up whatever my body needed to eliminate, I was fine. I was blown away by the chef who followed my requests exactly, providing me with simple dishes of fish, green beans, avocado and salad. No sweets. It meant that I was eating food that supported my body with no resulting bloating or raciness.

I was in hospital only three nights and came home to my housemates who were incredibly supportive. We had already agreed a kitchen plan where things were at an accessible height for me, as I was not to lift or push anything heavy (a half filled kettle was ok), and to avoid bending too low. They also arranged a daily visitor from our local community of friends who would come in and cook me lunch.

I have used the time recuperating to really listen to my body, to rest and not override anything it tells me. The hospital have encouraged me to be up and about as much as possible, building up walking from five minutes a day, and I’ve been doing that, walking further each time. I’ve been doing gentle leg and arm exercises too, to keep my muscles in trim – nothing heavy, just gentle movements. And I’ve been doing the pelvic floor exercises.

A huge change for me has been letting go of my identity with doing and to focus on just being. My whole life has been based on recognition for my intelligence and ability to organise, co-ordinate, be efficient, do lots of different things, and here I was, on a six-week recuperation program with nothing to do except look after my body; what a challenge! I’ve let go of the push on many fronts, I am learning to honour what my body feels, I am learning to be more aware of what I feel, I am incredibly sensitive and can feel changes in energy. In the past I would eat to numb anything that felt uncomfortable, especially as I felt what others were feeling, which was often distressing. Because I am honouring my body in this way, not pushing to do any more than feels ok to do, I am healing very well. The pain stopped very early on, so I am no longer on a regime of pain management; I’m back on Warfarin as before, but my vitality is good, considering I have just been through a major operation.

Natalie Benhayon also gave me a reading in reassuring me that although my uterus and cervix are no longer there physically… ‘Yes they are there energetically — it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.’ That said it all really.

For me this has been a big healing: the medical profession have done a superb job in handling the physical side, and my approach to the psychological side has enabled me to not only cope with losing my womb and cervix (I still have my ovaries), but celebrate the opportunity to connect with myself as a woman more deeply. I have also had support with treatments of Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and Chakra-puncture. I lost a bit of weight but that’s steady now, as I have been eating nourishing meals with protein and vegetables three times a day and the walking is rebuilding my leg muscle strength.

This experience has shown me how much we can support Western Medicine in our health care, we don’t need to leave it all up to the doctors. By taking care of myself I am making the most of the healing opportunity on offer. By continuing to take care of myself I am honouring my physical body, which will stand me in good stead in the future. After all, our bodies are simply reflecting our lifestyle choices; if we live well, that’s how our bodies will be too.

A huge thank you to the staff at the BMI Bath Clinic, the Anaesthetist, the Consultant Gynaecologist, to Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon and all the students of Universal Medicine who have supported me through this opportunity to learn, heal and deepen my connection to myself as a woman.


`Read more:

  1. Hysterectomy – a wake up call
  2. An Angel Calls

648 thoughts on “Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman

  1. Carmel you have stated that
    ‘I sought advice from Serge Benhayon, asking for a reading on what the prolapse meant. I already knew what had caused it and he agreed, adding that it was me not in my full expression, in fact pushing against being who I naturally am and he also said that it was showing me to ‘…endorse being a woman, and a beautiful one at that, to a much deeper and far reaching level.’
    It seems to me that this is throw away statement but actually it is a massive statement to make. How is it possible for someone to give a reading on another person’s body with such clear understanding, how can this be?
    And what is even more important is that we could do these readings ourselves if we were more attuned to our bodies. You say you already knew to some extent, and we do know it is that we do not listen to the signs given to us by our bodies; we tend to overrule what we know to be true.
    Serge Benhayon is not special as he constantly tell us, he just lives in a way that is in full communication with himself deeply; so that allows for the universal flow of life to pass through him which he taps into to read life just like someone reading braille. We can all do this we are just choosing not to for whatever reason

  2. I’ve never had surgery (yet, never know) but I know that how I live will be there to support me should I ever need to. Whereas a few years ago I probably would be bricking it having no foundation of self-care or support for myself, let alone accepting it from others.

  3. Carmel, this is truly an inspiring read. Everything was organised to support you and your body. The nurturing that took place by the community during your recovery was remarkable, and what most people need during such surgeries.

    There is much to ponder over with our reproductive systems and how we disregard them. I can relate to going into hardness and participating in sports that brings this hardness into our bodies, instead of the tenderness we inherently from.

    Reconnecting to the beacon of our sacredness lies within these areas of our body and needs such tender loving care throughout our lives, not just when it falls apart. You have offered something for all women to consider.

  4. ‘…it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.’ There is a beautiful beholding power in these words that can be applied to us all.

  5. The more we listen to our body the more it communicates and we have the opportunity to build a loving foundation that will support us in our daily lives.

  6. I agree – it’s absolutely fantastic to know that there are all kinds of support available, but the most powerful of it all is the part we ourselves play. Our Livingness is an amazing resource for our healing.

    1. Fumiyo, I agree the support that the body needs and will respond to the most is the one that comes from within itself. All our healing is dependent upon us foremost and committing to it, and then we go to our resources to support the rest, it is that simple.

  7. It may sound strange but your blog reminded me of the times I was unwell and reconnected deeply to my body in bedrest and honoured its communications by taking more care of myself. Reading your story I realised how much I miss the depth of that connection with my body, it is kind of like being with a long lost friend, there is a warmth and a working together, instead of being out of myself disconnected in my mind.

  8. This shows that we don’t really get away with anything….nothing at all. How we are with ourselves has an effect on the body. And it is our choice as to what effect that is.

  9. It’s astonishing what can happen to the body when we live less than our full expression. So, that said what is the full extent of women’s health in today’s society.

  10. “….it is for you to work so that your worth and value is known before anything you do.” What a powerful sentence this is Carmel, for all of us, both men and women. Knowing and accepting our own self worth and value is an absolute game changer, and a crucial part of our true healing.

    1. Yes it is deeply healing when we honour our inner knowing of the our own value and live from this new understanding of all that we are before we do anything.

  11. True what you say Carmel ‘our bodies are simply reflecting our lifestyle choices; if we live well, that’s how our bodies will be too.’ And what it is to live well is to feel what your body is communicating and listen to this signals in a selfloving way.

  12. How often do we take into consideration that resting and releasing the tensions in our body is the responsible way we can prepare for an operation?

  13. Wow, this just goes to show that how we live as women impacts on our health and when you think about the level of self-loathing and lack of self-worth there is these days, it makes sense that women’s conditions are only going to get worse.

  14. “This experience has shown me how much we can support Western Medicine in our health care, we don’t need to leave it all up to the doctors.” So true Carmel and your experience is a powerful reminder to honour the woman I am.

  15. I am so inspired by your resourcefulness, Carmel. Being open, and asking for and allowing support to be a part of your healing process is such a beautiful thing.

  16. On the one hand this blog is very simple about a personal experience of an operation. On the other hand it shows how to maximise the medical work in terms of healing outcome, something worth exploring.

  17. Beautiful to read your preparation before your operation and how you knew not to leave it several weeks before following up with your GP, we always have an inner knowing when things are important – and how lovely that you came to understand that appreciating yourself as a woman was key to your healing and future livingness.

  18. We as women can see how far away we are from knowing ourselves as women by the sheer numbers of female issues there are that do and do not require medical attention.

  19. I love how open you share about this event in your life with all the aspects that are relevant to it. When our body gives us a signal so loud and clear it is really worth stopping and feeling what is actually going on. Beautiful how you got called to feel your whole sacred area more and connect to this part of your body.

  20. I love the care and love you offered and gave yourself throughout the whole process and the acceptance of support from others .. so important. I have just started doing pelvic floor exercises and can feel how important they are in supporting the reconnection to this area of the body which I would say we normally just completely ignore!

  21. Such an honest, frank and open sharing.. I had no idea what these medical conditions were or how they might feel before reading this. Our bodies so masterfully show us exactly how to take care of them, and so what to value in life – that taking care of the quality of our being always has to come first, because it sets the foundation for the quality of whatever we do after that.

  22. “I resisted feeling my sacredness as a woman, so this was all a huge wake up call.” Thank you for sharing this as I feel it is a wake up call for all of us women to live in our sacredness.

  23. My body has never enjoyed the heavy lifting/pushing/manoeuvring and yet I still do it from time to time, same with multitasking I get all confused in a bid to be ‘efficient’. There are so many things that my body does say “Please don’t do that” and reading this again brings me back to basics in that – rather than just pushing through regardless, what if I voiced, even if to myself, how these activities make me feel?

  24. I am learning that, although I have made many changes in the way I am living, it is not enough – the prolapse returning is telling me that in truth I haven’t changed a thing, which is disappointing but helpful in that I need to go deeper into appreciating myself as a woman and recognising my absolute fragility.

  25. It’s so important to look after ourselves and that means for us older ladies to seek help when we need something heavy carried. Some of my work is quite physical and entails taking bags of clothing and fabric up and down stairs. I used to carry all the bags regardless of their heaviness and felt encouraged when others commented on my strength and fitness. I still carry bags up and down stairs but I am more discerning now and if they are heavy or awkward and especially if I am feeling tired or under the weather I will purloin the help of someone younger and with more muscle power and usually a man. Sometimes I split the contents into two bags if there is no such help around and that way my female colleagues and I can enjoy our task without compromising our health.

    1. Well said, Elaine, it is very tempting to think we are strong and can do everything and that independent streak is not good for our health. When we remember just how delicate and precious we truly are, and how fragile our bodies are, then it becomes easier to ask for help or to carry less.

  26. Feeling that the prolapse was returning I sought the help of a physiotherapist who enabled me to feel just how much tension I was living with in my pelvic area, so much so that when I did any pelvic floor exercises I was adding tension to tension. So now I am working more on simply connecting within, tenderly allowing myself to relax and feel, reconnecting with my sacredness.

  27. We do know when something changes in our bodies even on a very subtle level, but how many times do we choose to ignore it? It would be very interesting to see how the statistics about health would change if we were to get ourselves checked out at the first sign of a physical change, and how much this would prevent conditions becoming more serious and therefore requiring less medical intervention.

  28. As we refine our ways of living, our bodies become more and more sensitive, which is great because we can feel more but what was OK for our bodies say 5 years ago is ultra heavy for our bodies now. Where I live there are some steep hills and walking the dog I found I have been walking rather hard. More recently I’ve been choosing routes with fewer hills so I can be a bit more gentle.

    1. I can relate to this Carmel, some things that used to be fine for me to lift or carry are not in line with what my body is communicating today.

  29. For most people as you say Carmel the point of redefining our identity comes in crisis… Imagine being offered the opportunity to, when in the best so to speak of health, understand who we truly are and what is there to be felt within us.

  30. I’ve recently been ill with the flu, bronchitis and sinus and the level of stillness in my body while recuperating was exquisite, and yet now that I am recovered, I can feel the wanting to eat, over stimulate the body and the hardness. All the while I was ill there was a feeling of delicateness that I have not experienced for a long time – definitely a new marker.

  31. I am amazed and inspired by your resourcefulness here you share with us, Carmel. It’s wonderful to have friends around and afar that can truly support.

  32. Our body reflects our lifestyle choices and the more we choose to connect to our body and appreciate our innate delicateness it becomes far harder to push ourselves out of our natural rhythm.

  33. Beautiful to read about the support you had in hospital, and for when you came out, things in the shared kitchen being easy to reach and having support from the local community too.

  34. As women, we make it often about what we do and find it much more easy to do a lot and feel good about that than to just be and feel good about ourselves way before we do something. But it is the most gorgeous feeling to have, to just feel you are gorgeous because of you!

  35. I feel you are not alone in not being able to feel what is going on with the female parts of the body. I know for myself I had little awareness of my body as a whole, as long as I wasn’t ill or in pain then I was fine. We are not taught to honour and cherish our body and so it takes time to re-connect to our body and feel what is going on. I know when I do I have a much greater awareness of how I treat my body and am able to learn so much more about myself.

  36. A timely reminder for me to be more conscious of the need for pelvic floor exercises and not lifting those heavy items that we get used to doing as women and instead asking for and accepting help when offered.

  37. It is now just over a year since I had the operation and what I have found is that it is very easy to slip back into old patterns of behaviour such as pushing a heavy wheelbarrow up the garden. What I have found myself doing though is walking more often and carrying less load. I am walking more gently generally and feel it as soon as I walk in a hard way. I stopped doing the pelvic floor exercises but had signs of a further prolapse so have returned to doing them. It goes to show we can’t just depend on Doctors to fix us up, we have to look after our bodies all the time, 24/7.

    1. Thank you for sharing that Carmel, it’s such a great reminder to not drop being attentive to our body just because we are doing better.

      1. Yep this is so true and what I can really relate to with this is doing things to support me and my body and then letting them fall by the wayside. Self-love and consistency is the key (doing things because we feel and know they truly support us not because we ‘think’ we should do).

    2. I agree, I have been ill this week and I am starting to feel better today. The interesting thing is that I notice a change straight away. There are more tensions and I want to eat more even though I am not hungry, I am a lot on facebook and get lost whilst clicking on things. This really shows me that I learned more loving choices when I was ill but that it is up to me to keep making these and not just expect it to happen naturally.

  38. A great learning shared here Carmel in how we need to be aware and listen to our body and move in a way that is harmonious for it rather than pushing and driving our body that hardens all our movements. The body is naturally designed to move in harmony and responds the more lovingly tender we are with ourselves.

  39. Carmel it’s lovely to read how you surrendered to the support of the hospital staff, your house mates and community of friends breaking the pattern of striving and driving to do it all yourself, truly taking care of yourself by being taken care of and allowing your vulnerability.

  40. A physical procedure after we get ill is always a great playground to reflect upon and to re-imprint patterns that led us to have the procedure in the first place. What is striking though, is that we resort to those patterns in the name of us (protecting us, advancing us, etc.) while in truth not only they help us to ignore/deny us as a whole but also have an impact on us as a whole. Our patterns are a killer.

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