Finally Brave Enough to Face an Unwanted Reality (Anonymous)

Original entry here.

Age: 26
Pregnancy and births: 1
Age of children: 3 years

I’ve been avoiding writing this letter. I think it’s because writing it means I will have to face a reality I don’t want. For almost three years I have been telling myself “it’s got to get better – maybe just another year and it will be back to normal”, but I don’t know if I can believe that anymore. And to compound the problem, it’s one of those “off-limits” topics that women (and I now realize doctors, nurses, and prenatal educators) don’t really talk about which has left me rather isolated. I have turned to you wonderful women at SOAM in hopes that I can connect with someone who has had a similar experience. I last posted in 2007 and have also provided some updated pictures. It has now been almost three years since the birth of my wonderful daughter.

When I first posted on this site, I only addressed things that most women do: breasts, bum, thighs, stomach, stretch marks, etc. But as I have learned, there are many more parts of a woman’s body that pregnancy and childbirth can affect – one’s that aren’t so easily seen or covered with clothes, but that still affect our self image.

I had a fairly difficult birthing experience – my daughter was occiput posterior and it took 2+ hours of pushing until she finally made her entrance into the world. My birthing nurse was not very engaged or helpful and let me push and figure it all out of my own while she chatted with her colleagues. Not one helpful tip about pushing, no perineal massage, nothing, until I tore so badly that she had to run and get the doctor because there was so much blood. Thankfully, after about 1 year, these tears (one internally on the vaginal wall, and one perineal tear) healed up nicely and I have no recurring issues in this department. However, there was so much pressure from my daughter being OP and also not pushing efficiently that I suffered from hemorrhoids, a peri-anal hematoma, and anal fissures after her birth. In the maternity ward, not one nurse mentioned to me that I had hemorrhoids when they came around for my checks and I could barely left my legs for them. When I left the hospital 2 days later, I had to shuffle out of the hospital, moving about half a foot and a time, because I was in so much pain. Being a first time mom, I had not idea this was not just part of normal birthing pain. At one of my daughter’s newborn checkups about 2 weeks later, the nurse at my physician’s office noticed that I was sitting sideways (on my hips instead of my bum) on the chair in the waiting room, and asked if I would like the doctor to check me out. I happily accepted and a few hemorrhoids were discovered. Over the next 9 months, I tried prescription strength hemorrhoid creams, suppositories, steroid creams, and finally internal ice therapy (which actually worked pretty well!). About 11 months after my daughter’s birth, I got in to see a specialist at a world-renowned clinic, who pretty much told me I didn’t have hemorrhoids, but I had anusitis (irritation and inflammation of the anus) from using all the creams. I cleared that up, and when 3 months later I still wasn’t feeling any better, I returned to the clinic for another investigative exam. This time, the doctor told me I had an anal fissure starting on the inside and coming out and up towards my tail bone. He gave me a prescription for nitroglycerin cream as he simultaneously backed out of the room (great bed-side manner, let me tell you…). I used this cream to no avail, and returned to my physician to get a referral to a different doctor. A few months later, I saw the new doctor who gave me a sigmoidoscopy, confirmed the presence of a mass of internal hemorrhoids and the anal fissure, and told me there was nothing he could do for me. I told him I needed to get this under control because I wanted to have another child but couldn’t while in so much pain, to which he replied “Well, if you want to have another child that’s your prerogative and you’ll just have to deal with it”. I left his office in tears.

Time went on and I was in an enormous amount of pain. Every few weeks I was confined to the couch, not able to walk, bend down, sit, pick up or play with my daughter, and certainly not have sex with my husband. Frustrated with doctors not listening to what I was telling them, the next time I had a flare up I bit the bullet and got the camera out. I took pictures of the marble-sized black and blue mass on my anus (sorry, but it’s true!) and called the first clinic I attended to make an appointment, but requested a different doctor. The doctor looked at my pictures and confirmed that the intense pain I had been having since my daughter was born was from a peri-anal hematoma. An appointment was made for the next week, and 20 months after the birth of my daughter, I had it lasered off (I was terrified, but the surgery was less painful than the flare-up!). I thought this was the end of all my problems, but about 6 weeks later, the pain was back. This pain was different, so again, I made an appointment at the clinic where I had the hematoma lasered off, and again got nitroglycerin cream for the fissure which wasn’t successful. To compound this problem, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) when I was 14, and the alternation between diarrhea and constipation does nothing for my fissure or hemorrhoids. It has been 16 months since I had the hematoma removed, and I am 100% better than I was, but still suffer with pain almost every day. Depending on how my IBS is doing, the pain alternates as being from either my fissure or the hemorrhoids, and I haven’t been successful in healing either. I am sure I don’t have to go into how much this destroys my quality of life. My husband has been so supportive and patient and tolerant through this whole ordeal, but I can tell that he is getting tired of it, as am I. I want to be able to take advantage of naptime and jump his bones, without turning him down because my bum hurts or going through with it and suffering with the pain for the next 3-4 days. I hide my true feelings by saying I don’t want another child, when in reality I would love one but am so scared that because of what it will do to my already injured body I won’t be able to go through with a pregnancy and subsequent birth. It is the only thing in my life that truly brings me to tears every time I think about it. Is this my reality? Is this the rest of my life? Pain every day, always worried about if the foods I eat or the next bowel movement will cause enough pain to keep me from doing the things I really want to do, especially being a mom of two? That thought is like a punch in the stomach.

Has anyone ever had problems with a hematoma, hemorrhoids, or fissure after childbirth? What did you do about them? How long did it take to heal? Any natural remedies that were helpful? Anyone have surgeries to fix these problems? And what I’m most scared to ask, has anyone had these problems and then had another pregnancy? Did it make the problem worse? I am at a loss, and I really don’t know what else to do. I am a strong person by nature, but this is about as much as I can handle. I appreciate anyone who can help shed some light.

As mentioned, here are a few pictures of me almost 3 years after my daughter was born. And I must say, even though I have been through so much pain, my daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I wouldn’t trade her for the world….although it would be nice to have a bum that doesn’t hurt!

72 thoughts on “Finally Brave Enough to Face an Unwanted Reality (Anonymous)

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Hey, mama, I don’t have any advice for you, but I did want to say that I have been treated by doctors and other health care providers in the same ways that you have and it is horrible. Something needs to change. (((hugs)))

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Butt issues suck.

    You are NOT alone! Fortunately (or unfortunately ;)) I have friends that tell me all about their latest digestive woes, hemmorhoids, tags and what one friend calls her baboon butt. I do believe I’ve heard it all. And you are so, so not alone.

    I had terrible thrombosed hemmorhoids while pregnant and postpartum. It had to do with being pregnant in my case– the weight of a baby on the pelvic floor. I was already prone to fissures and hemmorhoids in spite of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and an active lifestyle (I sound like an Activia commercial). The weight of a baby just– ummm– supersized things.

    Everything is fine now but I have tags (extra skin from old hemmorhoids) that remain around my butt. One of these days I’ll try to get the laser surgery to remove them, but for now, I’m living with them.

    The doctors I saw only treat the symptom. They can recommend that you take fiber and eat veggies to treat the cause. You know what’s helped me? Acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It’s not free (sometimes it’s covered by insurance) but it treats the cause. The herbs taste nasty but they have worked for me.

    It’s brave of you to break the shame and talk about your butt. Seriously, I wish you could know how many women have been in pain with the same problems.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    So sorry you were treated that way by the doctors. I personally did not have these issues, but my second baby boy had perianal fistulas when he was a few weeks old. He had 6 or 7 before we finally got a doctor to fix him up. All the previous peds wanted to do was pump him full of IV antibiotics which did nothing. We got a referral to a surgeon, who took one look at his bottom, said yup a fissure and scheduled him for surgery. They cut along the fissure tunnel, scraped the tunnel sides to make it seal and that was it. Surgery was about an hour and he has had no problems since. You shouldn’t have to live in pain and I encourage you to seek another doctor.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your difficult situation- it must be extremely frustrating to see urogynecologists/ proctologists/ colorectal doctors and get little relief. I don’t have specific advice about fistulas/ pelvic floor problems, but I really hope you find someone who can help you.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I am sooooooo sorry for the way you have been treated. I wish to god I had some advice about the hemorrhoids and fissure that would be of use to you. Unfortunately, never having been through it, I don’t know much about the topic. I can tell you that your body, on the exterior, looks absolutely amazing. Such a darling little figure! I hope you can continue your search for answers and are able to find some healing! ***hugs*** as well

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been through so much pain! I never had problems with hemorroids or constipation prepregnancy but around 23 weeks I had some spotting after a (painless) bowel movement an a few random times after that.
    With my birth I pushed for 1.5 hours and ended up with an episiotomy and 7 stitches. BM’s immediately after weren’t bad but soon got worse. I got more an more constipated and soon got some small hemorroids inside and out that bled with each BM. I was like you, terrified to go. Sometimes I’d feel them tearing.. it hurt worse than my episiotomy!

    I used preparation H type products a few times and that helped a lot with the hemmoroids
    I was scared to use stool softeners for fear of becoming dependant, but I sucked it up and bought some and they helped, albeit, slowly. In the mean time I guess I just lived with the pain.

    Now I use metamucil drink mix when I notice constipation starting. It works really well. It’s just extra fibre, i think. So no dependancy issues. And I’m starting to need it less and less. (I’m 9 months PP)

    Hope everything gets better for you. I would try for another baby for sure. If you want it, go for it.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    I had a similar experience as yours. I’m 11 moths pp now and my bum still hurts too. Not as bad anymore, but somedays can still be quite painful. I’ll go about a week without any pain at all and the one BM will change that and I’ll be so sore for a week or two before it feels better again. Ugh! It is frustrating and not fair.

    I was just like you after I gave birth – clueless about what the “normal” amount of post delivery pain was. It took about 6 weeks until I could sit, pee or walk normally without tremendous amounts of pain. I would cry everyday because of the pain and wonder how on earth women could have more than one baby if it was like that! But now I know that my experience was not normal.

    I do have hope that if we decide to have another that it won’t be as bad, but the postpartum pain, hemmorhoids and fissures are definitely making me hesitate on having another.

    I’m curious to see if other women on here have had similar experiences and see what they have to say. I’m sorry for all that’s happened to you, but I’m also a bit glad to see that I’m not alone.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    So sorry to hear about your hemmies. I am a fellow sufferer and have not found much OTC relief but taking stool softeners on a daily basis. Hey whatever works,right. Its strain that usually causes flare ups and aggressive wiping so the stool softener and Tucks medicated wipes have been my best friend. If you are worried about dependency high fiber diet and lots of water is the only way to go. And definitely find a new DR no need to be treated like that by a medical professional! Good luck hope you find relief soon.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I have a hemorrhoid from pushing out a posterior baby (vbac!) I have no pain- but it’s hangin’ in the breeze the whole time…

    I have no pain- but it is very different than I was.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    You are doing all the right things – I’m sorry you haven’t found a health care provider who has addressed you properly yet, but I do believe that one is out there.

    I know a few people who have had issues similar to yours and have had surgery for rectoceles (this is when the wall between the rectum and vagina is weakened dramatically, to the point where prolapse can occur, and I know hemorrhoids were part of the problem). I’ll ask my friend who recently went through that surgery to read your post and comment if she thinks it will be helpful.

    Good luck mama. You’re right to know that you shouldn’t have to live like this, and there must be someone out there who can help you.

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for searching and reaching out looking for the answers as wholeheartedly as you have. In this quest I hope you find someone that can help!
    Although I am sure my journey is entirely different, this post has inspired me to share one thing in relation to what you are sharing. Before I was married I spent 11 years bulimic, abusing laxatives to keep me skinny, after a couple years married we decided to have our babies. 7 pregnancies later every one of the pregnancies had 1 awful postpartum ache, my butt. It took 10 years and 7 pregnancies for my husband and I to find the answers with our Naturopath Specialist. She informed me that what I was experiencing was my bodies only ‘successful’ form of detox from the drugs used in cesereans and d/c operations. Coming out in large hemmorhoids and fissures around the anus that grew and burst! So subconciously my mind was not allowing me to go #2 for up to 10 days at a time to control the pain of what might happen down there. Constipation was also my bodies way to continue healing from my bulimic years. So 2 things I would encourage you in; have another baby because your heart desires it when it is time, and do not stop searching because someone has the answers or procedure that you need!

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Thankyou for writing this post!!! I pushed for 3.5 hours and not once did anyone mention that this was considered longer than usual- i also got an internal vaginal 2nd degree tear due to the positioning of my baby. The nurses kept talking about haemorroid treatment the next day but i thought they were just talking to everyone like that- it was only when i went to the bathroom and felt…a bunch of grapes that i realised i had them!!! I almost fell off the toilet in shock!! the tear never bothered me one bit, but my haemorroids still bother me on a daily basis- i’ve never had my doctor check them out, but i have one skin tag permanently and when i go to the bathroom or even just squat while playing with my 1yr old baby about 3 big grape size ones pop out! i have told my doctor about them and he suggested continuing to use the creams and that if that doesn’t work then they can be sclerotherapied (sp?) away (kind of like the way varicose veins are treated). Mine are rarely painful like yours, but i worry about the impact of having another baby on my vagina, my pelvic floor and my bum! i am very active and play high impact sports and the idea that i would have anything resembling a prolapse (of either bum or vagina) fills me with dread- i truly think i would have a breakdown if that ever happened. I’m not sure how active you are, but my (not professional) advice if you want to have another baby would be: 1. make sure you don’t have a diastasis recti and make sure your transverse abs are strong 2. really work to get your pelvic floor super-strong 3. get surgery on those haemorroids and try to find a good doctor to give you advice 4. consider a c-section- i know that this type of suggestion is supposed to be “against the rules” but the people who tut-tut c-sections probably aren’t walking around with constant pain and anguish that could have been avoided. Good luck- i really hope you let SOAM know how you go!! Great body by the way!

  • Monday, September 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm


  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I’m so sorry you have gone through this. You’ve been badly let down by the medical profession – both at the birth of your child and in the aftercare. You’ve been fobbed off and misdiagnosed and that makes me very angry on your behalf. So often I think mothers are sent home with childbirth injuries and literally told to get on with it – as if pain and trauma are just to be the acceptable, if unfortunate, side effects of childbirth; of being a mother. This is so wrong and I urge you not to accept it.

    Obviously you’ve had a second opinion and your haematoma was successfully diagnosed and treated but your are also entitled to a ‘third opinion’ for further care and treatment. You shouldn’t have to settle for a life of pain and discomfort just because you are a mother so don’t feel you’re being difficult or complaining in trying to resolve this. I’m not sure where you are based but have you googled the best medical expert in your country? There will be someone who specialises in this; who’s an expert in this particular field. YOu may have already seen him or her but it’s still worth looking. Equally, look into alternative therapies. There’s a lot you can take to manage IBS, which would at least alleviate the symptoms/pain that this causes in your fissures/injury. I know that linseeds are supposed to be very beneficial for IBS so introducing them into your daily diet could be helpful. Equally, it might be worth looking at acupuncture as I’ve found this to be incredibly helpful in dealing with my post-birth haematoma (I had one behind my c-section scar and on my public bone, which was damaged during a particularly brutal c-section). Aside from being unsightly they were very painful and pulled on the muscles as they healed, which in turn caused abdominal weakness, which in turn caused lower back pain; the domino effect of one injury. As you know, one problem can link into so many others and cause and exacerbate so many others. An existing injury/problem can so easily mushroom. Anyway, acupuncture in the haematoma site really break this down and soften the scar tissue that became associated with it. It’s worth looking into.

    I wish I had an easy answer for you but I did want to say don’t lose heart. You will find an answer and you will get better from this. Chase for further invesitations of your anal problems as you’re entitled to keep at this until you’re happy with it. And look into alternative therapies/diet for management of your IBS as this will at least help alleviate some of the associated pain of this.

    I truly hope you get better. I think you’ve been incredibly brave.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Have you ever considered that you might have Crohn’s disease? The symptoms can be similar to what you are describing. I am not a medical expert, but I would definitely talk to a gastrointerologist or some other doctor with experience in this disease.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I also wanted to add that there is hope. Don’t give up finding a solution. If it is Crohn’s disease, there are ways to find relief. If it isn’t, there IS a doctor that will be able to help you figure this out. I’m saying a prayer right now for you to find help quickly. You still have several good years to have another baby. It may not happen in the time frame you thought. I would encourage you to find peace in waiting on that decision so you can spend your energy on the family you have now and on getting better.

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I think you’re very brave to talk about these issues. I haven’t been through them, but have some ideas.
    Gluten free diet if you’re not already–you did say you worry about what you eat. And lots of water, about 2L per day.
    Keep seeing different doctors. Sometimes it really can take awhile to find one who cares.
    About being pregnant again–I honestly don’t know about how it would affect your current issues, but pregnancy can do some weird–and wonderful–things to our bodies. Did you do Kegels? Would they have helped? Another baby might be in a different position and be birthed so much easier. A different birthing location–a midwife, possibly, or at least a doula, so you get support and help, not left on your back in the worst position for this type of labour/delivery. My first baby was in a very lousy position too, but being more active and in control of my own body during the next two labours meant very fast and easy–almost painfree–deliveries. I was scared each time because I have pain issues during pregnancy that got worse with each one, but during labour, the endorphins kick in and the pain abated for awhile.

    Hopefully you can find someone in the same situation as you though for more support and help!

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Oh honey…you can heal, though right now you might not know what that looks like. If you can, find a local midwife in your area. They are so knowledgable about all the parts of a women, and in issues like this, where the concern about another pregancy might make things worse, ( or more painful). I would also highly recommend the acupunture. Trust yourbody in it’s process, the pain is there, and it will change. Blessings to you beautiful momma!!

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    First, thank you for sharing your story. I want to let you know that you are not alone. My story is similar. My first son got stuck in the birth canal and after pushing for nearly three hours caused me to burst a varicose vein in my vagina as well as cause hemmorids (which I was lucky to avoid until that point). It took forever to be able to move/sit normally.

    However, just 17 months later I was pregnant with baby number 2. The whole time, my OB/GYN was concerned of the same thing happening with delivery. (Since they thought the problems stemmed from the size of the baby – my first son was 10 lbs) Long story short, my second son was not. He was only 8 1/2 lbs. Three pushes later and he entered the world. It took less than two weeks to feel entirely back to normal. I was shocked that this is how it could be!

    Basically, I wanted to give you reassurance that if you choose to have another baby, that pregnancies can be completely different. This includes side effects (like hemmies) and delivery. Best of luck and I hope you get full relief!

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Hey, mama. I’ve experienced anal fissures as well and I know what a pain (literally) they can be. They’re not a one day or one week issue but they can be treated.

    First, make sure you’re hydrated. Any tissue that is dry will be more prone to cracking and re-cracking when stretched (ie, a bowel movement, sex, or birth). Also, being well hydrated soften stools so they pass more easily.

    Next, make sure you eat lots of fiber-rich foods. Keep a food/poop journal to figure out what foods stimulate your bowels. For me, it’s grapes and bananas. Lay off the over-the-counter laxatives. They can actually make constipation worse with long term use.

    Finally, get yourself some vitamins if you haven’t already done so. Vitamin E and Zinc have good healing properties. You can actually pop a vit E capsule and smear the oil directly on the fissure as well. That’s what I did daily and it helped tremendously.

    I hope this helps and that you begin healing very soon.

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 5:34 am

    hello! i just wanted to give you some hope! i developed an incredibly painful anal fissure that took seemingly forever to heal. stool softeners, extra fiber and extra care eventually eased my pain, though a particularly hard bowel movement can flare it up a little from time to time. my son is three and i just gave birth to baby number 2. i was very concerned about the problem coming back/ worsening, but it did not! here’s what was different (i am not sure what exactly made the difference, but here are some possibilities): with my first pregnancy i gained over double what i gained with my second (75 lbs with the first, 30 lbs with my second), my son weighed 9lbs 9 oz, while my daughter only weighed 7lbs 7 oz, with my son i tore while i did not with my daughter. i hope that my story gives you hope!

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    hi there, i feel for ya. ihave had ibs since 14 as well and im 23 now. i was soo sick of it and all doctores. look up dr clarks parasite cleanse.. worked for me! good luck and God bless. I really hope you can have another one but enjoy your little blessing for now:)

  • Friday, October 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    A previous poster mentioned that your IBS may actually be Crohn’s disease (CD). CD can definitely involve the perianal area and cause nonhealing fissures. I would contact a gastroenterologist at a large research hospital (they really do know more – plus, they may have medical students and residents; the more people who hear your story and add to the workup, the better).

    On a personal note, I have had exprience with anal fissure before (caused by bad diet with constipation). I basically spent an entire year thinking about my butt and its discomfort; pooping gave me 10/10 pain. I saw two colorectal surgeons after nitro cream and botox injection into the spinchter muscles failed to work. The first surgeon suggested a partial sphincterotomy; I was ready for anything which would stop this terrible pain in the my butt. Before I could get scheduled for the spinchter surgery, I went away for half a year for work to a new city and had to see another colorectal surgeon. He found that my fissure had actually healed very well but that the remaining problem was a hypertrophied anal papilla which was irritated everytime I went to the bathroom causing inflammation and pain for about 4-6 hours afterwards. He cut off the papilla and I have been miraculously symptom free for 2 years now. Everytime I poop, I silently thank the second surgeon.

    The real message I think is not to give up and to keep seeing doctors. Although doctors supposedly get the same training, there is incredible heterogeneity in how much they know and what they are comfortable treating. If I had stuck with the first surgeon, I might have wound up with half a spinchter (setting me up for incontinence later in life) and still had pain and irritation with the papilla. Please keep seeing doctors, you will find one who can help.

  • Friday, October 2, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I never went into labor (*grumble*) but I’ve also had problems with IBS for a few years. I found some help in the books “Eating For IBS” and “IBS: The First Year” by Heather Van Vorous (and if you notice that I always suggest books in my comments–I work in a bookstore and read compulsively!). She also has a website, I don’t follow her diet exactly (mine isn’t that bad, and I’m not willing to give up dairy, among other things), but it helped me figure out what foods agreed with me more, and what doesn’t agree with me at all.

    I hope you can get this all worked out, because the crumminess of a few doctors really shouldn’t keep you from having more children!

  • Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I just wanted to second or third the suggestion for chinese medicine and acupuncture. I had a similar experience that kept recurring for three years until I really committed to doing whatever worked. It cost a ton of money, and it was the ONLY thing that worked, and it was a even in the years before I got pregnant. I wanted to post to say that since doing these treatments I have had two children with natural births, tearing, hematomas and terrific roids as a result but they resolved/healed themselves in a reasonable amount of time with help from my acupuncturist. (Not nearly the trouble with them during pregnancy that I anticipated either, they were bad but nothing like before.

    Good luck. There is hope, you will feel better.

  • Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Thank-you for posting. I never knew that could happen.

    You are a very strong women for going through all that.

    you can do it.

  • Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    There are good herbs that will heal the mucous membranes of the gut, and treat the IBS with more success than drugs. It would be better to go to a herbalist who has experience with these issues, than try to treat yourself. Try googling the herbalist Susun Weed (who’s got a lot of experience working with women’s issues) or find another reputable herbalist to help you. It is possible to heal health problems that drugs won’t fix. I know – BTDT

  • Friday, October 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, you have a great butt. In the black community it would be considered perfect to a man.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. This is a problem that is difficult to face and talk about, and I’m glad you did. I have had some similar experiences, but I still don’t know exactly WHAT is wrong with my butt. I have not known whether this is normal or not, and I have never had it treated, beyond OTC creams and one prescription cream, and my own “method” which I will describe below. I had a second child after the “problems” so I will share my experience.

    I am 5’5″ and my pre-pregnancy weight before my first pregnancy was about 125. I gained 30 lbs. and went into labor on my due date (10/22/07), which was my 29th birthday. I was in labor for 27 hours, including nearly 3 hours of pushing. I came very close to having a C-section, but did eventually manage to deliver my 8 lb. 13 oz. son vaginally.

    I had a bad tear and a lot of stitches, but no one ever told me how bad the tear was or how many stitches. (When I had my second baby I had three stitches and my doctor kept saying, “Three is sooooooo much better than last time,” but I still don’t know how bad it was the first time.) As the day drew to a close, the tear was causing me some pain, but nothing compared to the pain I felt at my anus. When I finally dared to feel down there, it seemed to me that my hole had exploded. What should be inside was outside, hanging out about the size of a large grape.

    Neither my doctor nor the nurses mentioned anything about it or gave me any instructions. Before I was discharged, I asked my doctor what was wrong with my butt. He said, “You literally pushed your guts out. Be sure to use your stool softeners. Take sitz baths.” And I was sent home. I took it that this was a very normal complication, and should resolve on its own.

    In my first week home, I was in excruciating, burning pain. Standing was bad because gravity seemed to worsen the problem. Walking was awful because of the friction. Sitting…well, sitting made me cry.

    The only thing that would somewhat alleviate the pain was to carefully “tuck” the mass back into my rectum. Once it was inside, the pain wasn’t as intense. I could at least sit down. But, soon after it was tucked in, it would come right back out, if not immediately, then surely the next time I tried to sit. Finally, I tucked it in and taped my buttocks together tightly with electrician’s tape, preventing them from “spreading” apart. This was kind of murder on my skin, because of course I had to remove the tape and re-apply it for bowel movements and sitz baths (I tried to place the tape so I could still urinate).

    I taped my buttocks together for the next several weeks, and was very conscientious about my fiber intake. After a certain amount of time, the mass would stay tucked on its own for longer. Still, it always falls out eventually, and certainly with every bowel movement. I am also very self-conscious about it during sex; I find myself agonizing over whether my husband can see it, and avoiding positions that will make it most visible. I’ve used a mirror to check it out for myself, and my anus looks like Angelina Jolie’s lips are protruding from it. Or whoever above called it “babboon butt” Yes. Yuck. The pain, however, is no longer constant. It flares up and goes away.

    We wanted to have more children, and when my son was 13.5 months old, I learned I was pregnant again. I was very scared of having a repeat of the difficult delivery and recovery from my first birth. By the time I was four months pregnant, the weight of the baby was pushing my “butt-lips” out all the time. Some days it hurt so bad I wanted to claw my eyes out. It was just as bad as, if not worse than, immediately after the first birth. I started to wonder if I could have a C-section to avoid making the problem worse.

    I was even embarrassed to show my problem to my doctor. After I provided my urine sample I would “tuck in” and waddle to the exam room clinching my buttocks together for dear life, trying to hold in the problem. Thus, when I asked my doctor about it, he said it didn’t look “that bad” and that the delivery would be fine, and would likely be a lot easier than my first one. He prescribed a cream, which did seem to help a little, in coordination with my electrician-tape method. The doctor said I would need surgery in the future, but that I should wait until I was done having kids to have it, to avoid undoing the surgery with each birth.

    To my surprise, the second delivery really was so much easier than the first. I was in laboer for six hours total, and pushed for less than a half hour. As I mentioned above, I still needed stitches, but only a few. Of course, my butt lips pushed their way out, but I haven’t needed to pull out the electrician’s tape yet. So, I guess I am agreeing with someone above who said pregnancies (and their effects) can be totally different. My second son only weighed three ounces less than my first, and I gained about 8 pounds less in this pregnancy (starting from the same pre-pregnancy weight).

    So, I think your problem sounds a lot more serious than mine, but I think there is hope that this time it will be better for you. Or, maybe you could adopt?

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 1:36 am


    I am so sorry to hear that you are in so much pain, and the medical practitioners didn’t do much with helping you out. I have several suggestions, because this works for me all the times. I am a mother of two, and i faced the constipation problems after 2nd pregnancy. I treated myself with WATER. A lot of plain water and avoiding any source of caffeine. You can try reading about “water therapy” or “hydrotherapy”. And try to motivate yourself and your brain that the pain will heal soon. When i’m in the ‘situation’ in the toilet, i pictures myself swimming in the sea..with my children and i am in no pain. Constantly persuading myself that the pain when we face death is much more than constipation (or any other pain). Then..the BM will just be easy and the pain won’t last long. Another tip is (once you leave the toilet) to put both of your legs higher than your head while lying down. Put some pillows or like me, i use the wall. This tip came from a doctor, and her another advise was don’t sit too long in the toilet (just 10-15 minutes). If nothing comes out, just go out and do some walking or anything until the ‘call’ comes again. I’ll add up another tips if i remember later on. Just be strong, and remember that pain comes from God, He will take it back if He wants it..have faith on Him and be very grateful because you still alive to see your daughter grow up.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I found this wonderful site today and it has helped me so much already. Lots of people have already replied to you but I just wanted to say some things too. I wished more people, especially professionals, had warned me and helped me about post partum haemmorhoids. I’m a nurse! Because I’m a nurse, and pretty direct about bodily functions, I’ve asked loads of mums about it, and all my friends have had the same problems. Some take months to get better, some took years. My mother in law has never been quite right since birthing and my husband is now 33. I use copious amounts of water each day, the requisite 2 litres, to keep my stool soft, and also prune juice, 200mls per day, in the morning, to help as well. Given your IBS I’m not sure that my approach will help you but there it is, that’s what I did to give my bum a chance to heal up. My condition is nowhere near as severe as yours though and after 1 year I seem to be back to normal. Even though my situation is not as bad as yours, my heart goes out to you. I used to scream on the toilet daily because I wanted to make sure if I was healing up at all instead of using alleviating creams that disguised my symptoms. I really dreaded going to the toilet and bled most days which frightened me. I felt humiliated and despondent, and I love my son so much but really hate what pregnancy and childbirth has done to my body. Having children is a sacrifice of mind, body and spirit, repaid with a special love that you have to be in to understand and value. I really hope you manage to find some healthcare workers with better compassion, communication skills and clinical abilities to help you heal and make a journey into motherhood for a second time. You are certainly not alone in having a pain in the bum x x x

  • Friday, October 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    my husband has IBS, if he has a flareup I give him slippery elm powder mixed with a little bit of molasses, the consistency is horrible but it tastes sweet. that helped more than anything.
    hemoriads, I have them! I am pregnant with my third child and the only way to be able to live normally with the pain is to take cascara sagrada every other day, I dont under any circumstance strain to have a bowel movement, even so there are days I can barely walk, and CANT walk after having sex! :( what a horrible horrible nightmare you have been thru! your body looks amazing tho! absolutly amazing! the midwife/nurse that didnt help you at all should be sued and put out of practice!

  • Friday, October 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the moms out there who have responded. I tear up every time I read the comments. My heart goes out to all of you other moms who have suffered these bum ailments as well…it’s not the most fun thing in the world. Thank you for sharing your stories and suggestions…they have helped immensely. I have called my local midwife organization to see if they can offer up any advice, and have also made an appointment with an acupuncturist. I also intend to see a local homeopath who deals with women and pregnancy/birth issues. I hope I can get my IBS under control too during this process (I have tested negative for Crohn’s on more than one occasion for those of you that offered that up as a possibility). I think I need to set a goal “date” for having another baby which will motivate me to take control of this painful situation instead of wallowing in despair. Those of you who have since had a second baby have given me hope! I am forever grateful to you wonderful women…and if anyone else is reading and has more to add, please feel free…it can never hurt to have more information. Lots of Love to you all XOXOX

  • Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Witch hazel worked a treat for me. Just put some on a cotton bud and press gently on the affected area. It might sting little bit but within days of trying it myself I was alot better and with little pain. This helped it heal. Cammomille is also a very good healing herb drink lots of cammomille tea and also use the tea bag to sooth the area plus promote healing. I hope this helps you at least a little bit and everything is worth a go isnt it? Good Luck and I wish well in your search for a pain free life

  • Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Have you ever tried psyllium to treat your IBS? Recent studies have released information about how well this natural fibre works for IBS sufferers, where as bran use to be recommended but can sometimes make matters worse. My mum got me on to it 2 years ago, I just add a small teaspoon of it to my cereal or shake in the morning and I use it half/ half with breadcrumbs for other cooking as well. I hardly ever have IBS problems anymore and can eat pretty much anything; dairy, spicy, coffee, etc, all the no-no’s. The only time I have flair ups is just before time of the month and not necessarily every month.
    I know this is probably the least of you worries but I thought it may help.

  • Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Sometimes it can take a little while to work out how much psyllium is right for you.

  • Friday, December 11, 2009 at 1:39 am

    I’m sorry you have had to deal with this day to day life altering pain. I also agree with the accupuncture, homeopathy, and speaking to a midwife. I would however also recommend a very well recommended chiropractor. One other thing you can do… It might sound crazy, but it works….banana peel pulp suppositories. Use organic bananas. Scrapes our the pulp from the peels roll them into suppository shape and place them in freezer bags. Lay the bag flat in the freezer and let freeze. Use as needed. I hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck.

  • Monday, January 11, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    i’m 29 with a 6yo daughter, and i’ve had hemorrhoids since halfway through the pregnancy. well, external hemorrhoids the size of grapes some of the time, and the dangly tags all the time. the obgyn mentioned it every time… “oh, i see you have some hemorrhoids down there!” thanks buddy, i’d noticed. unless you have a cure for me, i’d rather you not mention it! generally i kept the tags tucked “in” out of embarrassment.

    a few months ago it flared up so bad (we’re talking golfball sized) i swallowed my pride and made an appointment that day to see a dr. at a hemorrhoid surgery center. he took one look – literally, just gently spread cheeks and didn’t touch anything – and said “yep, you have some external hemorrhoids, we can do something about that!” they scheduled me for outpatient surgery the very next day, whereupon they knocked me out, cut the main mass off and sewed me up, three stitches. took two weeks of pretty solid recovery time, but not nearly as bad as the pain of the hemorrhoids themselves.

    now that the ugliness down there is 90% gone… i really really wish i’d dealt with the issue earlier!

    my recommendation would be to see a hemorrhoid dr at a colon and rectal care center, where all they do is colon and rectal care! because they saw it everyday, it seemed like small peanuts to them, which really made me feel better.

  • Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I am very, very sorry to hear that you have been going through this. I am going through a similar thing, though I have not had a child. I am a 21 year old female and have been dealing with this after breaking my leg and sitting (for the majority of the time) for 7 weeks. As discussed, issues such as these really do take a toll on our quality of life.

    There is an over-the-counter product called Anurex which is a small frozen probe that you insert into your anus for 6-8 minutes, twice daily. Just like other methods of icing, this will help reduce inflammation, which lessens pain and burning in up to 90% of people who use it. I recently ordered it online and have been using it daily and my life is almost back to normal. I hope you consider my suggestion, and hope that you feel better soon. And definitely, definitely have a second child. I am one of four children in my family. Having siblings and being a part a large family is priceless…and family is what makes this life so precious and beautiful.

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve become a big believer in Anurex. I have had “issues” for years–hemorrhoids, fissures, et cetera, et cetera. You know the drill. The cryoprobe actually seems to work. I ordered one on a trial basis and I’ve been so happy with the results that I ordered another to speed things along. I’m no where near 100% but I finally feel like things are getting better.

    I alos changed my diet tremendously to limit coffee, beer and red wine (all of which I love) but the Anurex made the most obvious difference.

  • Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t believe that given all of the sharing on this website yours is the only original post tagged as addressing issues involving hemorrhoids or tearing. I am currently 1 day past my due date and have been suffering from hemorrhoids since week 36. It’s already been really painful. When I asked my OB what I might do to treat them she laughed it off and said they’ll only get worse after delivery. I’m terrified. So much so that I’ve considered opting for a c-section just to avoid making them worse. I’m so scared but reading all the replies and support on your post has given me some hope that even if the worst happens I might be okay in the end.

  • Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 4:31 am

    A big shout out to you as I read this on my smartphone in the bath, trying to relieve the pain and spasms of fissures. My daughter was born 3 months ago and every poop since has been more painful than her crowning! I pushed for over 3hrs and had a second degree tear that healed very quickly. Unfortunately the fissure spasms cause a lot of pain where the tear occurred. The doctors keep telling me it’s early days yet but I’m worried I’m getting used to the nitroglycerin and becoming reliant on stool softeners. Flatulence incontinence is also not fun. Why oh why don’t they tell us this is a possibility before we leave hospital so we can manage it more effectively? And why do so many doctors think it’s reasonable to live with this pain. I guarantee the insanity caused by this continual and intense agony triggers PND in many women.

  • Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I didn’t have any issues with hemorrhoids my entire pregnancy. My weight was average/normal, my health was good, I didn’t get sick at all and overall had a great pregnancy. I was 23 when I gave birth, had a good hourglass figure and what I thought were perfect childbearing hips. However- after a snowball effect of intervention at the hospital, I ended up with an episiotomy due to forcep delivery and post traumatic stress/trauma that has been a nightmare. In the beginning, I would cry all of the time, in the shower at night, 3am I’d wake up and just start crying..I would think about the delivery, wonder what went wrong, why it had to go that way.. I was a mess. I couldn’t sit at all, I was miserable and couldn’t hold my baby comfortably because my stitches hurt so much. The postpartum pain was worse than the birth. My doctor prescribed prescription pain killers but I was breast feeding and didn’t want to risk it getting into my milk. A year later I still have pain after bowel movements. After birth, I had hemorrhoids. It just feels like my asshole swells up after I poop and then I have a little gumball sticking out for hours if not days. It’s awful. I can’t believe it has been a year and the hemorrhoid persists. I just want to cry when I think about what birth has done to my body. I love my child very much, but the unplanned episiotomy..was a disaster.

  • Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post and to all the awesome women who have replied. I’m struggling with this issue as well. I’m 40 and had my daughter 8 months ago. My delivery was rough with shedding of the vaginal canal, significant post partum hemorrhaging, emergency surgery, etc. I’m fine now thanks to excellent care from doctors and the hospital, and I couldn’t be more in love with my daughter. She is an amazing gift.

    But, birth tore up my body leaving me with hemorrhoids, tags, and continued inflammation. Ironically, it seems the vaginal canal is the one part that did heal ok. I didn’t over gain during pregnancy and I’m 10lbs lighter now than pre preg. I drink tons of water and eat lots of fiber. I take vitamins… I have model poops! But I don’t want to tuck bits of my body back inside every day for the rest of my life. I don’t want to spread semi-useless cream around each day. I don’t want pain to interfere with feeling sexy again and reconnecting with my husband. I don’t want how much I hate and fear my ass right now to dictate whether we try to have another child.

    The posts here have renewed my hope and, even better in the immediate sense, make me feel that I’m not alone with this problem and that it’s not anything I failed to do right or ask about or that I somehow missed the obvious.

    To each women struggling with post-delivery issues, hang in there and good luck. To the women with helpful and inspiring stories of overcoming, thank you for sharing. It’s deeply appreciated.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I had hemorrhoids before I ever got pregnant, but they got much worse during pregnancy. So much so, that my doctor wanted me to have a c-section because she knew pushing in my situation would make them so much worse. It was a tough decision to make, but after consulting with a colon/rectal surgeon, decided that it was best in my case. Even with the c-section, I still had a flare up two weeks after she was born that caused me to go back to the surgeon. (At which point, the SURGEON said “good gravy!” When he saw my bum!) We decided at that point to schedule a THD surgery. I would look into this if you can. It is a hemorrhoid treatment that is much less painful than a traditional hemorrhoid surgery, and has lasting results. It basically ties off the veins so that hemorrhoids no longer form. The recovery process for me was rough, spending multiple hours a day in the bathtub, but now my day to day life is so much better! I am now pregnant with baby #2 and am so thankful I had the surgery. Just wanted you to know I feel your pain, and there is help out there! THD stands for transanal hemorrhoidal dearterialization. It may not cure all of the pain, but is definitely worth doing some research to see if it’s an option!

  • Friday, April 11, 2014 at 10:56 am

    I think all women are amazing.I would like too say you look lovely.My wife had 3 kids and used to beat her self up ove the transfomation her body took after child birth.I let her know everyday how lovely she is inside and out.WOMEN ROCK!!!

  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel your pain. I had a complicated delivery, and since birth I’ve had an anal fissure that it is still there 14 months later. It has been a nightmare. It really affects my quality of life, my mood. I am always thinking about foods I am eating and how painful will it be the next time I’ll have a bowel movement. I wish I could have an answer on how to get this fixed. I have tried diet, increase water intake, laxatives and creams. Some stuff has helped, but nothing definite. I even saw a surgeon, but I don’t want to get surgery just yet.
    :( I can definitely relate to your story. Thank you and good luck.

  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    This has been such a helpful site, I too have been dealing with a fissure since having two childbirths with 3rd and 4th degree tears, doctor says I’ve been sewn up too tight but perhaps they had too because my perineal area was too ripped up. I think I have to cut out caffeine, was drinking coffee in a.m. and one soda in afternoon, I’ve been drinking aloe 2 oz. per day and that might be helping me, we’ll see if it flares up again. Sufedipine makes me not feel well so I haven’t been using it. They didn’t tell us about all this when we were in sex ed class lol. Been two years, hate it for all of us, so glad we can open up about it, my husband doesn’t understand.

  • Sunday, December 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hi. I have had two ops for hemrroids.they removed 27 inside and out the first time. And quite a few more the second. Everytime i go to the bathroom i am in agonising pain. The lumps are so massive i can barely lie down. I bleed alot aswell; not only from outside. I have used all types of remedies.. i am desperate…. help..i have struggled like this for almost 10 years now and am still none the wiser…

  • Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Thank you for posting your comment. I gave birth 18 months ago and still have a rectocele and fissure from the birth. Agony every day and because i can’t speak about it a lot of loneliness and feeling low. I felt uplifted by your post. Perhaps there is hope and the chance to have another child. Are you better now? Please say yes… Anyone had any luck with biofeedback for a rectocele? Anyone had a surgical repair and then another pregnancy? Anyone know how to avoid months and months of waiting to see someone on the NHS? I’ve never posted anything online before, but reaching new levels of despair now.

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