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Old 11-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #44
Just...way too serious.
Katie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: purgatory
Posts: 3,524
Holy Crap.....

I think I can beat you though, Stormy. (didn't wanna give this one it's own topic out there....too....weird!!

Woman's Health Horror: 'My Vagina Fell Out'

(Nov. 6) -- Allison Henry isn't the first to suffer from a horrifying medical condition that few women talk about. But her case was particularly bad, and she's just one of the few brave souls willing to come forward so that others will have the courage to seek help.

To put it bluntly, as Henry does: "My vagina fell out of my body."

The 39-year-old school psychologist from Kenmore, Wash., suffered from a rare combination of disorders that began when she was pregnant with her son, Kirian, and she writes an amazing account of her bizarre medical condition on

"I know it sounds like a science fiction movie," she told "Every time I retell this story, I still tell myself, 'I can't believe this happened to me.'"

It began five years ago, when Henry was in her 10th week of pregnancy with Kirian, her second child. She had vowed that she wouldn't gain 60 pounds this time around, and she was practicing prenatal yoga in her home when she felt a sudden pain.

"It felt like someone rammed a pitchfork up my butt, so I stopped," she writes. "It was an intense, sharp pain, but it passed."

Later that day, while giving her daughter lunch, she ran to the bathroom, thinking she had to urinate, and found blood gushing instead. "It was the biggest scare of my life," she writes.

Her OB/GYN couldn't figure out what was wrong, and she kept bleeding. "I'd bleed through a maxi pad in 30 minutes," she says.

In her 25th week, she was put on bed rest in the hospital, where she stayed for three weeks. When she finally went home, she started bleeding again and had to go back.

"My husband and I were so worried," she says. "My son was born 6 1/2 weeks early. Thank God, he's OK now."

Doctors found that she had developed a hematoma outside her placenta, and they thought that was the root of her problem.

In fact, her problems were just beginning.

'My Insides Were on the Outside'
"One day in the bathroom, I felt something kind of strange when I was wiping," she writes. "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."

What Henry was describing was the beginning of a vaginal prolapse, a condition in which the vagina, uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra and small intestine shift and -- in severe cases -- innards may protrude from the body.

"Women will suffer for years and not tell anyone," says Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a gynecologist in Los Angeles. "They'd rather tell their doctor they have a sexually transmitted disease than say that something is hanging out of them."

"Allison Henry clearly had an extraordinary, horrible case," the doctor says. "But it's widely estimated that 30 percent of women or more suffer some degree of prolapse in their lifetime."

Instead of dealing with her health problem, Henry turned her attention to raising her children. She also had to have an appendectomy, which consumed much of her time over the next year.
Still, each time she went to the bathroom, she noticed her problem was getting worse.

"One night, I took a look down there, and it was like my insides were on the outside and they were coming out," she writes. "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!'"

In addition to a uterine prolapse, Henry also suffered rectocele -- a condition wherein the rectum pushes into the back walls of the vagina. "That explained why I had been constipated for months," she says.

Henry also suffered from cystocele, a condition similar to rectocele, only with the bladder.

While the normal uterus is 8 to 11 centimeters inside the vagina, hers was only 3 centimeters up, and when she was standing, it was sticking out at least 5 centimeters.

After confronting the problem, Henry was able to undergo a series of surgeries to restore her vagina, untwist her bladder, and push her rectum back into place.

"On top of this, I had a labia reduction, which was brutal," she writes. "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!"

Stable Mable Regains Her Humor
Her road to recovery has not been easy. At one point, she lost 30 pounds and had to return to the hospital several times to deal with complications.

"I had always been a healthy person, nothing so much as a yuckie pimple when I was growing up," she says. "And then, I was incapacitated for several weeks, many times.

"Among my friends, I was always the stable Mable," she says. "'I eventually started taking anti-depressants to cope with the chronic stress and I became so emotionally depleted."

Henry credits her husband for pulling her through. "He is the kind of man who doesn't need to be asked to do something," she says. "He just does it. It helps a lot that he was working at home most of the time this was going on."

It's now a year and a half since her last stay in the hospital, and Henry came forward to tell her story because she wants women to seek help if they have to face what she has gone through.

Uterine prolapse is most common in women following following menopause, childbirth or a hysterectomy, according to

"Once I got past being mortified, I tried to keep my sense of humor. I can laugh about a lot of this now," she says. "But I also know what it means to not have your health."

Read Henry's full account on
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