The Day my Ball Dropped: A Clients reflection on her Journey with Prolapse By: Rachel Hyon
I was a year postpartum with my first child and really loving all the bootcamp classes I was taking. You know, the kind that make you feel like a warrior. No weight was too heavy, no move was too fierce. Burpees, jumping jacks, leg lifts.
I was doing everything right. Eating well, exercising a good two hours a day. I would be in perfect shape soon.
Then one day during class as my feet hit the ground, I felt an internal THUD accompanied by not a few drops of urine leaking BUT leaking soaked my underwear.
When I went to the bathroom, I found what felt like tissue close to the entrance of my vagina. What was it you ask?
Well I’ll tell you my friends........ it was my bladder. I had just experienced prolapse!
What followed next after my initial panic was a visit to my family doctor. I was told it wasn’t a big deal and I would just have to deal with one of my essential (are there any other kind?) internal organs falling from its proper anatomical position.
I was referred to a urogynecologist which at best was disheartening. I believe I saw this doctor a total of three times over two years. No solution was given for my prolapse. I was told to do kegels and not lift anything heavy.
WELL......, if you have one or more kids you know the thought of not lifting anything heavy EVER is ludicrous. According to the urogynecologist, I had to wait until I was done having kids and then we would "FIX THE PROBLEM."
How? Well, surgery of course! This was a no-go for me.
I’m the type that doesn’t even like going to the doctor for a physical, I haven’t taken antibiotics in years and really prefer the holistic approach to everything in life.
The idea of surgery would just not do.
Fast forward to baby number three..... I attempted to go for a walk and couldn’t because of what was now a bouncing sensation in my vagina.
When I went to the bathroom I felt something else protruding and realized that another organ had fallen.
This time it was my rectum.
So, now not only did I have cystocele but rectocele as well!!!
My quality of life was declining. I found it difficult to stand for long periods of time due to the pressure and the heaviness between my legs, I had an urge to go to the restroom constantly but when I got there, I couldn’t pee!
Most importantly, playing with my kids and taking care of them was becoming difficult.
I was becoming depressed. Prolapse was going to ruin my life and I was only my late thirties.
I was left wondering how this happened?????
Was it my fault? Had it just happened to me? What had I done?? And more importantly what could I do to fix it??
I decided to look into physical therapy. The first physical therapist I spoke to worked in a doctor’s office and without having ever physically examined me echoed the words of the urogynecologist I had spoken to a year prior. The probability of SURGERY.
That conversation was enough for me to cancel the appointment and look elsewhere.
I’m so glad that I did.
I interviewed Susan Winograd of Pelvicore Rehab LLC, She did not rush me off the phone, she addressed all of my concerns and spent about a 30 minutes answering my questions before going in to see her.
After about 6 sessions spread out over a few months months, my symptoms of prolapse were gone!!!!!
I had gradual but steady progress and my fear began to turn into confidence that I could manage my prolapse and live a full and active life!!
I learned how to breathe and stand properly and how these things impact my pelvic floor.
I learned about proper bathroom habits and I learned the meaning of intraabdominal pressure. Intrabdominal pressure it turned out, was the culprit in my prolapse because I was not using my core properly during functional activities.
Too much downward pressure from years of breathing improperly, standing incorrectly and exercising in a way that placed too much pressure on my pelvic floor had been the issue. It turns out I could do any exercise if I did it the right way and Susan taught me what the right way was!!!
Prolapse happens and it happens often. Unfortunately, healthcare providers are not always well informed about this common issue and that there is great conservative treatment that may help!
So many women (and men) suffer needlessly.
Will my vagina ever look the same?
Do I care? Not really.
Because regardless of how my vagina looks inside, I can live my life fully and as though my ball NEVER dropped and that is the most important thing to me!!!!