Anonymous – Australia
My pelvic floor problems came about after the birth of my first child. I knew almost immediately that something was not right. I had no control over my bladder. That eased somewhat but until I stopped breastfeeding (6 months), I suffered from urinary incontinence and irritable bladder, as well as prolapse. It was painful to stand for too long. Once I stopped breastfeeding, the irritable bladder problem subsided, but my incontinence and prolapse remained. I needed to wear pads constantly and would leak regardless of any exertion. I couldn’t walk fast without my bladder emptying. I got pregnant again and used a pessary during my pregnancy which helped somewhat. I did extensive pelvic floor training with a physio both after my first and second pregnancies. Although it helped with the prolapse, it did nothing for the incontinence. I was very emotionally distressed and embarrassed and depressed. It impacted my ability to play with my children, my sex life, my social life and even the clothing I chose to wear.
I researched the options available and educated myself on the risks of surgery. At the time I was making my decision, there was a lot of press about women who suffered terribly from having had similar procedures. I made my decision to have the surgery in spite of those stories, telling myself that they probably didn’t have an experienced doctor performing the operation. I felt that the potential positives outweighed the risk. My case wasn’t one where I leaked only when laughing or sneezing. On at least a monthly basis I would completely wet myself at the end of the day walking the 5 min walk from the train to my home. After having had extensive physio, and tried various pessaries, I was ready to take that step.
I had the surgery about 9 months ago and it has changed my life for the better. I still can’t run but I no longer have any leakage during normal day-to-day activities. It has also helped my prolapse a bit. The surgery itself went smoothly and I can’t remember any issues with recovery afterwards. I feel like I am back in control of my life. I have no regrets. In fact, I am delighted with the result.