A PUBIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
This post is not about waking up at 40 and wanting to go on a sex-crazed rampage.
This is women’s business.
It is about my vagina being on fire. Like actually on fire.
I am hoping that my experiences will shed light on something that can help at least one Maxer improve her quality of life.
Part 2? Where’s Part One I hear you ask! Here it is. I know for a fact, that of all my blog posts, this is the one that all the husbands have read! And if you are feeling the same way as I describe in the article, my post on vibrators will also be of interest.
Now to Part 2: If sneezing or jumping on trampolines brings with it a sense of dread that you will pee your pants, then you will want to read on.
December last year.
I was lying yet again on my back, naked from the stomach down, knees spread wide apart and in stirrups. My gynaecologist, wearing special binoculars guided a laser rod in and with each *click*, the laser zapped me, soldering me on the inside. Zap, zap, zap, as the inside of my vagina fried. She went up, she went down, she went sideways. And when she zapped a nerve, I would turn pale. No anaesthetic, this was a simple 30-minute procedure.
Let me tell you a bit more about this procedure. I had it done twice, one month apart. I responded well after two treatments, but some women may need more. By burning the inside walls of the vagina with the laser, it stimulates the growth of collagen on the internal walls to plump them up, which gives your lining a greater ability to lift your organs internally. It is the same method used on your face when you have laser at the cosmetic surgeon.
Having said that, when I asked if I would feel OK to walk out and go home on my own, she said yes. It actually took 4 weeks to recover, and then with the second procedure, another 4 weeks. But I avoided major surgery. And I can report a significant improvement…I can sneeze now!
Apparently you can over-squat
I ended up at this doctor, a urogynaecologist because I was experiencing deep pelvic pain. I had ‘over-squatted’.
A year of lifting weights and doing lunges and squats triggered an injury of my already-weakened pelvic floor muscles, the result of my three pregnancies. When you experience prolapse, your pelvic floor drops and your organs, like your bladder, may end up where they should not be.
I have spent the past 9 years trying to rebuild my body without great success. But I have tried.
The other reason I was referred to this doctor…
The last menstrual cycle I had experienced before visiting this specialist – which had coincided with the full moon in Taurus (my sign) – was so excruciating, that it left me doubled over in bed for 5 days. I wanted her to investigate.
Again, I stripped down and had an ultrasound inserted, thinking to myself, gosh we women spend a large part of our lives having doctors look at our vaginas. Certainly more than any of the men I have been with.
“I can see why you are in pain”, she said matter of factly, “You have adenomyosis”.
So, you know ‘endometriosis’. What I have is the other ‘osis’. Basically with my period, some blood doesn’t flow out like it should. Instead goes into my uterus, pushing into the nerve endings causing deep pain. I’m sure that’s not the official medical analysis, so you may want to look it up. But that’s how I understood the condition.
She followed this with words that have changed my life, “There’s a pill called Spedifen that can help you.”
Now let me rewind, dear Maxers.
I got my period at 12.5 years old. For the past 28.5 years, bar the years I was pregnant, I have suffered from painful periods. Now the thing with periods, is that there is no pain barometer. If your girlfriend says, “I feel crap today, I’ve got my period”. Or, “Ugh, I feel gross today, my period is so heavy”, you have no way to compare. To put it in a nutshell, my periods have always been heavy, long and regularly put me out of action for one week every month. Every month. Did any doctor ever say, “Oh you have Adenomyosis”. No, she did not.
To be fair, my periods have gotten a lot worse since starting my childbearing years 13 years ago. What I now know is that Adenomyosis is often diagnosed in middle-aged women and women who have had children. So that would explain why my periods have been heavier since having children. I also read that women who have had uterine surgery are a higher risk for adenomyosis. On the ultrasound, the adenomyosis looked like my uterus was lit up by flashing mulitcolours, showing increased nerve activity. In my case, it is limited to one area of my uterus, but for other women it can be present in over a larger part of the uterus.
So with the words, “You have adenomyoisis,” I nearly cried. Tears of frustration at all years suffering unnecessarily, to tears of relief at finally being validated for the pain I have felt.
My story has a happy ending.
My doctor gave me a pill called Spedifen. It has changed my life. I take it three times a day on the days I have my period. I can report that for me, my flow has reduced by at least 65% and the duration of my period is shorter – more like 4 days. And it’s a great pain killer.
I wouldn’t say I am at the stage of those TV ads of women frolicking in the surf in bikinis while menstruating, but I’m half way there, and it feels great.
So if you have a similar experience of pelvic and period pain, you may want to check this out with your gynaecologist.
Maintenance going forward
My doctor explained that I will need to do pelvic floor exercises throughout the day for the rest of my life. So I do my kegel exercises. She recommended building up my strength to be able to clench my pelvic floor muscles and hold each one for 10 seconds x 10 clenches. And to do this in 3 lots, at least three times a day.
With regards to my weight lifting, I only returned to personal training after 8 months. I have a great trainer who is working on all my little muscles to get me to the stage where I am strong enough to squat and lunge with weights. My doctor explained that I should avoid all weight-bearing exercises. I sit on a ball or bench and lift weights.
All in all, it was a short procedure with a fairly long recovery for me. I am how back at the gym with my trainer 5 days a week and I hope to make continued improvement over the coming 6 months. The whole ordeal left me very down. I put on weight and lost all the outward muscle tone that I had spent the previous year working so hard to achieve. Most of my clothes don’t fit.
Setbacks suck, no question about it.
But they suck more if you never take action to solve them. I have fixed two major things that were holding me back physically and causing me pain for over a decade. And yes, I still love my children!
So for the all the men who have made it though to this point…. hahahha, what am I saying, I’m sure we lost them at pelvic floor. But if any brave soul has made it to the end, you now know more than you did at the start about these conditions, and can hopefully support your wife, partner, girlfriend better.
That is all for this blog. I am hoping that Vagina on Fire Part 3 will never, ever, need to be written. EVER.
Till next time, Keep Maxing Out.