My Vagina is not your business

My Vagina is not your business

vagina incontinence pelvic floor

Call me a prude but I do not feel comfortable talking about my vagina (most women don’t). I do not want to discuss the intimate details of my children’s birth in a mo

thers’ group. I detest having a pap smear and I certainly hate the thought of having an invasive procedure to possibly strengthen my pelvic floor. So now that’s out of the way, let me step out of my comfort zone and share my story, hopefully I am not alone.

A couple years ago a friend (and my practice manager) asked if I would like to have “vagina rejuvenation” at no cost whilst they trialled a new device. At that time the procedure was retailing for $1500, and all I had to do was be a model for training purposes. A model for training? Hmmm, I ask a little more, “is this simply a doctor and trainer?” No! It turns out, for a free treatment, I would need to expose myself, legs spread for 5 doctors a couple nurses and the trainer. At that point I was out. In fact, I was so horrified and offended, I did not hold back in exclaiming I was certainly not a suitable model for this procedure. The response I received blew me away and was totally unexpected, “I thought you’d benefit, you know, after having 4 kids”.

My initial response was very diplomatic. Of course, I sincerely appreciated the offer. Hey, I’d love to have a rejuvenated vagina, who wouldn’t. But there was no way I was going to overcome my inhibitions. I apologised and gave a definitive, no thank you.

vagina pelvic floor emsella

Generally, whenever I have a confrontation like this, I relive the events a thousand times over in my head. I critique everything I could or should have done and said. This instance was no different. I wondered why it was assumed that I have some sort of banged up vagina. Would people really pay $1500 to have a laser inserted into their vagina? Could it be that I am living in the dark ages and am the true definition of a prude?

The flip side of this story is, since having my fourth child, I have suffered from stress incontinence. It’s not severe but still is problematic. I choose not to have physio and walk around with weights in my vagina (this was suggested to me by the physio). This was a conscious choice I made as I would prefer to just deal with it. The alarming part is, with my youngest now 5, I have plotted along, and accepted stress incontinence is as a normal part of my life. I get up throughout the night to go the bathroom and think nothing of it. The kids have made fun of me if I laugh too much. I once had an incident on the Scooby Doo ride with my daughter whilst on holidays on the Gold Coast. So, truth be told, I probably would benefit from some form of “vagina rejuvenation”. I can’t explain why but I simply shudder at the thought of a stranger or someone who is my injector, sticking a foreign object which looks like a dildo into my vagina. It is making me uncomfortable writing about this, let alone discussing it openly. I often conclude there must be something wrong with me.

So fast forward to the 2018 ASAPS Non-surgical symposium in the Gold Coast. Alfie and I went to visit all the exhibitors, part of our usual routine. We love learning what’s new, what’s changed and of course, saying hi to familiar faces. We stumbled across a few great exhibitors that we had not met before. One in-p

articular was the BTL stand. It was the last day of NSS and I was feeling great after absorbing all the amazing energy from the conference. I confidently introduced myself and Alfie and asked, “so what do you guys do?” (In my mind I’m thinking, whatever it is I’ve heard it all before). When Gareth said, “We have the Emsella, a revolutionary breakthrough treatment for incontinence”. I was ready to sink into the floor and disappear. I looked at Alfie with my “get out, retreat” eyes, my throat closed over, I literally started stepping backwards. My mind went into overdrive. I was thinking, do not disclose you have had children, do not converse, this man is going to judge you and want to stick some sort of vibrator or dildo in your vagina.

Alfie however has a cruel streak, he saw my discomfort and immediate mindset change. Like a sniffer dog who has found gold, he eagerly said “Tell me more”. My karma from taking him off the dance floor the night before to take pictures was now coming back on me tenfold.

As I stood with my pelvic floor tense and legs crossed, I listened to Gareth and Petra explain the Emsella. Within minutes my clenching subsided, everything relaxed (no accidents) and I was sitting on magical chair. It turns out the Emsella treats the entire pelvic floor area whilst the patient is fully clothed. Yes, nothing invasive being stuck where it doesn’t belong. You literally just sit on a chair and the Emsella does the rest. Gareth offered a 5-minute test run, but I completed the full 30-minute course. It was like doing a workout for my pelvic floor and all I had to do was sit there. With hope in my heart, I was a sponge absorbing every word he spoke. I was truly mind blown that someone has invented a chair woman (and men) can sit on, FDA cleared, with scientific research behind it and no clothes are removed. Could this really work?

That night I noticed a difference. The following night I thought I would test myself and drink loads of water all evening and again I did not wake up. It really did work. I noticed a significant improvement in my quality of life and for the first time ever, I realised that stress incontinence was not something I had to live with. Having children has not left me with a life sentence of no dignity and unco

I couldn’t stop thinking about how this has changed my outlook, so I reached out to BTL. I needed to know where I could go to get my next treatment, so I could complete the course. I had no idea of the price of a treatment, but I was willing to pay for the comfort and results. It turned out the device is only new to Australia, no one in Sydney had one yet. I was absolutely devasted and asked why? How could surgeons, aesthetic doctors and clinics not be knocking down your door to supply this treatment to women all over Australia. There must be more women like me in hiding in the shadows, dealing with this issue every day.mfortable treatments. I was overwhelmed with excitement. I have found a device that is non-invasive, and could I really turn back the vagina clock.

pre and post emsella

According to the brochure I received on the device, the Emsella is intended to provide entirely non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation of pelvic floor musculature for the purpose of rehabilitation of weak pelvic muscles and restoration of neuromuscular control for the treatment of urinary incontinence in women. If your local doctor doesn’t have one, you should be asking why not?Modesty is priceless; however, it turns out the RRP is very accessible. The in-depth penetration and stimulation of the entire pelvic floor is done completely clothed, using High-Intensity focused electromagnetic technology (or HIFEM for short). There is no requirement for a doctor or nurse and it can be performed anywhere. So why is this device not in every clinic? My sexist view would be men do not appreciate the impact stress incontinence has on a women’s quality of life. To be honest, you can’t blame them, I’ve carried on like normal for 5 years. The reality is, we are hiding in the wings, desperately awaiting a treatment like this. I ended up having a second treatment on an Emsella in their office, I can confirm I no longer wake through the night. I realised I have not had a full night without getting out of bed since prior to my fourth child. This device has changed a sacred and unspoken area of my life.

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