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POP goes my pelvis and the POP Project

I love the outdoors. I’m a keen tramper. I enjoy stand up paddleboarding (SUP) and surfing, kiteboarding, sailing. I run bush skills courses for women. I can spend hours working in the garden. I feel fit and active. POP!? Why me? In July 2019, my peeing felt a little bit different for a couple of days. The following night I had to get up to the loo nearly every hour, each time feeling more uncomfortable ‘down there’. Explaining it to my husband the next morning, I said “it feels like som...

February 17, 2021

Keeping active for physical and mental health

I was 35 years old and three weeks postpartum after my first baby when (after lots of googling with few answers) I went to a GP thinking I had a prolapse. This was because I had looked at my bits with a mirror and didn’t think they looked right! Even considering that I’d not long pushed a baby out, I still thought it didn’t look or feel right. I could see ridgy bumps and other soft pink bulges coming out that I had NEVER seen before. The GP said I didn’t have a prolapse. She did tell me ...

February 12, 2021

My journey with POP

I am 50 years old with three children.  I have had issues with a weak pelvic floor for years. When my kids were tiny, I did a few Kegel exercises, but never progressed on from that. When my youngest daughter was about 2 years old, we went camping and I joined in a softball game. The running caused great leaking and I ended up with soaked trousers. I still thought it was just my pelvic floor and still didn't get it checked out properly.  A few years later, I had mycoplasma pneumonia and...

February 11, 2021

Navigating the shame and empowerment

I am a 34-year-old kiwi physiotherapist, and have always been active with netball, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and adventure racing. I have three children who were born when I was 26, 28 and 33. They were all fairly good sizes and my deliveries were natural, with no complications, and extremely fast (just a few minutes of pushing). After my first baby I started walking immediately and started some occasional running and social basketball from when she was about 8 weeks old, with no pro...

February 11, 2021

A recreational tramper, cyclist and kayaker

Three years ago we climbed Rainbow Mountain and when I got home I discovered I had prolapsed. The vagina felt uncomfortable and my uterus was protruding externally. We were booked for four weeks of tramping and biking in the South Island a couple of months into the new year. My GP said I would not be considered urgent, but elective! That I’d have to wait months or maybe years. So we went private. The cost was about $15,000. Some people buy flash boats; we bought quality of life. The bladder wa...

February 11, 2021

My POP Shock

I am 39 and currently pregnant with my third child. I was diagnosed with stage two anterior, posterior, and apical prolapse when I was 35. At the time of my diagnosis I was working as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist. I had some limited experience of pelvic health and I was aware of the symptoms and causes of pelvic organ prolapse. However, I did not consider a diagnosis of POP when I was looking for help for my symptoms because my main symptoms were vulva pain and pain with sex (dyspareunia).I...

February 11, 2021

How shame, pain and fear held me back from healing

The birth of my second child was as fast and full on as her personality is now. She came out entangled in the cord, blue and wonderfully brand new. My body took its time to heal the tears and move the organs back into their pre-pregnancy place. Once all systems found their new normal I discovered one part of my body for which this new normal horrified me – a bulge extending from my vagina. It felt and looked like my insides were falling out of me. A furtive look in the ‘Complete Home Medical...

February 11, 2021

POP doesn’t have to prevent you being active

I’m an active woman of 65, who tramps, cycles, swims, dances and does yoga, and have been living with pelvic organ prolapse for four years. It started when, as well as my usual walking, swimming, and cycling, I worked on a landscape project in my garden that involved a lot of heavy lifting. I was 61 and hadn’t paid much attention to my pelvic floor for years.  I noticed what I thought was a lump in my vagina, but was in fact, a prolapsed cervix. I ignored it for a while, but then though...

February 11, 2021

3 x POPS!

I had never heard about pelvic organ prolapse before experiencing my first one. A second and third followed, one of each type!  Prolapse 1 – uterusThe birth of my second child, a boy, was non-problematic but very quick, about 2.5–3 hours from the first contraction to giving birth. I believe it was probably the cause of my problems. I had just had my 41st birthday at the end of September 2004 and had been healthy and active looking after my daughter, born the year before.However, everyth...

February 11, 2021

Staying active!

My moment of awareness of POP came as a huge surprise during a shower on my return home from hospital following the birth of my first child.  What on earth was this… was I laying an egg?! This was a long time ago as that particular baby is now 33, and I am close to 60. My POP journey has involved gynaecological appointments and treatment with a ring pessary (to hold everything up) and a subsequent repair job following the birth of my last child. I have always been an active person, l...

February 11, 2021

Exercise for mental health

The following is my story to date after being diagnosed with a rectocele and cystocele in June 2020. I was 49 years old.I was diagnosed in June with POP by a doctor in my local surgery at an after hours clinic. It was a massive shock to me. I attended the clinic both Saturday and Sunday, with pain in my lower abdomen, with what I thought was a bladder infection. Funnily enough, all of a sudden, that same Saturday afternoon, I noticed a heaviness in my vagina. I knew this was not right and return...

February 11, 2021

Racing to the top and – POP!

My daughter was born in 1983. Longish second stage, no stitches, but immediate leakage on running across Cathedral Square Christchurch to pick up photos of her when she was just a few days old. I was shocked. Gradual strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles over the years followed. No obvious prolapse was evident to me at that time, but I did talk to my GP about the possibility of improving stress incontinence with surgery. I did not pursue this and continued with pelvic floor exercises. I lear...

February 11, 2021

Women with POP with find their magic again

I went into childbirth with my eyes wide open – or so I thought. I knew the realities of delivery; I often covered the postnatal wards seeing new mums with third and fourth degree tears post normal vaginal delivery. I was also a participant in a study looking at the association of ethnicity and levator ani muscle elasticity with avulsion injury (pelvic floor muscle detaching from the bone) following vaginal delivery. It honestly just did not occur to me that it could or would happen to me&hell...

February 11, 2021

High jumps and nose dives

In my late 50s I so got the urge to jump on the trampoline at the place I was living. Bouncing is good for us and so much fun. Up into the treetops and back down to earth. I simply had to keep going. Must have been about 20 minutes.  Wham – POP – like a saturated tampon had nose dived out.The fun stopped and the world stood still.Scary, frightening, alarming, bewildering.As a Pilates practitioner and teacher, in theory I knew about pelvic organ prolapse.Looking back, my knowledge, exper...

February 11, 2021

Why is it not talked about?

A big healthy baby boy! We were delighted and the state of my ‘bits’ never even crossed my mind… that was until I started having ‘wee’ accidents and my prolapse became so bad that it sat outside my body at times! I just got used to it, put up with it and got on with it. I was 34. Fast forward nearly four years and along came our big healthy baby girl! Just have a natural birth, they said; it won’t make your prolapse any worse, they said.I finally decided to do something about th...

February 11, 2021

Blue skies smiling at me!

I first encountered prolapse aged 30, having no idea that the condition was even possible. I simply knew that something had crashed in my pelvis and that I needed repairing. I had given birth to two babies three years apart. The first baby I couldn’t get out, so after an hour of “labouring” the forceps came out along with my baby 10lb 2ozs (4590g), excruciating. I was appalled that I could be reasonably fit, playing sport competitively every weekend, yet couldn’t push out a baby. Three y...

February 11, 2021

I will get back to running marathons!

I first learnt about prolapse during my pregnancy, and that exercise too soon postpartum could cause it. That was the extent of what I knew about it and if I’m honest I didn’t even know what it really was. Only that it was “bad”. It was then I decided to make visiting a physio at six weeks postpartum a necessity to get what I expected to be a “good to go” diagnosis. At least I would have done my due diligence. Well, at five weeks postpartum my hemorrhoids had gone, my stitches w...

February 10, 2021

Live life to the fullest within your capabilities

It was reassuring to hear I was not the only one affected by POP, and that about 50 percent of women are affected by this. At the age of about 65 I noticed that after extreme exercising or heavy exertion, there was a restriction in my vagina when urinating and during sexual contact.  Having had a hysterectomy at 54 years old I was concerned for my health and also my fitness. I had been practising Pilates for ten years, was an avid gardener and still employed. I am 72 now and after a re...

February 9, 2021

My adventure into motherhood

I’m 40 and have two gorgeous high-energy kids who are 5 and 2. Before kids I worked in the outdoors guiding and instructing hiking, mountaineering, ski touring, and rock climbing. I’m pretty small at about 163cm and both babies were over 9lb. I had intense, full on births and as a result I suffered a cystocele (bladder prolapse) with my first (at age 34). It got worse with my second. I got pretty busted up downstairs and at one point even walking 200m along a flat road to the shop was a stru...

January 28, 2021 Posts 1-19 of 19 | Page