How I Found Out (the hard way) I had a Pelvic Floor!
By Elisha Zavier
CVO, Founder, V Lounge
Finding something protruding from my vagina was NOT the push present I had hoped for.
Mortified I didn’t say anything to anyone – not even my husband. At my post delivery follow-up with my OB the goal was getting me in and out so the next patient could be seen. During the internal examination portion of my appointment, the word PROLAPSE was uttered – a referral for physio was given to me and all it said was ‘prolapse, 6 weeks PP’. I was sent along my merry, albeit incredibly sleep deprived, way.
Did I get any other explanation? Nope. It’s normal and happens is what I was told. PFFTT nothing to worry about!
I immediately went down a doctor google rabbit hole I still haven’t recovered from. And what I found was A LOT of information that I had no context for. I had spent 9 months being bombarded with baby and specific pregnancy info – like how to manage nausea, not to be surprised that I was going poop while labouring (this one was indeed a surprise), choosing nursery colours and names. You know the super useful content bites.
But not a single thing about the importance of pelvic floor health or HOW or WHY to exercise those muscles.
Now I walked into my pregnancy being pretty physically fit – walked 10 kms at least 5 days a week, different kinds of activities from CrossFit to yoga and everything in between. I also Kegel’d like NO ONE’s business. On the train, in my car, watching movies, at my desk – you name the place and I Kegel’d there.
Unfortunately, my uterus didn’t get that particular memo and after 2.5 hours of some pretty choice pushing, if I do say so myself, my pelvic floor was not the same. I think it’s safe to say that we all know (now) that most people aren’t Kegel’ing correctly – case in point
I did attend my ‘physio’ appointment. They gave me some exercises to do and told me to keep doing Kegels. They were not pelvic floor trained – did not do an internal or measure my muscle tone and did not explain to me, physiologically, what was happening. In all honesty, being a new mum I didn’t keep up with anything, and did not do any additional sessions at that clinic.
Fast-forward 3.5 years, not only did I still have a raging prolapse but I started waking up at night to pee (like being woken up by a toddler at all hours wasn’t enough!) and the sensation to pee was urgent – like MOVE OUTTA my way I gotta pee like now – kind of urgent. I have peed on the side of roads, in forests (my son loves pointing out my pee spot whenever we go for walks!) and have probably mooned more people than I care to think about.
I tired doing the prescribed exercises here and there, more Kegels, I even ordered vaginal weights – I just couldn’t get ahead of my symptoms.
What I didn’t know at the time was just how common my experience was. My new motto: COMMON is not the same as NORMAL.
The final straw: One night my 3.5 year old woke up because he had to pee, I of course didn’t have time to relieve myself first. We get to the bathroom and I’m crouching (probably not a smart position to be in, but who thinks of these things at 2am?) and holding his penis down so he wouldn’t pee all over the place (boy mamas know!) and sure enough I peed all over the place.
Shortly after that night I was introduced to a revolutionary device that changed my life. And now I’m a mama who sleeps all night, goes on LONG walks and road trips with control and confidence. My prolapse symptoms were significantly reduced and continued to improve*.
I invited innovation to my pelvic floor fitness party and now me and my pelvic floor are besties again.
Meet the Emsella* chair. A breakthrough, non-invasive treatment that builds strength, restores optimal functioning, and deeply stimulates the pelvic floor muscles to rebuild the neuromuscular connection. It uses HIFEM – High Intensity Focused ElectroMagnetic – technology to send waves of targeted energy into the pelvic floor to produce thousands of supra-maximal contractions. With built-in recovery phases to ensure pelvic floor muscles can rest and recover. Emsella engages almost 100% of the muscle fibers, making it an incredibly effective exercise tool. Think of it like a HIIT workout for the pelvic floor that supercharges your efforts and makes a positive effect with results in as little as 3 weeks. And it’s clinically validated, with study participants reporting a 95% improvement in their QOL.
Giving the middle finger to a system that leaves women and mothers behind.
So I took courses, got certified, aligned myself with pelvic floor fitness professionals, lifestyle coaches and a registered nutritionist who are passionate about helping other women.
And I opened V Lounge, a boutique pelvic floor fitness studio, integrating innovation with a holistic approach to pelvic health.
Cause leaking is not something we have to settle with, that’s just part of #momlife or aging.
Empowering our patients beyond Kegels
Just doing the exercise isn’t enough though. I really wanted to learn as much as I could about how to help our patients to achieve their pelvic health goals, stop leaking, sustain their results, and live confidently in their beautiful bodies.
But that requires a 3600 lens that explores:
- Breath work
- Lifestyle: mindset, nutrition, habits
- Hormone health
- Incorporating progressive load exercises and relaxation
There’s still a lot of work to be done to adopt new and emerging technologies that can support women in their pelvic health journey. We can pave the way for the next generation to have more access to the amazing tools and information that we didn’t.
Elisha is a former rebel turned mamaprenuer, with a 6YO tiny human and the founder of V Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Whitby, ON. She is certified in non-internal pelvic health solutions and is completing her CoreConfidence certification. Her team consists of pelvic health fitness professionals, yoga instructors and a registered holistic nutritionist.
*Disclaimer: EMSELLA is Health Canada and FDA cleared for the treatment of urinary incontinence. Strengthening pelvic floor muscles may have a positive affect on prolapse symptoms. This is dependent on several factors and anyone experiencing prolapse symptoms should go see a pelvic floor physiotherapist.