Why Don’t We Talk?
I can’t tell you how many women we talk to on a daily basis that have noticed changes vaginally, whether it’s a vaginal bulge or leakage when they cough or sneeze, but have never spoken to anyone about it. Often times they’re scared when they come in for their initial consult because they’re unsure of exactly what’s going on. They may suffer in silence for years before they decide to get things checked out or come in for a consult right after they’ve noticed a change. Sometimes they come in because they’ve had a conversation with their mother who tells them she had the same issue, and sometimes they read an article that discussed procedures becoming more mainstream.
Regardless of which category you fall into, know that you are not alone. A large number of women develop these changes as they age and it’s nothing to be embarrassed or scared about.
Stress incontinence and prolapse can occur after vaginal deliveries and, no, you don’t have to have a huge baby or a difficult delivery to have these issues, although it does increase your risk. These issues can also be related to heredity and can even happen in patients with a history of chronic constipation. Women often will initially have complaints of vaginal heaviness or pressure that can progress to a vaginal bulge. They often notice difficulty making it to the restroom in time; think about your friend that gets up to use the restroom 20 times while you’re out to lunch. They also may notice they are no longer able to jump on the trampoline with their kids, or when they get back into running post-baby they leak along the way. We’ve had numerous patients tell us they were in running groups and luckily had other women who talked to them about their situation only to find they were going through the same things.
There is a common theme to all of these issues: We as women often isolate ourselves because we feel that no one else could possibly be dealing with these same sometimes embarrassing but common issues.
We counsel patients regularly to speak with their friends and family about these issues because they too may be silently dealing with them wondering if there is an answer. To think! YOU could be the reason your friend or cousin or someone you may not even know regains their self-confidence just by having a conversation. We realize it’s not the easiest thing to bring up at the dinner table but it’s important to help educate and support our fellow ladies, because they may have no idea what’s going on. Regardless of the issues you are dealing with, talk about them and then, when you’re ready, come talk to us at Austin Urogynecology where we can help you renew your body and spirits.
Got questions? Need an appointment? We’re here to help!