Mel is a great success story from IntoYou, who came to us not long after we opened in Collaroy Plateau. She didn’t immediately disclose that she had a prolapse, but we soon discovered it when she modified the exercises that didn’t “feel right”.
Mel’s first baby, Max was born in 2007. The labour was very lengthy, he was posterior, and she pushed for 2 hours which resulted in a Stage 3 uterine prolapse (where the uterus protrudes out of the vagina). Even walking after the birth was difficult with a very heavy feeling “down there”, like everything was going to fall out. A few years later, Lola came. She was very quick and Mel is sure that due to her existing prolapse/pelvic floor weakness, there was no pushing needed at all!
After Lola, Mel started retraining her Pelvic floor in an attempt to rehabilitate. She says “I had done the odd kegal exercises but it was never a regular thing. I’d only ever done basic stationary exercises, I’d never incorporated them into a training session i.e. performed the ‘lift and squeeze’ whilst doing exercise”. She came to IntoYou ostensibly to tone up and and increase her fitness, but she also wanted to strengthen her pelvic floor in the hope of improving her prolapse. She says “If I am honest, I was not really confident that training alone could fix my injuries, I was always considering surgery down the track”.
Not any longer! At Mel’s first Pap Smear since joining the gym (about 12-18 months later) “my GP told me that it was now only a level 1 prolapse (this is where the uterus is in the upper region of the vagina). My cervix had moved up away from the entrance about 4cm. I was shocked and thrilled that the work at the gym could have made such a difference!“
I was 40 when I fell pregnant for the third time and a bit nervous about how my pelvic floor would cope. I trained twice a week throughout until 38 weeks, using an amended program to cater for my pregnancy. After my second birth, I was expecting this third baby to simply ‘fall out’ again and much to my horror I actually had to push her out! I put this down to the recovery in my pelvic floor muscles over the previous couple of years. 6 weeks post natal, I had no separation in my abs and only mild Level 1 prolapse.”
Mel has this advice for other women who have prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction (like stress incontinence): “Don’t overlook exercise as a way to get your pelvic floor health back. It may never be the same as before you had babies, but there is definitely big improvements to be had!”
We are exceptionally proud of Mel, and of what she achieved! We are also really proud of ourselves, proving that you can improve your pelvic floor function with movement, and that you do not have to sacrifice your training intensity to do so.
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