Chair Chronicles: Lindsay’s first-hand story with prolapse and the Libby
Prior to getting pregnant, I was very active, working out five to six times per week with very high impact movements and workouts. After the birth of my daughter, I was diagnosed with a prolapse of all three organs. I had extensive damage to my pelvic floor.
My family doctor told me I could get surgery to have it repaired in a year and to stop all workouts. She told me that I could walk if I wanted some exercise. Unhappy with that answer and with my mental health suffering big time, I did some research on my own and came across Sinéad Dufour.
Meeting Sinéad changed my life. I heard her presentation on pelvic organ prolapse and immediately trusted her 100%. She explained to me that there was hope and I could rehab my pelvic floor muscles so I could live my life the way I wanted again. She taught me a technique called core breath that I could do for 10 minutes a day. It worked! After a couple of months, my pelvic floor felt strong again and Sinead gave me the green light to work out.
A prolapse cannot be completely fixed. I just had strengthened the muscles surrounding my organs to help ease my symptoms but they will never go back to their original position. I still had to adapt my lifestyle to protect my pelvic floor so I didn’t go back to my preferred way of exercising. I was able to lift weights again, was asymptomatic, and enjoyed working out, but I still avoided jumping and running for fear I would undo the work I did.
Then, I got pregnant with my second child. I immediately felt a change in my pelvic floor even though I was still doing my core breath so I was fitted for a pessary. It helped big time, but I still felt some bulginess between my legs at times. I wore the pessary until my second was born.
I tried to do the core breath technique that Sinéad had taught me, but I was having a really hard time connecting. Over time I gave up trying because I would get so frustrated and down on myself. I continued to wear my pessary postpartum and continued with my workouts.
I had accepted the fact that I would have to wear a pessary every day. Things were great for a while but slowly started to change. I was starting to feel the symptoms again, even with a pessary in. I knew my pelvic floor was weakening, but this time I lost hope because I could no longer connect and was having a hard time doing core breath.
This is when I heard about the Libby from a good friend. I had my doubts at first, but when I saw that Sinéad was involved with it, I was 100% sold.
Prior to treatment
Before I share my experience with the Libby chair, I think it’s important to explain the symptoms I was having.
I could feel the weakness in my pelvic floor. When my pessary was not in, it felt like I had a tampon coming out. There was a bulging, sticky feeling, like I needed to push something up. With my pessary in it was a bit better but when I wasn’t wearing a thong I could feel something there. When I tried to do hard workouts, I noticed my pelvic floor would dip if I lifted heavy weights and I would leak a little. There was not much strength left. I experienced an aching feeling and soreness after workouts.
Day 1: First treatment
I kept my clothes on so it was very non-invasive. You start out at a low-level percentage and after a while it gets bumped up depending on how you are feeling. I think I went to 100% halfway through my first treatment. It felt very strong, like a little shock between my legs, but I could tell it was working. It only lasts about 30 minutes, and I didn’t feel any muscle soreness after. I left my pessary in and did light workouts until the next appointment.
Day 2: Second treatment
This time around I got to 100% much faster and the shock didn’t feel quite as strong. Afterward, I definitely felt stronger and I left my pessary out for a couple of days. I felt an improvement in the bulging—it wasn’t as prominent. I did an upper body workout without my pessary in which felt great.
Day 3: Third treatment
By the third treatment, the shock didn’t feel like much at all. I think I got to 100% almost right away. After this, I couldn’t tell whether I had my pessary in or out… it didn’t feel any different to me. There was no feeling of bulging between my legs. I actually did a high-intensity workout without my pessary in because I couldn’t remember whether I had it in or out. I felt no symptoms at all even when I did jumps and burpees.
Day 4: Fourth treatment
Same as the last treatment, I was at 100% almost right away and I felt amazing after. I didn’t put my pessary back in at all between these treatments. I did a leg workout and felt strong. I had no symptoms. Oh, and sex is AMAZING!
Day 5: Fifth treatment
I’ve started incorporating HIIT (high-intensity interval training) into my workouts at least three times per week and I feel amazing. I’m still wearing my pessary for heavy workouts—it’s a bit like a security blanket—but overall I feel very strong and have absolutely no symptoms at all.
Day 6: Sixth treatment
Big news! I went for a run yesterday and FELT AMAZING! I had zero symptoms during or after. I wore my pessary just to be safe, but whereas before I felt weakness in my pelvic floor and a sensation of sinking, this time I felt so strong! It was incredible. I was going to just go for a walk and then decided to give it a try and I’m so glad I did. I even had a semi-full bladder when I decided to start running and had no leaking at all. So awesome!
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