Samantha's Story ~ It won't happen to me! What can happen if you ignore troublesome symptoms

The following story is retold with permission of "Samantha" (not her real name).

Samantha was forty-five. She went to see her doctor because she was experiencing a "heaviness down below". The sensation was often worse at the end of the day and it was more uncomfortable when she sat in certain positions. It often felt better in the morning, or after resting on the weekend. Samantha was also troubled by "stress incontinence" ~ she frequently wet her pants when she coughed.

Samantha had strained to use her bowel for years. She usually only emptied her bowel about once every three days. The heavy feeling Samantha was experiencing was due to a prolapse, which would require surgical repair. The severity of the prolapse meant that alternate treatment options, such as strengthening the pelvic floor to help support her pelvic organs, would not suffice. Samantha was referred to a Physiotherapist who worked in the area of women's health for assistance with pelvic floor exercises to help with her bladder control.

Unfortunately, Samantha had never been told about the long-term effects of straining, or the benefits of pelvic floor exercises. Given the right advice and assistance during her childbearing years, she may have been able to prevent the development of these physical problems in her later years.

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