You Don't Have To Have Kids To Have Pelvic Floor Problems...
You may be wondering, "How did you get into this? Believe it or not, I have had a broad spectrum of pelvic floor problems, and I have never been pregnant.
My competitive athletic career came to a sudden halt after tearing my anterior crutiate ligament (ACL) while playing soccer. This was the pebble that started the avalanche of what felt like complete body betrayal. Little did I know, small things throughout my life that didn't seem like a big deal led to this "big event".
After my injury, I embarked on a path of self discovery to find out what seemed to be unrelated issues, like sexual dysfunction, urinary leakage, pelvic pain, and now this knee injury were not normal and all linked.
Despite being "an elite athlete," who moved well to a spectator, one very important thing held me back and put me at risk for my knee injury - an under-performing core. Like most others, I had no idea the pelvic floor existed let alone know that these muscles were important for the overall function of my core.
The Origin of The Vagina Doc
After learning that I was bracing my core incorrectly for the greater portion of my life, I was angry. Why didn't any one ever correct me?
It wasn't that my coaches were withholding information. They truly didn't know. We all thought I was strong. And I was... And like many other great athletes I've since treated, I was strong on the outside but very weak on the inside.
A small percentage of professionals truly know how to assess the core. Most do not have the complete knowledge and/or capability of assessing the pelvic floor, which is a KEY part of the core. Second, the tendency is for people to encourage all or nothing strategies, when that is not how the core is designed to function.
The lack of knowledge and the misconceptions around the core are harmful to not only athletes, but to all of society. I'm on a mission to de-stigmatize the pelvic floor because it affects everything we do and who we are as humans. We need to start talking about it. So, what better way to start a conversation than by introducing my business name as The Vagina Doc.
I discovered that I had a lot of questions that weren't yet answerable. If I wanted the answers, I would have to figure them out. And that is what I did and will be doing for the rest of my career.
So far I have learned that connection to your pelvic floor and the infinite ways to connect to your core as a whole is the secret to becoming an unstoppable athlete and an unstoppable human being. When you establish this connection, the sky is the limit.
A Key Part Of The Journey...
Handing over my care to another pelvic floor physical therapist was the first major step in my healing journey.
Pelvic floor physical therapy helped me move in a way that I never knew was possible. I no longer had the distraction of heaviness and pain that limited me physically and psychologically in the gym as well as in the bedroom.
But this wasn't the end.
While pelvic floor physical therapy helped significantly reduce my pain, it didn't eliminate it completely. Fortunately, I knew my gut health was a problem and likely the last major limiting factor. Initially, I tried to do it myself by following a diet that involved eliminating alcohol and processed foods and sticking to whole foods. That helped but I still had pain with penetration and other symptoms.
Gut Rehab as the Missing Piece
Dr. Jordan Odle from Transcend Wellness Chiropractic informed me that even though what I was doing with my diet was a great start, there was likely more gut rehab left to do. At first, I was a skeptic and didn't believe that diet and supplementation would help ME heal. Despite my skepticism, there was something deeper within myself that told me to do it.
It turned out that my body was sensitive to the majority of the healthy foods I was consuming. In addition, I had candida, mold, and bacterial dysbiosis, which Dr. Jordan helped me understand how this was impacting my vaginal health and lingering pain.
After one month of following Dr. Jordan's recommendations, I started to notice a significant reduction in my pain as well as other unexpected improvements in my health. This gave me hope, so I continued.
Months later, not only did I experience a total resolution of my pain, I have been able to wean off of a prescribed medication I had been taking for the last decade and assumed that I'd have to take for the rest of my life.
Not only did Dr. Jordan help me, she has played an invaluable role in helping my patients with their pelvic floor issues.
Dr. Jordan and I ultimately realized that we shared the same values and TOGETHER we could bring greater healing to our community as the Vagina Docs versus The Vagina Doc and Transcend Wellness Chiropractic.