While she was pregnant with her first child, Kelly began to notice a tightening in the muscles of her pelvic area. Shortly thereafter, sexual intercourse with her husband became nearly impossible. Next, Kelly’s internal exams during her routine pregnancy check-ups became excruciating. Kelly assumed this was a normal complication of pregnancy and endured the terrible pain.
What Kelly didn’t know was that she had a medical condition called vaginismus, or involuntary tightening of the muscles in the pelvic floor. When she began experiencing similar symptoms during her second pregnancy, she spoke with her Obstetrician/ Gynecologist, Dr. Czarina Helf, about what she was experiencing. Dr. Helf immediately referred Kelly to Sarah Droessler at Columbia St. Mary’s (CSM) Continence Services.
CSM Continence Services not only treats incontinence, but all disorders of the pelvic floor region. “I walked in to Continence Services and immediately felt at ease,” Kelly explained. “I felt like my situation was normal. Sarah was very knowledgeable and easy to work with; it was such a relief!”
Kelly’s therapy included external stretches and internal massage. After three or four sessions Kelly’s vaginismus was greatly improved, and she eventually returned to her original healthy state.
Kelly said, “I found it really interesting that, as amazing and wonderful as my Ob/Gyn is, my problem needed treatment from a physical therapy avenue which is what Continence Services was able to provide.”
Kelly added, “If you experience similar problems, don’t be overly concerned, just call Continence Services! It’s unfortunate that this is an issue many women are embarrassed to talk about. Continence Services is a place where women can find help.”
“I’d become addicted, so to speak, to wearing a pad.” said Jane. “Having to always wear a pad became more and more of a nuisance, so I told my physician it was time to deal with this problem. He immediately recommended Columbia St. Mary’s Continence Services.”
Columbia St. Mary’s Physical Therapist, Sarah Droessler, worked closely with Jane to accurately diagnose the reason for her continence problems and develop a personalized treatment plan. Jane said of Sarah, “She was fabulous! Sarah is incredibly skilled at asking questions and creating an open dialogue. Not only was she able to correctly diagnose my problems, she was able to help me help myself in overcoming them.”
Jane’s therapy included journaling, so both she and Sarah could pinpoint the outside factors that might be contributing to her incontinence, biofeedback to assess and improve Jane’s muscle use, and simple exercises to strengthen her muscles. Jane began to see significant improvement after just her second session with Sarah. Now Jane believes that her continence problems have been resolved.
“Columbia St. Mary’s Continence Services has made my life much, much less stressful. My job requires me to attend several meetings a week — I no longer have to worry if they go too long. I’m a golfer, and I no longer have to wonder where the next ladies room is on the course. I just returned from an Alaskan cruise and felt extremely confident throughout the entire trip; I had virtually no concerns about continence!”
Now that Columbia St. Mary’s Continence Services has alleviated her problems, Jane enthusiastically recommends Sarah and the Continence Services staff to others. She firmly believes that because she received treatment for her continence issues when she did, she as saved herself from future, more serious problems.
“If you’re having continence problems, don’t wait to address them!" Jane advises. “There are things you can do to help yourself — you don’t have to continue to put up with the stress of incontinence.”