• 15:07
  • 01.06.2020
I got Botox injected into my vagina

I got Botox injected into my vagina

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Kate was one of the first women in Australia to have Botox injected into the vaginal muscles in an attempt to confront violent pelvic pain that prevented her and her husband from conceiving a much-wanted child.
After the initial excitement of her marriage in 2011, the first signs of abdominal pain that she’d dismissed as ‘not too serious’, developed into severe cramps and threatened their dream of starting a family. 34-year-old Kate was struggling to live without painkillers and faced constant tests and doctors. She tells her story in her own words.
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It was early 2011 and I was planning my wedding for November that year, when out of nowhere my biological clock started ticking very loudly. The desire to have a child was sudden and intense — like a switch had been flicked on, and from that point onwards the need to have a child was always in my thoughts.
Given our wedding plans were in full swing, we decided we would wait until the wedding and would then try to get pregnant straight away. It never crossed my mind that getting pregnant would be difficult.
As the time of the wedding approached I had started noticing some pain and abnormalities in my cycle but was too busy to give it much thought. Within weeks of our wedding I started to experience sharp pains in my pelvic region, and found that intercourse was becoming quite painful. I ended up in emergency due to the pain intensifying and upon having a pelvic ultrasound was found to have cysts in my ovaries.
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The lady doing the scan was rather insensitive in her approach and asked me whether I had kids yet. When I said “no”, she said: “Well, that’s a shame,” but then refused to tell me what she had seen or why she was acting like I would never have a child.
Waiting alone to be taken back to my hospital room, I mulled over this woman’s comments and was terrified — this was the first time I considered that my dream of becoming a mother may not be possible.
Upon having a laparoscopy to remove the cysts I was diagnosed as having endometriosis. The gynaecologist informed me that the best course of action was to take medication that would put me into temporary menopause for six months and then to try and fall pregnant immediately, as this would be my best chance to try for a family.
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After four months of horrible symptoms plus continuing pelvic pain, I sought a second opinion and was given other treatment options.
The new gynaecologist specialised in pelvic pain. She did a thorough examination and advised that I was also suffering from chronic pelvic pain including overactive pelvic floor muscles. These muscles were a key factor in causing constant pain near my hips and pain during and after intercourse.
The pain even made it impossible to wear pants, especially jeans. Even trying to lay down in bed to get to sleep was a painful experience as my body wanted to relax but my muscles were too tight to allow it. I agreed with this doctor’s suggestion to have Botox injected into my pelvic floor muscles in an attempt to get these muscles to relax. I had to pay a few hundred dollars to cover the full purchase price of the vial of Botox for her to use, as she said there were no government subsidies recognising it as a viable medical treatment for pelvic pain at that time.
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I was advised it could take a couple of weeks for the Botox to kick in and as the weeks passed with no change, we started to think it wasn’t going to happen. Then out of the blue it did. It felt great, the pain reduced significantly.
This was where the hard and rather confronting work began. While my muscles were in this relaxed state, I started seeing a pelvic physio to undertake a treatment program to work on retraining these muscles. This involved learning to relax every muscle in my body, as well as learning to breathe properly rather than shallowly.
The process involved listening to a relaxation CD including advice on how to breathe and release the muscle tension and once completely relaxed, insert a plastic dilator into the vagina to aid in retraining these muscles.
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The pelvic physio manipulated the muscles and checked progress on a weekly basis. As the weeks passed the dilators became larger and when the largest was able to be inserted without feeling pain, I was able to cease with undertaking this physio treatment. By the time the Botox wore off, my pelvic floor muscles were feeling a whole lot better and I felt more relaxed in general.
Now I could finally have pain free intercourse and we were able to try for the baby we so desperately wanted. I fell pregnant about a year and a half after the first signs of pain signalled problems. Our beautiful daughter chose to arrive on my birthday, making her the best gift I could ever receive.
My pelvic physio recently checked my pelvic floor muscles and said they are doing great, but I still see her to assist in relieving muscle and joint pain around my lower back and hips. I recently had excision surgery which has further improved my pain and quality of life, but my journey with endometriosis and the associated pelvic pain continues as there is no cure. However, I have learnt to trust myself and what my body is telling me.
I have implemented many changes to my lifestyle which reduce the severity of pain flare-ups. This includes putting a priority on getting ample sleep and making significant changes in my diet by increasing whole foods and removing inflammatory foods.
Through the journey of the past few years, I have grown as a person and have learnt many key lessons. I have learnt that I need to be my own best advocate and doing my own thorough research is key. I have learnt to trust my own judgment and know now that you can question doctors and it’s fine to seek a second opinion.
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I have learnt that excision surgery with a gynaecologist that specialises in this area is the best treatment option and I have learnt the importance of including a pelvic physio in your treatment plan. Most importantly, I have learnt that sometimes you have to think outside the box to help reach your goals and becoming a mum — after enduring all the detours along the way — was the most amazing reward.
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