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November 2009             -            Checking In             -            HysterSisters.com
In This Issue
Managing Menopause
Feature: Pelvic Floor
Urinary Incontinence
From the Forums
More Good Stuff
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Round Table Discussion Exploring your Options for your Hysterectomy

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Managing Menopause
If you are in menopause (whether from your ovaries being removed or from a natural  slow-down) have you noticed a problem with incontinence or are  you getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom frequently?

Sometimes our bladders need a surgery solution. But it's important to check with your doctor, outlining all your concerns with your bladder including all other menopausal symptoms: night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness.

Sometimes, our concerns with our bladder can be remedied with an adjustment in hormone replacement therapy. (HRT)

Check with your doctor to discuss all of your menopause symptoms!
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Featured: Pelvic Floor & Bladder Issues

I was headed home down the back roads of north Texas with only the headlights lighting my way. As I rounded a slight curve I discovered that only 10 feet ahead of me, with no time to react, a skunk ambled across the road.

I maintained my speed and held onto the wheel tightly. No thump. Yay! I thought I had gotten away without hurting the critter (or me!) until I was about a quarter of a mile away. It was then that I smelled that smell.

I shrugged it off thinking it would dissipate by the time I got home. But pulling into the driveway and exiting the car, I realized that the smell wasn't just inside the car but outside as well. I shrugged again thinking that in the morning, my car would be back to smelling normal.

Not so. The next day, after the car sat with the windows rolled up, the smell was still very, very stinky. I could no longer ignore the problem. I had to take action.

I got into the car, drove to a carwash and told the attendant what I needed. He explained there was no easy solution. He couldn't help much, but could wash the undercarriage a few times, wipe down the interior and within time and a few more washes, the smell should be gone. Or not.

That afternoon, the car was smelling better. Within a week (and one more car wash for the undercarriage) I didn't hop into my car and fall over from the smell. Now, after a bit of time, its much better!

Do you have an issue in your life that doesn't have an easy solution? Like me, you may discover that it doesn't get fixed with a shrug. The skunks in our lives need attention. Take action!
Feature: Pelvic Floor & Bladder Issues
Woman SittingTake action:
Kegel Exercises

Having a hysterectomy can weaken pelvic muscles. There are great benefits in working to strengthen them.

Women with bladder control problems may find reduced leakage with the strengthening of pelvic muscles. HysterSisters also report heightened sexual enjoyment with the toning of these muscles.

Check with your doctor or nurse to teach you the correct technique. You can also check yourself by placing a finger in your vagina and squeezing around it (After your doctor releases you at your surgical post-op appointment. Until then, nothing in the vagina.). When you feel pressure around your finger, you are using the correct muscles.

Try to keep everything relaxed except the muscles right around the vagina. At the same time, do not bear down or squeeze your thigh, back or abdominal muscles. Breathe slowly and deeply. At first you can do the exercises with your knees together (lying or sitting).

We recommend doing the exercises for five minutes twice a day. You should squeeze the muscles for a count of four and relax for a count of four. With practice it will become easier as the muscles get stronger.

The great thing about Kegel exercises is that they are easy to do anywhere. Many women create a routine of doing Kegel exercises for 5 minutes before they get up in the morning and for 5 minutes before going to sleep.

Visit the Pelvic Floor and Bladder Issues Forum
Urinary Incontinence
urinary incontinence If you've ever leaked urine when you laughed or sneezed, you may have chalked it up as a simple accident, but for many women, bladder leaks are a surprisingly common occurrence.

Maybe you find that pressure from coughing, picking up something heavy, or exercising causes recurring urine leaks. Many women cope by wearing sanitary napkins or dark clothing, planning trips around restroom facilities, even sticking closer to home -- anything to shield them from embarrassment.

You may be struggling with symptoms of a common condition called, urinary incontinence but you're not alone. Forty-five percent of US women have some degree of urinary incontinence.

There are treatment options available. You can also assess your symptoms and see what your body may be trying to tell you.

Why keep planning your life around incontinence if you don't have to? Assess your symptoms now!
From the Forums: Pelvic Floor
Prolapse Possible Prolapse?

"So I have been previously posting about my bladder prolapsing into my vagina again and yesterday I saw the urologist who installed the monarch sling with the ob doc who did the TVH.

"She told me that what has happened has been that my vaginal vault is prolapsed and when that happens as the day goes on it pushes my bladder into the space and makes it uncomfortable and difficult to pee etc..

"So now I am being referred to a new surgeon which would be a urogynocologist.

"Has anyone here had vault prolapse surgery?"

...Read more of this discussion

More Good Stuff
More Good Stuff from HysterSisters
The HysterSisters know that some things aren't so easily fixed or navigated. Some things may take persistence and may have no easy solution. But the HysterSisters also know that having other sisters say: "Hey! I need help with that, too!" or "I know how you feel!" is balm to our tired souls.

If you haven't stopped by the HysterSisters forums to check in with your sisters, come on by. The HysterSisters benefit from your visits. You make the difference in others' lives. Thank you for helping to make HysterSisters.com the best website for women's health support needs - woman to woman!

Blessings galore,
Kathy Kelley