Patient Story - A journey of recovery from Chronic Pelvic Pain

This patient wanted to share her journey with other women who are looking for help and for hope. It brought tears to my eyes reading this, these moments are why I am in the profession I’m in. It is the best feeling in the world to think you have helped someone change their life. Her recovery is down to team work. Between me and her and her medical team. She worked so very hard, put her full trust in me and it has truly paid off. Here is her full story -

“ My story starts in 2014, when a few months after a gynaecological procedure I started to have permanent pelvic pain, like period pain, in my lower abdomen, back and thighs. This pain was exacerbated by exercise, a tight waistband, cold weather, a full bladder and having intercourse with my partner. I was only 23 so this was a real shock to suddenly not be able to live life as I had been.

In 2015, after several trips to the GP, I underwent keyhole surgery to investigate my pain, the surgeon found endometriosis and removed it, he assured me that he had got it all. This made sense as I had always had excruciating period pain since I was 14. I thought great, that should fix it! Except it didn’t and a few months later, I returned to the GP with the same symptoms and I was referred back to Gynaecology. The consultant told me that he couldn’t help me and to go back to my GP, maybe investigate IBS?

Whilst waiting for appointments, I did what all medical professionals tell you not to do, I googled. One of the conditions that fitted my symptoms, including some of the more obscure triggers like cold weather and anxiety, was hypertonic pelvic floor syndrome. When I mentioned it to my GP she said she had never heard of it and wanted me to start a food diary to explore IBS as a cause, this didn’t feel right, food had never affected my levels of pain. I felt she had dismissed my concerns of a pelvic floor issue.

It was another year, in 2018, before I went back to the doctors, I was broken. I had just got engaged and couldn’t imagine married life in the state I was in. Sex was off the table and although my fiancé was very understanding and never pressured me, I felt like a failure. I told my doctor that this pain was all in my head, I was living on painkillers to get through the day and codeine to sleep at night. I cried, and said that I thought I needed psychological help, this may seem dramatic but I was at my wits end. Seeing what a state I was in, he listened to my symptoms and referred me to urogynaecology to have a cystoscopy, when I mentioned concerns about a pelvic floor issue he said he had only ever heard of a pelvic floor being under active not overactive and dismissed it.

I was convinced I was right so whilst waiting for my appointment with urogynaecology I decided to look for a private physiotherapist to help me. I found Pelvic Health Wirral on google and plucked up the courage to email Becky Corran with my story and ask if she could help. A couple of weeks later I saw Becky for the first time at her clinic . She was so lovely and put me at ease straight away. Becky asked me to complete a bladder diary and gave me exercises to do. Over the next few appointments she built my confidence to let her examine my pelvic floor and she confirmed that it was overactive. Because of the procedures I had had in the past, I had become very protective of that area of my body and was permanently tending it, Becky worked with me on releasing the tension and relaxing my muscles.

Becky also taught me how pain works within the brain, if I was going to get better I needed t change my way of thinking, I wasn’t injured, my brain was sending pain signals about something that happened a long time ago.

I was diagnosed in May 2018 with Interstitial Cystitis and prescribed regular bladder installations.

Between the physio exercises, the psychological education, the bladder installations and sheer determination I was discharged from physio in November 2018. I still need to keep up with my exercises and remember to release my pelvic floor. I practice mindfulness and re read my notes every so often to keep me on track. Now I feel I can manage my own treatment, because I have a better understanding of it. I got married in February 2019 and I was able to dance the night away, this just wouldn’t have been possible before Becky.

Becky at Pelvic Health Physio absolutely changed my life. She believed me when nobody else did and she was so professional and reassuring through my whole treatment time. Pelvic pain is so misunderstood within society, since my treatment I have spoken to friends and family about my condition and found a member of my family had been suffering in silence with similar symptoms. She had no idea pelvic floor physio was a thing! Safe to say she does now and is getting the treatment she deserves too.

I cant thank Becky enough for giving me my life back”

Becky Corran