Thursday, March 4, 2010

time to do the kegels

Had to throw in this picture of the moon even though it has nothing to do with this post. It was prettier in person so just imagine this picture ten times better!

I had my 4 week post-operative check up the other day and everything looks good but I am still healing so I still have to take it kind of easy. Initially, I was told that I could return to my normal activities and the only restriction I had was to not insert anything into my vagina. But when I asked if that meant I could start weight lifting again and snowboarding I got a big no. Guess they don't consider those as "normal" activity. I am to go in again in two weeks to see if the stitches have done their job, but even if they have, they say I still have to be careful of getting a hernia. When I return to weightlifting I am supposed to start all over with low weights as if I am a beginner. I guess I have to build up my abdominal muscles again. Even though my abdomen wasn't cut open I have a few spots where the instruments were inserted. I don't know if they went through my muscle and now I have cuts that need to close up. I guess I'll ask them at my next appointment. I don't think my body is really ready for snowboarding anyway. I still haven't reached my pre-surgery speed on the treadmill which is a good sign that my body is still weak. 

I found out that I no longer have my cervix. I had thought that they were just taking out the ovaries, tubes and uterus. I never actually discussed my cervix with my doctor although I had meant too, but forgot. I kind of wanted to keep it because of the rumors floating around that sexual pleasure may be affected adversely. I have heard of many women that take out the uterus but leave the cervix. That involves leaving a little bit of the uterus in there as well so I guess when I told my doc to take out the uterus, she assumed I meant the whole thing and went ahead and took the cervix. So make sure you let your doctor know exactly what you want if you are considering this surgery! In retrospect, I am ok with getting rid of the cervix. I found out that if you do end up getting cervical cancer and you took out your uterus, the cancer is harder to treat because now it can spread right to your abdomen. My pathology came back with atypical cells on the cervix, some endometriosis and a fibroid in the uterus and a little junk on the ovaries but they tell me that none of that was too unusual. And everything was benign and it is all gone now so nothing to worry about.

menopause update: I learned that the flushed face that I've been experiencing is a hot flash. I thought a hot flash would be worse, and I guess it is for some people. I haven't been bothered at night with them, at least I don't think I have. Our apartment stays pretty warm in the winter. We don't even turn the heat on. So I do wake up during the night and have to kick the covers off but I remember doing this last winter too.

My brain has been a little fuzzy since surgery but it seems much clearer now, or so I thought. I woke up this morning and was in the bathroom when I noticed how well I could see without my glasses on. Turns out that I forgot to take my contacts off the night before. I've been wearing contacts for at least 25 years and even when I was falling down drunk in college I still managed to remember to take them off before bed. So I don't know if I'm suffering some brain loss from not having any estrogen. I also saw a friend over the weekend and was going to bring her something on Tuesday when I saw her again but it slipped my mind until today. And for the life of me I can't even remember what it was. That might not be unusual for some people but I have always been super good at remembering stuff like that. If I said I would lend someone a book or dvd, I would remember 99% of the time to bring it to them the next time I saw them. It could be the lack of estrogen or just the lack of stimulation since I sit around most of the day doing nothing. 

The most important thing I have discovered is that I can still function well in the sack:) Although I don't have the all clear to put things in my vagina, I have gotten the ok to have oral sex. My libido is just fine and I have not had any problems with vaginal dryness. As for my missing cervix, I don't think it will be an issue. My aftershocks were not as strong as usual but I was trying to take it easy on my abs and I'm sure I'm a little weak. I still have stitches along the top of my vagina. I am going to start doing kegels anyway just because it's a good idea as we get older. Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can help not only with urinary incontinence, but also with enhancing your orgasms. And something that I just learned today is that men can do kegels and get these same benefits! So here is some info on how to do a kegel that I have copy and pasted from 

By Hannah Rice Myers
eHow Contributing Writer

(1 Ratings)
Kegel exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, the gynecologist who invented them, have long been thought of as exercises for women. However they serve a purpose for men as well. The exercises, when performed correctly and practiced regularly, are an effective method for treating incontinence and improving sex lives.

    How Kegels Work

  1. Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle, also known as the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle. This is the muscle which supports the bladder and anus in both genders, as well as the vagina in women and urethra in men. For both men and women, strengthening this muscle can help treat and prevent urinary incontinence, while improving sexual performance.

    The PC muscle in men not only control the bladder but also the flow of semen. When practicing Kegels regularly, a man may notice an improvement in his ability to control ejaculations and firmer erections.

    Giving birth can cause the PC muscle in women to become weak, resulting in urinary incontinence and reduced sexual gratification. Performing Kegels will not only provide her with increased bladder control, but an increase in pelvic vascularity. This means there are more veins in the pelvic area, resulting in an increased blood flow to the vaginal region. Ultimately this leads to stronger orgasms and greater sexual satisfaction.
  2. Find Your PC Muscles

  3. Wait until you feel the need to urinate and then stop midstream. The muscle responsible for this is your PC muscle. Try doing this more than once to become familiar with its location and the feel of the muscle.

    For men, the next option is to lay on your back and insert your finger into your anus. You then contract your muscle as though you are attempting to prevent yourself from passing gas. The muscle you feel tightening around your finger is your PC muscle. Women can do the same, except you need to insert your finger into your vagina. The muscle you feel tighten is your PC muscle.

    The last option is for women only. Pretend there is a marble beneath you on the floor. Squat down as though you are going to pick it up using your vaginal muscle. The squeeze you feel will be the muscle you need to exercise using the Kegels.
  4. Begin Slowly

  5. Once you have located your PC muscle, begin exercising it slowly. Start by squeezing and holding it for a count of three, then relaxing for a count of three. Do this 10 to 15 times, which equals one set. Add another one or two to your count every other day or as you feel your muscle become stronger. Do this until you are squeezing and holding your muscle for a count of 10.
  6. Practice Regularly

  7. Consistency is the key to success with Kegel exercises. Finding the time to practice them should be a cinch since they can be done anywhere without anyone being the wiser. However, it may be helpful if you set specific times of the day to do them.

    Do three sets a day, in the morning, the afternoon and the evening.
  8. Isolate the Muscles

  9. The purpose of identifying the PC muscle before you begin is to ensure you are exercising only that muscle when performing your Kegels. Be sure your thighs, abdominals and buttocks remain relaxed; if they are tightened during the exercise, it will result in minimal progress being made with the PC muscle. You also want to breathe normally throughout the exercises--muscles need oxygen to become stronger and your PC muscle is no different.
  10. Use Caution

  11. Though you may be excited about the end result, you don't want to overdo it. Remember, this is still a muscle you are working and it's possible to strain or aggravate it if you do too many repetitions or hold each repetition longer than the muscle can handle. You need to build up your PC muscle strength slowly, and if you feel any pain or discomfort, stop and take a few days off.


  1. Holy Sh**T! Details Janine! No vaginal dryness....good for you. So glad to hear that everything was benign. Glad I read this(I had four inscions in my belly) cause i have been bad in picking up Izze from time to time...not for long but pick her up and put her im my lap. Oops! Guess i gotta watch out for the old Hyenna. I was wondering why they said don't pick up anything more than 10 lbs. Oh and read another post that said you gained 8 lbs. Just in one week I gained 5. I said to Lib how is this possible? For the first 3 days after surgery I didn't even eat. WTF! Tell Tj I commented on her guest blog

  2. I lost that 8 lbs plus another couple. It was all gas from the surgery I guess:) Take care of yourself!