‘If there’s one thing I could change in my life, it’s my vagina.’Gina Sigobodhla, 45, from Taunton, Somerset
I had my first child through a spontaneous vaginal delivery in 2004. I sustained a third-degree tear and needed stitches, and it was quite a long recovery.
I remember the health visitor giving me a leaflet about doing pelvic floor exercises. However, I didn’t really understand the importance of this and so I’m not sure that I did the exercises properly, or often enough.
Just before my son was one, I found out I was pregnant again, this time with twins. The boys were born by emergency caesarean section at just 27 weeks and afterwards we all remained in hospital for three weeks.
I spent every spare minute visiting the boys in hospital while they were being cared for and my pelvic floor exercises were the last thing on my mind. Tragically, the smallest twin, Ryan, passed away just after coming home at four months old.
Journey to treatment:
I spoke to my GP a few times and was eventually referred to a gynecologist. However, the first thing they did was weigh and measure me and conclude that my BMI was too high, I was obese and that was the main issue.
The actual problem I presented to my doctor with was deflected and my urinary stress and urge incontinence was ignored. I was overweight, but not huge. I know many women suffer with this issue regardless of their BMI, and it saddens me that our problem is belittled when urinary leakage affects our quality of life so much. I left feeling fed up and like there was nowhere else to turn.
Then in 2023 I spoke to Dr Sarah Jenkins of Skin Excellence Clinics.
‘If there is one thing I would change in my life it’s my vagina,’ I admitted. ‘Since having children I’m no longer the same person.’
I explained what a huge impact it was having on my life, how I dreaded going out and not knowing where the nearest toilet would be, that before I went on long journeys in the car I had to check where the services were so that I could stop for a wee, and that even my partner had commented on how often I woke up in the night.
Discovering Empower RF:
Dr Sarah Jenkins of Skin Excellence Clinics was amazing. She listened and took on board the impact it was having on my life. She talked to me about a revolutionary new non-surgical treatment called Empower RF.
I have had a combination of treatments using Empower RF – VTone, Morpheus8v and Aviva Femtite.
VTone is a muscle stimulator for the pelvic floor, Morpheus8V is the same treatment that we see all the celebrities having for their face, and AVIVA is a non-surgical labiaplasty.
I had my first treatment in May this year which involved having the VTone, a small muscle stimulator inserted inside the vagina to address the vaginal wall. It wasn’t painful at all, as the device is about 4 inches long, and took about. 30 mins to contract the pelvic floor muscles to retrain them. I then had the Morpheus8V, which is a radio frequency device combined with microneedling which professes to stimulate collagen and elastin formation and increase the blood supply to the vagina helping to address pelvic floor issues, incontinence, vaginal dryness, atrophy, and laxity. Dr Jenkins tells me it is also great for treating recurrent urine infections and lichen sclerosis.
I was worried about having “needling” to my vagina as I imagined it to be very painful, however numbing cream was used and I didn’t feel any pain at all. Afterwards I felt well enough to drive home again. I wasn’t in any pain, my vagina felt tighter, and I didn’t have the constant urge to pass urine.
About four to five days later I noticed that I hadn’t been waking up as often in the night to go to the toilet and one day I even slept through until 5:30am – something I hadn’t done in years.
I’ve just had my fourth treatment of VTone at Dr Ian Strawford’s Skin Excellence Clinic in Somerset and now I sleep better than I have done in years because I don’t have to get up multiple times during the night to go to the toilet. I’m also more confident going out because I don’t worry about needing a toilet close by and I’m happy driving long distances.
I’ve started to enjoy sex again too as the dryness has improved, and I’m no longer worried about pain or leaks during intercourse. The muscles in my vagina feel tight, and like a new vagina!
My confidence and self-esteem has improved no end. My only regret is not having the treatment sooner – if only someone had told me about it!