Why I Became A MASIC Ambassador

Jo’s Story

21 years ago, I was induced and I experienced a traumatic birth delivering a large baby resulting in 2nd degree perineal and vaginal tears. I was 22 years old and the extent of the damage caused by this birth did not become apparent immediately. I had no idea about the link between incontinence and childbirth and specifically anal incontinence or OASI.

One-year post birth I suffered urinary stress incontinence and after extensive physiotherapy I had a TVT mesh tape inserted. Whilst this remedied the urinary incontinence, I started to experience anal incontinence which proceeded to get worse. Initially, I was given a combination of drugs, mainly laxatives, Imodium and glycerine suppositories to try and manage the symptoms of incomplete emptying which was unsuccessful and further physiotherapy. 

Psychologically, one of the biggest obstacles I faced was getting an admission that the birth was the cause of these symptoms. It was implied that I had IBS or had a virus caused by overseas travel but these tests returned negative. Eventually, as the symptoms worsened I asked for a meeting with the consultant at the hospital where my son was born, to ask why I had these problems. I was met with a very unfortunate response and told my problems were psychological as a result of experiencing a traumatic birth and that they would go away in time.

However, these problems did not go away and are very much a physical issue and so I have undergone years of treatments, physiotherapy and rehabilitation to try to get resolution from debilitating anal incontinence. Along the way I have had multiple surgical procedures to repair the damage caused by the birth. As the years passed and as my situation deteriorated, I have been told multiple times the birth was the cause of my situation and that I should have had a Caesarean section. However, this is not helpful as you cannot change what has happened.

I have tried neurostimulators, a variety of rectal irrigation solutions and as my condition declined, I opted to have a Colostomy in December 2019. 

Deciding to have a colostomy was an extremely considered decision as have all the treatments I have had; any surgery is not a decision to be taken lightly but I felt I had little choice left. My quality of life has significantly improved since having my colostomy and has given me a greater sense of freedom and in my husbands’ words, “I am more like me again.”

Despite these hurdles I have not let my condition define who I am and I have tried to lead as active a life as possible. As a Personal Trainer I have learnt how to adapt my exercise and fitness regime many times over and I use my personal experience of pelvic floor dysfunction and knowledge gained through living with this condition to help women achieve their goals. 

I found MASIC whilst attending the Consent to Birth Meeting in London, in October 2019. I listened to other women bravely telling their stories of what life is like living with anal incontinence and I felt inspired but also frustrated. Despite 21 years passing since my own birth trauma, it became apparent that women are still experiencing difficulties in seeking help. As a result of childbirth injuries relating to anal incontinence and the psychological affect that has, I realised that I could use my own experience to help others through MASIC.

So, this is why I became a MASIC Ambassador. I am extremely passionate that women need to be made aware of the risks of OASI, and to try to prevent other women having to live through what I have endured. Having the opportunity to raise awareness and educate about the consequences of living with anal incontinence, has given me a hope that as MASIC Ambassadors we can raise the profile of this taboo issue, make a difference and improve the quality of lives and support others in our situation.

To support us please visit our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/masic

For more information, support and guidance on birth injuries please visit our website https://masic.org.uk/

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17 thoughts on “Why I Became A MASIC Ambassador”

  1. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail. Linea Bobby Grimbly

  2. We will not have student tours on Wednesday. We do have them on Thursday and Friday. Please call me for more information at 520=560-1119. I have other dates available as well. Janaye Oby Donal

  3. Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  4. Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

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