As a medical professional, I, like most others like me, tend to ignore symptoms I know are going to require treatment. But at 38 years old and never having had children, dealing with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), was becoming an increasingly bigger problem. It really didn’t seem fair that I was having the frustrations of dealing with this problem when there really was no reason for it! I had discussed it with my gynecologist about 3 years earlier and he had instructed me to do kegels on a schedule and to use a pessary during times of exercise, which was when it seemed its worst. Are you kidding me?? A pessary?? I am not 80! That is how I felt anyway. But, it was affecting my everyday life in that I couldn’t sneeze, cough, run, or heavy lift without some moderate amount of leakage. So I used the pessary and it seemed to help a little, for a little while. It was a nuisance, not to mention that it was incredibly embarrassing.
The breaking point for me came last summer when I was playing kickball with some friends and jumped up to catch the ball and leaked a large amount when I came down even with the pessary in place. After the game, I sat down and started getting emotional from the frustrations of dealing with this problem long term. So, I finally made the appointment at the urogynecologist. I went to the appointment, discussed my symptoms, and went through the initial testing. The diagnosis was as I suspected – SUI requiring surgical intervention. Now, I didn’t exactly “bond” with my surgeon, but I also know that you don’t have to be an incredibly personable human to be a good surgeon. Nonetheless, I wanted to wait until after the first of the year due to some health insurance issues.
As the end of the year rolled by, I thought I might get a second opinion. This is when I found Dr. Aguirre. I made an appointment and when I met him, I knew instantly that I had made a good decision in choosing to see him. Not only was he incredibly professional and understanding surrounding such an intimate problem, but I could tell that he genuinely cared about my quality of life and helping me find a solution.
Dr. Aguirre did his own set of testing and came to the same conclusion the other physician had – that I needed some sort of intervention. However, this time it was different. Dr. Aguirre offered me another option I didn’t know existed. The Alma FemiLift laser is brand new in the US and not very many physicians are even aware of it, let alone have access to it. Dr. Aguirre thought that it may be worth a try since my case was relatively minor (I suppose according to testing, although it seemed monumental to me!).
Since my preferred method of exercise includes crossfit with heavy lifting involved and a fair amount of running, the surgery was going to severely limit my ability to work out in that manner going forward. He explained that there is no pain or recovery time after treatments. It seemed like a “no brainer” to me. I had to try everything before going to a surgical intervention. So, we scheduled the first treatment.
After that first treatment, I thought I felt a difference, but also thought maybe it was in my head. The treatments were totally painless, took about 15 mins, and I was able to continue my day as if nothing had happened. I would even go to crossfit after with no problems.
Now, after three treatments, there is most definitely an obvious difference! I now do not leak when I sneeze, cough, run, or lift moderate to heavy. The first time I ran a mile without any leakage I was ecstatic and called the office to let them know my successes. They all cheered along with me! Although, I still have a very very slight amount of leakage when I lift extremely heavy for multiple repetitions, I would say that the treatments were an incredible success with about 90-95% improvement in my symptoms.
I am so grateful that Dr. Aguirre was able to save me from the need for a surgical intervention and would highly recommend anyone that has SUI seek him out to see if you are a candidate for the FemiLift laser treatment before jumping to a surgical intervention.