It’s one of those subjects that nobody wants to talk about until 1 person does and then everyone scrambles to tell their story; Let’s talk about, wetting yourself……

I got asked to review Votiva; a revolutionary, pain-free treatment for the inside and the outside of the vagina (inside for health, and outside for aesthetics). My first instinct was “ooh interesting, ok!” and then I thought “do I really want to talk about my privates to people?!” Me and my friends are incredibly open and shame free, but this was not a subject that had ever come up before, so I decided they were the best place to start my research.

For me, I had always thought of myself as a bit of an incontinence ticking time-bomb! I didn’t suffer with it at all but with 2 hefty babies and natural labours under my belt (literally) I always thought it would be impossible for me to get away with staying dry forever! I have always been a bit obsessive about Pelvic Floor exercises though (I am doing them right now as I type) but I doubt these will insure me for life, I also think that where we are rarely taught how to do pelvic floor exercises properly, so many of us aren’t doing them to full effect anyway. Petition to add pelvic floor exercises to all pre and post-natal care please!

So, with the heaviest babies of my group, I just presumed that all my friends would be the same as me – healthy but slightly in fear of everything collapsing one day! How wrong I was. And of course, I was wrong – every birth, pregnancy, anatomy and muscle memory differ massively from person to person; big babies don’t mean the end for your vagina, and caesarean births aren’t a bypass to being incontinent free either!

I have a super-fit friend who has been sporty her entire life, she had 2 good births of average sized babies and “can’t do jumping jacks in her gym class without wetting herself”. Another friend had 1 small baby via caesarean and wets herself every time she sneezes. Another, much younger, friend of mine won’t wear trousers on a night out anymore because she “leaks” whenever she drinks alcohol (possibly due to being more relaxed), and another friend has had to wee in the bushes when out jogging since the birth of her second baby. The list goes on and on (definitely not forgetting people who have not had a pregnancy or labour – the general ageing process affects us ALL, yet it seems these women don’t feel they have a voice or standpoint to talk about incontinence at all) this is a huge problem that people are simply putting up with because we accept it as part of life. It’s quite infuriating that we seem programmed to ‘put up’ with conditions that are actually medical concerns which should be treated. We are quite some way off from having treatments like Votiva offered to us via our GPs but talking publicly about the issue seems to be the first logical step in having our voices heard (and realising that we are not alone); so off I went to have my nether regions pampered.

Votiva is a non-invasive (meaning non-surgical, but it does feel slightly invasive due to the nature of the treatment!) uses the best in Radio Frequency Technology to tighten tissue fibres, improve blood flow and boost collagen production (yes you have collagen in there too!) much like the tried, tested and proven Radio Frequency Anti-Ageing Facials. As mentioned, Votiva can be used to treat internally and externally – you can choose one or the other or a combination of both. The internal treatment (FormaV) is used to treat slackening of the vaginal walls, numbness and incontinence (it does not treat the muscles, so it cannot totally fix a prolapse, however, by strengthening the vaginal walls, it can certainly improve the condition of a prolapse) while the external treatment (FractoraV) is more of an aesthetic treatment to tighten the skin and plump up the appearance of the vagina. In the name of research, I chose the combi treatment!

I was greeted by Dr Inga Taganova who gave a thorough consultation, covering everything from the physical to the mental, it was in-depth, but it didn’t feel intrusive at all – speaking to a doctor who takes the health and physical well-being of the vagina so seriously and sympathetically is actually quite therapeutic in itself! A practicing GP and having worked in Gynaecology for years, Dr Inga isn’t there to tell you off for not doing your pelvic floor exercises or judge you in any way, she is simply there to help with the here-and-now.

Your position for the treatment is, unsurprisingly, similar to that of a smear test. Dr Inga then inserts a probe into the vagina, continuously moving around in a sweeping motion; Radio Frequency emits heat – this is what tightens the tissues and stimulates the collagen – so she needs to keep the probe moving to avoid any over-heating of the area!! Despite the slight fear of a hot-spot, I found Votiva to be 100% pain-free – I’d even go so far as to say the warming sensation was almost relaxing! The treatment takes around 30 minutes and you can continue your day as normal after – no downtime or discomfort at all (just maybe avoid sex for a couple of days).

Now the exciting bit; the results! The external treatment is visibly and physically noticeable the very next day after treatment – everything looks and feels plumper and healthier! The benefits of this are not to be trivialised, regardless of the fact that it shouldn’t matter, many women do feel self-conscious about the appearance of their vagina, and this treatment will do wonders for their confidence. As for the internal treatment, as I said before, I hadn’t yet suffered with incontinence but I can absolutely vouch to feeling more ‘lifted’ inside – I hadn’t really noticed until now that I had a constant ‘heavy’ feeling (probably since pregnancy) which has now gone totally!! I also feel more of a tug when removing tampons now (I would apologise here for TMI but after describing this treatment, I think we are past that now!).

For anyone suffering with incontinence, laxity, heaviness or just not feeling quite the same down there, please, please don’t suffer in silence. It’s not a cheap treatment (nor extortionate) but I really do believe it’s money well-spent (and think what you’ll save on Tenor Ladies over the years!!) and trust me when I say, you are most certainly not alone x

Votiva with Dr Inga Taganova at www.theoxfordwellnessdoctor.com is £450 per treatment (course of 3 recommended). Call 07739309380 or book online.

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