Education Post Natal Pregnancy

Self Care for Your Pelvic Floor

Self care is a hot topic right now but have you thought about how to self care for your pelvic floor muscles and pelvic area? 

So here they are: My hot tips to keep your pelvic floor and lady bits working well and feeling amazing!

In General:

  • No soaps/moisturisers with chemicals – can irritate and cause infections.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises regularly – start with one of our pelvic floor and core programs see results within 2 weeks. See Programs 
  • No straining to urinate or do number 2’s – This puts extra pressure on your pelvic floor muscles with and increase in your intra-abdominal pressure downwards. This can lead to a pelvic floor dysfunction or to a risk of prolapse. Instead lean forwards, lift up your heel so you’re on your toes and relax your muscles. 
  • Pelvic floor muscles activated and on when doing other weights or lifting anything including your baby. This is where you reach a functional level of pelvic floor control. It will make you feel stronger and also protect you from a possible pelvic floor dysfunction or risk of prolapse. 
  • Good quality collagen for type 1 and II fibres to help improve the quality of your muscles and ligaments surrounding your pelvic floor. Like my favourite here

Pregnancy & Birth

  • Ice Pads after birth or Padsicles – to help with the healing process and reduce any swelling. Spray your pad with water and witch hazel (distilled – avoid any that have alcohol in them) if you like, fold the pad back up and freeze in a freezer bag. Let them thaw for a few minutes prior to use, then use up to 10 minutes every hour as needed in the first 24-36 hours after birth. 
  • Warm compress during pregnancy – helps your tissue relax prior to labour. 
  • Perineum massage during late stage of pregnancy (after 35 weeks) to reduce your risk and severity of tearing during labour. Gently and with clean hands and natural based lubricant. Check with your health professional if this is applicable to you first. Tiny Hearts Education have a great run down on how to here 


  • Well lubricated before sex – we know that the pelvic floor muscles help with stimulation to the clitoris and can increase arousal. So try doing some pelvic floor exercises before having sex. Other options include using a natural based lubricant. Eg Olive & Bee Intimate Cream
  • Urinate after sex – can help reduce the risk of urinary tract infections which due to the increase in frequency of urination and the acidity can affect your pelvic floor muscle function. 
Education Labour Pregnancy

Expert Midwife Tips to Prepare for Labour

Have you ever wondered how a midwife prepares herself for labour? Read on as I chat to Jedda Maggs who has been a midwife for 12 years and is a mum of 3 boys. You need to  hear her answer to help you have a smooth and calm labour experience.Mel: What do you think is the hardest thing for mum’s when having a baby?

Jedda: One thing mum’s really struggle with, probably the most is even in hospital is they get 3 different pieces of advice from 3 different midwives. It can be really frustrating for mum’s to know what to do. In general I say take everyone’s piece of advice and put it in your kitty bag, don’t throw any of them out but if you find one that works for your baby great. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean it’s not right, its just not right for your baby.
M: What are your thoughts on birth plans?

J: It’s a great idea to know what you would like to happen – but really importantly it needs to be flexible. You shouldn’t wrap up your success in your ability to meet your birth plan. Things can still happen that are outside of your control. Nothing works out perfectly.

M: Did you have a birth plan?
J: Nothing written down as such, I had in the back of my head that I was married to a giant who was a 9 pound baby. I thought I would end up with a caesarean but that didn’t happen and I was really proud of how things went. 
M: What are your 3 biggest tips to get through labour?

  1. Best tip is something I learnt from doing calm birth. There is a definite link with a firm tight jaw  and a firm tight cervix that doesn’t want to open. If you keep your jaw really open and relaxed despite the pain you are more likely to allow your cervix to open during labour. In essence don’t tense up your face muscles to deal with the pain. The best thing to do is relax the face muscles as much as you can. You can even try a guttural type sound on your exhale to keep your jaw relaxed. 
  2. Secondly Smile. Yes when you smile you release positive endorphins. It helps us think we can deal with the pain rather than the pain managing us. Which means you’re more likely to have a better experience with pain and therefore better able to approach labour with a move philosophy. The more active during labour you are the more likely you are to avoid the cascade of intervention. Still, at times an epidural or other interventions etc are necessary. Your body may be working against you in that time which is out of your control. Again this is where your birth plan needs to be flexible. 
  3. One breath at a time. A lot of women are just focussing on or thinking about the end or the next contraction, instead just be in the moment and breathe. One breath/contraction is what calm birth aims for, slowing your breath down during your inhale and your exhale. You don’t need to worry about the next contraction until it comes, staying in the moment rather than losing the control. Stay in the here and now and everything else takes care of itself. 

M: Any last words of advice?
J: Do what your body is designed to do, get up off the bed and  move around. Just because there is a bed in the room doesn’t mean you have to lie on it.
Things don’t always go to plan during labour, just being ok with whatever happens and trust that this is what needed to happed for the safety of me and my baby. Doesn’t mean failure of any sort if you have intervention. Trusting medical opinion whether that be midwives, doctors etc.


The Pain & Confusion of Endometriosis

March is National Endometriosis Awareness month and after personally experiencing this condition I can tell you the pain and confusion with endometriosis is like no other. Pain and swelling gripping your pelvic region and the confusion of having no idea how to help yourself. It really leaves you wondering is it ever going to get better? and the worst part is wondering if this is going to affect my chances of having a baby…

Endometriosis affects over 700,000 women, roughly 1 in 10 women in Australia. Such a huge number yet still the treatment options just don’t seem to be hitting the mark. It’s a condition where the tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. So essentially during a period when that lining is shed this outside tissue also bleeds causing pain, swelling, scars and cysts etc.  It can cause the organs to fuse together and become stuck and the most worrying is the potential damage to the Fallopian tubes and the difficulties falling pregnant that some women can encounter. 

From my personal journey the pain at random times of the month leaving you feeling like there is a sharp knife digging into your insides where you are just desperate for someone to help you. The swelling that leave’s me feeling bloated, like I can’t exercise because my stomach is so swollen my core is inhibited and the pressure on my bladder (that’s where my endometriosis was) is intense. Then there is the confusion of knowing that although you tried surgery, no caffeine, reducing your sugar, exercising, herbs, acupuncture and general medications nothing seems to be helping. Worst of all no one seems to know how to help. It’s kinda like a rollercoaster ride you know you’ll be on for quite a number of years. When I was diagnosed I had a moderate level of endometriosis, I often think “I wonder what it would be like now if it hadn’t been picked up when it was”. I’m so grateful I found out when I did.

This March I wanted to bring to light this topic so others can have the necessary conversations with their doctors to find some answers. ​Unfortunately the diagnosis is through a laparoscopy which is invasive and the recovery is tough but definitely worth it. Knowledge is always power. It allows the conversations to continue to find treatment options for you.

I also came across this amazing article outlining some myths around endometriosis from Grace Private, it’s well worth the read: 7 endometriosis myths exposed. 

Education Exercise Post Natal

Core Exercises to Reduce Your Abdominal Separation

Wow what happened to my stomach? It looks like it’s split in half and not working. I feel bulging coming out when I stand up, it’s flabby and it feels so weak! I feel horrible.
Does this sound like you?
It’s very common after pregnancy, It’s called Diastasis Rectus Abdominis (DRA) or abdominal separation.  Where the tummy muscles have stretched and the fascia has separated leaving you feeling weak and flabby.
​Here’s what you can you do about it!Abdominal Separation

DRA: This is where the fascia (I like to think of it as a piece of glad wrap over the top and in between your muscles holding them all together) and connective tissue between your Rectus Abdominis (6 pack muscles) has stretched and weakened leaving a gap between your muscles. 
​Add in the skin over the top stretching and it looks and feels like a mess. Don’t worry! It doesn’t have to be this way. 

So why is this a problem?

  • It can lead to weakness in the stomach muscles leaving you at risk of back pain and postural related pain.
  • It disrupts the lumbo-sacral support and muscle system. (lower back and pelvis area)
  • DRA and Pelvic Floor dysfunction often go together (See our FAQ’s for PF dysfunction)
  • A thinner lining of the abdominal wall creates less support for your inner organs and can leave you at risk of a hernia of your bowels.

Alarming Facts:

  • 100% of women have some level of separation of the abdominal muscles in the third trimester. (Hilliard and Brown 1996, Diane Lee 2013)
  • For a lot of women with DRA their gap closes significantly between day 1 and 8 weeks post baby. However if their gap remains widened at 8 weeks and if left untreated the gap at 8 weeks remains the same at 1 year post baby. (Cauldron et al 2008, Liaw et al 2011)
  • 66% of women with DRA were also found to have a pelvic floor dysfucntion Eg Incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse. (Spitznagle et al 2007)

What NOT to do!

  • Crunches! This is a no no as it increases your intra-abdominal pressure and your stomach muscles and pelvic floor aren’t ready to cope with that. It can make your bulging worse and harder to recover from.
  • Planks without sufficient Pelvic Floor and TA strengthening first.
  • Bracing your stomach muscles – this can increase the bulge from within.
  • High impact sport without inner core and pelvic floor strengthening first.

So what can you do about it?

  • ​Core exercises to reduce your abdominal separation, especially an exercise called a head lift which aims to ensure your pelvic floor muscles are switched on, your TA (deeper core muscle) is working and a slight head tilt to allow the outer abdominals to contract. Adding extra hand pressure to your muscles to push them closer together and down towards your spine. There is no bulging or doming from the tummy outwards! This is a key exercise of our New Mum Recovery Program which is so important given your best chance of recovering these muscles is within the first 8 weeks after birth.
  • ​Be careful with getting up from the chair or bed, use compression with a towel or your hands around your tummy for the first few weeks.
  • Be careful lifting your baby – try to use your pelvic floor muscles and TA as best you can.
  • Wear recovery support shorts – we love the SRC recovery shorts to give you that extra compression and support in your early phase. 
  • Ease back into exercise with gentle walking and a pelvic floor strength and recovery program first.

So even though you might feel like there is nothing you can do, there certainly is. Start with pelvic floor exercises to reduce your abdominal separation, then build up your core muscles through our New Mum Recovery Program. Remember the best chance at closing your abdominal separation is within the 1st 8 weeks of having your baby using core exercises. 

​Want to find out how strong your pelvic floor is?
​Take our quiz.

Education Post Natal Pregnancy

Avoid These Common Pelvic Floor Mistakes

I’m sure we’ve all done them at some point to try and get these elusive pelvic floor muscles working but stop right now! These mistakes are preventing you from feeling strong and getting back to the exercise you want to. They are preventing you from stopping your leakage and they are preventing you from having amazing sexual pleasure. Read on to see what you can do instead. 

When you are doing your pelvic floor exercises try to avoid theses common mistakes below.

3 most common mistakes:

  1. Tilting your pelvis – now we know this can be great for pelvis mobility and good for sexual pleasure but it does not help with your pelvic floor muscle activation while exercising! You want to find a neutral position with your spine and pelvis. So when you’re lying on your back, make sure your tailbone firmly rests on the ground without moving while you do your exercises. 
  2. Squeezing your butt cheeks together like there is a $100 note you don’t want to let go of – This is working your outside buttock muscle (your gluteus maximus) not your pelvic floor muscles. Yes your pelvic floor muscles go from your pubic bone at the front all the way to your tailbone at the back including around your anus but squeezing your butt cheeks is not going to get them working. Instead relax your buttock and focus around your vaginal area to connect with your pelvic floor when exercising. 
  3. Clenching your outer abdominals – this is probably the most common mistake I see in the clinic.  We’re so used to our rectus abdominis (6 pack abs) working that we forget there are deeper layers of muscles underneath. It’s also very hard to take a deep relaxed breath with these muscles working (hint hint – if you’re struggling to breathe at the same time as pelvic floor exercises this is probably why) Put one hand under your rib cage and the other deep down towards your pubic bone. The hand under your rib cage shouldn’t feel anything working underneath just relaxed and resting while you’re exercising. You can also think about your body being in half – the top is breathing and the bottom is gently lifting and squeezing through your pelvic floor muscles. Remember the feeling is all internal.

Hot Tip: your pelvic floor muscle contraction won’t feel like a big bicep contraction, they are small muscles and they are internal. I think one mistake people make is expecting if to feel like this huge contraction. It won’t, it will be subtle. 

Long term we do want our pelvic floor muscles to work with our deeper abdominal muscles with more functional exercises but that is down the track once you have mastered the pelvic floor muscles alone. Our Pelvic Floor strength systems for pregnancy and our new mum recovery program work with you every step of the way. Starting at the basics with video instruction and through to more functional exercises including your deep core and pelvis stability. 

​Unsure how strong you are?
Or if you can activate your muscles?

Take our Pelvic Floor Quiz for pregnancy or new mum’s to find out how strong you are!

Education Exercise

Pelvic Floor Muscles – All You Need to Know

Do you think your pelvic floor muscles are as important as everyone says they are?
Really think about that! Do you even know what they do?

These muscles have so many roles and really important ones too: 

  • Help keep your organs inside and lifted 
  • Supporting you during your pregnancy 
  • They help guide your baby into your birth canal 
  • Holding wee and poo in continuously without you even thinking about it
  • Helping you feel pleasure by arousing your clitoris and increasing the sensation of your orgasms 

I’d say they are pretty important muscles! And ones I would want to know about! Would you agree?

Especially considering most of these are done without you thinking of them.
​Pretty intuitive body we have isn’t it?

So where do things go wrong?
Pregnancy – just the physical load on your body and the anatomy of your pelvic floor is enough to cause issues. Worse if you’re not strong to start with.  
Labour – 4 times more likely to have pelvic floor dysfunction if you have forceps or vacuum used during labour. Also add in just the generic trauma associated with labour to this area and the muscles take time to recover and get started again.
Genetically – your pelvic floor consists of muscles and connective tissue based on type I & III collagen fibres which also has a genetical link so some people are more prone to weakness in their pelvic floor without any other contributing factor. (Hence why I love collagen support – read more on collagen )
Weight training – heavy prolonged weight training without the appropriate engaging of your pelvic floor or correct technique for your pelvis puts you at a higher risk of having pelvic floor dysfunction.
Coughing – prolonged coughing can increase the pressure load acting downwards on the pelvic floor muscles, if the muscles can’t sustain it with strength or active engagement when coughing issues can occur. 
Bowel Straining – As above with the pressure pushing down on the muscles, they sometimes don’t cope. Especially if this has been chronic constipation or straining.
Alcohol, caffeine & dehydration – they can make your urine more acidic which can make you need to urinate more frequently which can change the way the bladder works and how it interacts with the pelvic floor. (read more on bladder)
Pain – pelvic pain, back pain, endometriosis etc can make these muscles switch off or slow down like they aren’t quite getting the message from the brain. Not to mention to trauma of birth within the pelvis. 

How does it feel when your pelvic floor muscles aren’t working properly?

  • Leakage
  • More frequent urination
  • Urinating through the night
  • Feeling of not being able to hold on to your urine (don’t want to jump or run)
  • Back pain
  • Lack of sensation during sex
  • Pain with sex
  • Constipation
  • Feeling like everything is falling out down below (heavy feeling)
  • Feeling your stomach bulging out when you get up of the chair
  • Lack of pelvis stability (wobbly or not quite working right when you exercise)

How do you fix a pelvic floor problem?
First of all, you need to know where your pelvic floor is… 

Then get started! No matter where you are on your journey we have a program for you – see the button below for more info.

It’s shaped like a hammock or a half moon running between your pubic bone at the front and your tailbone at the back around in a loop so when the muscles contract they shorten and close off the area.Obviously there is a lot of structures here from ligaments, bones, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue but the muscles of the deep pelvic floor are: 

  1. Pubococcygeus (PC muscle)
  2. Iliococcygeus
  3. Coccygeus
  4. Puborectalis – the muscles runs between the outer layer and the deep layer so it’s more like a middle layer but acts like a constrictor as an outer muscle does. 

These make up your Pelvic Floor Muscles (Levator Ani)

Do we always need to do pelvic floor exercises?
Simple answer is yes. But think of it like this, do you always need to eat well to feel good? Or put petrol in your car for it to work? Do you want your muscles to be functioning well when you’re into your 80’s and live a great life to exercise and move about like you want to?
​It’s also best to have a pelvic floor exercise program that targets your muscles specifically so you can feel what it feels like to you when your pelvic floor muscles are working well. Everyone is different and everyone will feel it differently. Then you can add more functional movements so your body learns to use these muscles again without you thinking about it. Like our programs at PPF!
So what can you do?
Well for starters take this pelvic floor quiz so you have an idea of how strong you are! Click on the button below!
Then get started! No matter where you are on your

Education Products

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction – Can Collagen Help?

Did you know that Collagen is kind of like the glue that holds the cells in the body together? 
​Super important for helping the connective tissue within your pelvic floor anatomy be healthy and working well to treat and prevent pelvic floor dysfunction.
So what is Collagen? 

Collagen is one of the most important components of how the connective tissue are linked together to maintain the support and function of the pelvic floor. It is the predominant, load-bearing protein of the pelvic floor connective tissues. Very important for keeping your pelvic floor anatomy healthy and working well.. Which we’d all love!

Now collagen is not new it’s just that some companies have started to produce collagen in an environmentally sustainable and effective way. We naturally produce collagen within our body daily but as we age it declines. You might be shocked to know this level declines after 25 years of age. 

Best Types of Collagen to help with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: 
Collagen changes, including the structure of the collagen, the biomechanical changes and abnormalities of collagen breakdown, can destroy the supportive function of the pelvic floor and are closely related to the development of pelvic organ prolapse and dysfunction. Research on how these changes occur in the collagen is very limited, and so much more research is needed. 

However, we do know that taking a high quality and effective collagen supplement can help your tissue be healthier and function better including your muscles and connective tissue Eg your Pelvic Floor.

Collagen I and III are 2 of the major subtypes of the pelvic tissue.

 Now this is very important to know as different collagen types from powders to liquid contain different collagen types. Know your collagen first before you buy so you don’t waste your time and money.

What you need to know about collagen: 

  • Type of collagenPersonally I’ve been taking an amazing liquid marine collagen from Isagenix which has just been listed in the top 6 inner beauty products with Marie Claire – it is predominantly type I collagen. Externally you will see the results with your skin however as you know Type I is one of the predominant types of collagen in pelvic tissue. 

Type I – Skin, bone, tendon, connective tissue, hair, nails. 
Type II – Cartilage – cushioning for joints.
Type III – especially important in providing elasticity, deeper layer of skin, blood vessels and deeper structures.

  • The correct dose Studies show the amount to take to be effective in your body is 5g/day, there is no point in taking one that doesn’t have this amount as it won’t be as effective!
  • Where is it sourced – Know where the collagen comes from – Is it bovine (beef) porcine (Pork), chicken or marine?

 Predominantly bovine and porcine collagens are type III with some of the type I and II which is more beneficial for joints and cartilage and you will probably find these as powder and bone broths. 

Chicken collagen is predominantly type II beneficial for joints and cartilage.Liquid marine which is the superior form of collagen is rich source of Type I. 

Superior because it provides the same type of collagen peptides that our bodies are, making it easier to be utilised and absorbed by the body. Absorbed 1.5 times more effectively than other sources.

Remember collagen is just one part of the health puzzle, appropriate pelvic floor exercises and protein in general are also needed to feel amazing results!

Want to start noticing the benefits of Collagen? – Buy Now 

If you’re in Australia, New Zealand or the USA and love the idea of trialling the Liquid marine collagen like me with a 30 day money back guarantee and delivered to your door? 

Beauty Booster Bundle – 4 X 10 pack of the Collagen Elixir (Type I). Fast start 2/day for the first 10 days then 1/day.  

Beauty Bundle – 3 X 10 packs of the Collagen Elixir (Type I) and 1 pack of the Bone Broth (bovine – Type III)

Oh and it’s safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding and best consumed fasted in the morning.
* Added bonus – You might also notice a few of the lines around your eyes fading too..

Not quite ready to buy? Want to know more about the Isagenix Liquid marine Collagen that Mel uses?

Want to know more on collagen?

Runqi Gong, Zhijun Xia, (2019) Collagen changes in pelvic support tissues in women with pelvic organ prolapse. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology. Mar;234:185-189
Dani Catania – Dietician (B Nutr DietFeatured In

Education Pregnancy

To Freeze or Not to Freeze – Part 3

Collection Day!

“You want me to do what to myself??” was the thought running through my head…..

Inject 3 needles a day into my stomach that’s still sore and swollen from my laparoscopic surgery. Oh WOW! Once I calmed down from the initial shock, I found it really hard to make a choice to physically do that to myself without knowing how it might affect my mind and body. Would I feel out of control, emotional? Would I be able to hold it together enough to work? How would my body react? I had to really take a few days to sit in the uncertainty to be ok with my choice, knowing the end result would be worth it. Having the initial conversation with the nurse at the fertility centre really helped with this decision. Lots of information but they answered all of my questions and there was no pressure to make a quick decision. I started warning everyone at work joking that I would put a sign up on my door saying “Enter at your own risk” I didn’t think that would be a great advertisement for my physio clients. I had to take quite a few breaths before inserting the needle the first time just to psych myself up enough to stab my stomach

. I kept telling myself “ I can do this, I can do this” Flinching at the initial pain as the hormone went into my body, followed by an after pain lasting a few minutes. As the injections need to be done at the same time every day I made the decision to do it early and allow myself to be slow and take my time with my morning routine rather than rushing around like my usual self. 

Rewind to the day before and I had my initial ultra sound and blood tests to determine day one of my cycle which allowed the timing for the rest of the cycle to be planned. The first 2 injections are to stimulate the follicles and the eggs for the 14 day cycle starting on day three of my cycle. Apart from some extra bruises adding to the war wounds on my stomach I felt great for the first few days. I actually felt clarity and focus which I wasn’t expecting. Then day 7 hit with a bang!

 A new hormone introduced as the antagonist (which in itself just sounds dooming) to stop me from prematurely ovulating (to stop the egg from being released before the collection date). A red rash around the injection site, pain, dizziness and fatigue like I have never felt before. Thankfully those symptoms settled within an hour however the tears followed. It’s the weirdest feeling, crying for no reason and not being able to stop it, I was sitting at my computer checking in with myself “I’m not sad, I’m not angry but there are tears just flowing down my face”. This is when I had a few SOS calls to some friends to reassure me I was going to be ok. Feeling hot, clammy, a little dizzy and very nauseous while trying to get ready for work was a bit of a nightmare. Have you ever tried putting on makeup while you’re crying? It doesn’t really work. I gave up to avoid having racoon eyes that day. Just reminding myself it’s short term. 

Also I wouldn’t recommend going on a first date the day you have to start hormone injections, feel bloated, swollen and trying not to be hormonal and blubber in front of the unsuspecting guy who has no idea what’s going on. Wasn’t a great look! Thankfully he was understanding and very sweet. 

What followed was blood tests and ultrasounds to count the number of follicles which allowed the egg collection date to be determined and to make sure everything is on track. I had 14 follicles on the last ultrasound which I was very happy with. The IVF clinic were great, my nurse was available to chat whenever I needed it and I knew what I had to do at each step so it wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it was going to be.

As the days went by I progressively got more and more swollen, bloated and nauseas. My brain felt like mush the whole time! I have never been so happy to inject the last hormone which was number 5 of that day

; the trigger injection which is to help release the egg from the wall of the follicle so they can be retracted but not before the eggs are released out of the ovary. This is very precise and 36 hours before egg collection. The following morning I had to do an ovulation test which just happened to find me at a doctors appointment at the time I was supposed to take it so chilling out in the public bathroom while I waited for the result felt absolutely ridiculous. 

The morning of the egg collection was by far the worst. I felt like my insides were going to burst. Literally! Which happened to fall on day 14 of my cycle and 2 weeks before my 38th birthday! The Irony. There was a few moments just before I went in that I wondered to myself “What if there aren’t any eggs? what if this has all been for nothing”.  Because at the end of the day it’s up to your body and how it responds to determine the result. I took a big breath and knew that I had done everything they asked of me and the rest was out of my control. 

I woke up from surgery with everything attached to me to monitor my body (again i’m not great with anaesthetic, I tend to take my time to wake up, this was also my 3rd anaesthetic in 3 months) I wondered how many eggs they had taken. It was my first thought. Did it work? Then I heard the nurse telling the woman across from me that she had a number on her hand to tell her how many eggs they had collected. 

​Immediately I was excited and wondered if I had the same. I looked at my hand and there it was, the number 13 written in black marker on my palm. I actually cried happy tears. I was beyond relived that it worked, that I woke up and it was over. 

That afternoon I received a call from the IVF scientist telling me that 12 of my eggs were mature enough to freeze and were stored in liquid nitrogen. Again I felt relief and so much gratitude to my body for what it had gone through. I was finished and could start the recovery process.

Which in itself is a different story. Everyone recovers differently. It took longer than I expected, the first 3 days are the worst nausea was my biggest problem followed by swelling and difficulty getting my bladder and bowel to work properly again. The follicles need to refill after the egg collection and this process can go up and down as I discovered on a midnight trip to the emergency department with unbearable pain that medication was not changing. However it does settle and normal life does resume. What I asked of my body was huge!! All I could give to it was kindness and rest when it needed it.

There are risks, there is pain, there is character growth when you inflict pain on yourself but overall there is a much bigger picture that is worth going through all of that for. 
Time and the chance to be a mum one day.

​Mel xx


To Freeze or Not to Freeze – Part 2

How many holes? 
​Waking up drowsy, feeling the blood pressure cuff on my arm, oxygen mask on my face, oxygen saturation recorder on my index finger, hearing the alarm for my heart rate going off beside me, the only question I had on my mind was “How many holes do I have in my stomach?”.

When I finally got to ask my caring wonderful nurse she replied “4 my love, you have endometriosis” My heart sank, I tried so hard not to cry. 

Just hours earlier my fertility specialist had said to me “if you wake up with 2 holes in your abdomen you’re good, 3 or 4 holes and you have endometriosis”. I immediately wondered where the endometriosis was, how extensive and what this meant for my egg freezing process. Knowing my recovery was going to be slower and longer with more time off time than initially expected. 

Laparoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing and removing endometriosis. At this moment I was glad I opted to have the surgery and find out. Knowledge is power and I’m glad it was removed before it could get any worse and potentially affect my fertility. 

During my recovery I had lots of time to research endometriosis and there really isn’t much information about who is at risk, how it occurs, how to prevent it or even how to treat it. 
Studies suggest 1 in 10 women of reproductive age are affected with endometriosis. Women also present very differently with it, some don’t even know they have it. Some of the possible causes I found were long heavy periods, family history or low body weight.  Some of the symptoms can be pain with menstruation, spotting prior to your menstruation, or bladder and bowel problems. There is no real proven link of lifestyle factors causing endometriosis. It was all so confusing with no real answers except for try and be as healthy as possible.

At my post-op appointment my fertility specialist looked me in the eye and said “did you have pain?” well I did, but I wouldn’t have said it was a huge amount of pain, it definitely had gotten worse over the past 15 months and I’d had irregular bleeding all of which prompted me to seek help in the first place. He let out a big sigh and said  “women just accept pain when they shouldn’t and most of the doctors who told them to over the years were men who don’t have it, it’s not physiologically advantageous for a woman to be in pain every month”. Huh, so all these years doctors having been telling us it’s normal to have pain when really, biologically, it’s not. Interesting.

I held my breath while he told me where my endometriosis was, it was on my bladder, the ligament holding my uterus and a little on my uterus. I let out a big sigh thankful my fallopian tubes and ovaries were ok. That was my biggest concern! 

One of the conversations I had with the fertility specialist previously was about women with endometriosis often having to freeze embryo’s rather than eggs if their ovaries had been affected. I had been having conversations around the complications of freezing embryos with many many questions arising.  How to select the sperm while i’m single, how to ask someone and who? How to even come to a conclusion about who? How to select an anonymous donor? During covid where I might be restricted to QLD only? Can I even ask someone I know rather than a stranger? Will I know their medical history? Or just physical appearance? What sort of contract would need to be discussed, what sort of role would I want them to play in any future child’s life? How would my future partner feel if he had to use someone’s else’s sperm if we couldn’t conceiving naturally? Who would be ok with that? As you could imagine my head had been spinning with these questions.

Thankfully my AMH levels were 10.7 – slightly lower than he likes to do an egg freeze cycle (11-30) however, he thinks I can still try to freeze egg’s rather than embryo’s. To which I let out another big breath.

The information that followed from the IVF clinic for my fertility preservation journey was overwhelming. The hormones, the appointments, the schedule, the blood test, ultrasounds OMG! Have I done the right thing?


To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

Conversations of a single woman in her 30’s….

When asked by my gynaecologist “Do you want to have children”, my response was simple;
“Yes, at some point in the future.”

​She turned her chair towards me and gave me the look, the motherly empathy with a hint of authority and some stern advice.
“See the fertility specialist about egg freezing NOW. A 37 year old egg is better than a 40 year old egg.”

She went on to describe her situation where she was rushing to have her eggs frozen 2 weeks before her 40th birthday so she could snag her last 39 year old eggs. 

I was laughing because I could so see myself doing this. But then I had time to process and think it all through. And boy did the questions and frustrations come out. How does that even work? How much will it cost? Do I need time off work? Am I going to be crazy if I’m on hormones? Why is this even happening to me?
Why can’t I have just met someone when I was 25 and be married with kids by 30 like my perfect plan?

These are the questions or debates for women over 35 who are aware of what’s going on. For the ones who aren’t aware of their female anatomy and egg quality it might be too late. 

Stage 1 – Anger
I went through stages – firstly there was anger. Anger that I had to even think about this as an option. Questioning why it just seems to work for some people and not for others. 
Knowing that despite having lived my amazing life, the circumstances now meant I was 37 single and childless. I called a friend and was so mad and upset asking her why I couldn’t just have a penis and do whatever I wanted. To not have to think about it. What followed was many conversations with friends and a lot of research. 

Stage 2 – Girl Power
After I calmed down a little, I remembered being a woman is fabulous! Yes we go through a lot in our lifetime but what our bodies are capable of is just so awe inspiring and miraculous. I should never speak badly of my body as it works tirelessly for me every day. The miracle of being able to have a healthy baby is in itself a wonder. 

When you are born you have approx. 1-2 million eggs, by the time you are at puberty you have 400,000 remaining. Over the span of your reproductive years only 300-400 will be ovulated. Of which one egg will be developed and released from your ovaries during your menstrual cycle. ONE! Mind blowing.

Stage 3 – Getting informed
I went to see the fertility specialist about egg freezing, he calls fertility preservation. 
Which I kinda like the sound of better. He gave me all the options, 
1. Do nothing (could have very easily stopped here)
2. Test my AMH levels and decide if I go further
3. Check for endometriosis through a laparoscopy and/or go ahead with fertility preservation. 

The egg time test ie a blood test of your AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) levels which is an indicator of your ovarian reserve level AKA how many egg’s you have left.  If the levels are ok from a quantity point of view, the fertility specialist likes to do a laparoscopy surgery to check for endometriosis (it can potentially reduce the quality of the eggs) and remove if needed. Following this the fertility specialist can see where your endometriosis is and if it has potentially affected the quality of your eggs and therefore your ability to freeze eggs. If it has then you have the option of freezing embryo’s. This is where you have the sperm and egg combined prior to freezing. 

At this point I was just getting all the information. And WOW was this a lot of info. I had many questions, especially this one:

“Would I be ok if I didn’t have children at some point in my life.” 

I asked a few women in my life who haven’t had children to get their opinion on how they felt either not having had children or not being able to have them. Was there regret? 

Not one of them regretted it but all said how amazing this technology was to give options for women. Options that weren’t around in their time. 

I’m a thinker, so I thought a lot and I tried to think of this from every angle. My brain telling me it’s logical, the smart thing to do, it buys me time to meet a man without the pressure of having kids straight away. Feeling from my heart knowing that I’m not ready to give up on being a mum, and knowing that I’m not ready to rule out becoming a mother on my own. Knowing that I need more time. The biggest contemplation at the end of it all is why wouldn’t I do it? The technology is there, money shouldn’t even be a factor in the insurance of being able to have a child, and it puts my mind at ease knowing I have more time. 

Make the choice yourself, it has to be yours, you have to own it. 

I decided knowledge is power. So, I have decided to go through with fertility preservation aka “my insurance policy”. Whether I use it or not, I know they are there. 

Starting with the AMH blood test and the laparoscopy to see what’s going on. 

Do I regret any of the decisions that have led me to this point in my life? Absolutely not! I have loved and lived and travelled and explored and thoroughly enjoyed my life. But when I’m ready to become a mum I know I have a back-up plan if needed. 

But hmmm having to potentially select a sperm donor if I have to freeze embryo’s, well that’s a whole other ball game………

To be continued.


Be the first to know about our App launch and exclusive offers

Click Here