Following the birth of my daughter I suffered from severe pelvic pain and prolapse. I went from being an avid half marathon runner to struggling to walk up the stairs and take my daughter to the park.
Anna has helped to completely turn this around. She was able to identify straight away that the cause of my restrictions was a result of a tear in childbirth which had healed very badly. Following her guidance and treatment I can now walk without pain, pick up my daughter and have even started thinking about getting back into running. Plus the prolapse is a thing of the past. All I can say is thank you Anna – miracle worker!
I was devastated when diagnosed with a prolapse in September 2020. It had such a massive effect on my lifestyle. I no longer felt comfortable walking – something I love to do. I also love to dance and, although that had not been possible during covid restrictions, I had been looking forward to getting back to dancing as soon as possible, but I knew that the heaviness, the awful discomfort, and the fear that things were getting worse every time I walked, or even stood, would prevent me from walking and dancing. My concerns were perhaps different from those of younger women who suffer prolapses as a result of childbirth – but to me at the age of 69 they were very real, as I was not ready to give up the activities I enjoyed. My lowest point came in January 2021 when the physio I was seeing (she had been prescribing kegels) told me that there was going to be no long term improvement.
Thankfully, in February 2021 I came across Anna’s name whilst searching the internet. I can only describe Anna as a blessing – she was very responsive to my first approach to her by email – and on speaking to her I was immediately reassured by her calm manner and her very different approach to the treatment of prolapse. I knew after my first face-to-face appointment with Anna that the treatment she gave was going to benefit me, as I immediately felt some relief from my symptoms. I have had several more appointments with Anna, and I have no doubt in my mind that going to see Anna was one of the best decisions I ever made. I now have so many comfortable times, and I am back to walking, and even doing some dancing. I sometimes have times when I feel a little less comfortable, but Anna is very helpful with advice about exercise, resting, and self-treatment.
I know how lucky I was to meet Anna – and I would wish the same for any woman who suffers a prolapse.
Anna’s expertise and women-centred care are second to none. I was devastated when I suffered a prolapse after the birth of my second child. But just a single session with Anna was absolutely transformative and completely relieved my symptoms. She put me at ease immediately and treated me with true professionalism and respect. I would urge any woman to visit Anna, and recommend her to all of my female friends.
Anna is one of those rare people you meet who changes your life. I can without a doubt say her treatment and support have saved me; not just my mental and physical health but also my sense of self.
After a quick 5 hour unmedicated labour I was in absolute euphoria and so so so in love with my first baby, a little girl. I was up and active and feeling good after the birth, keen to get out and about in the fresh air and share my joy with the world! Unfortunately things took a drastic turn three weeks postpartum when, during a sunny afternoon walk to the local pub, I had a very sudden prolapse. I felt my rectum bulging into and out of my vagina. It was so uncomfortable I remember finding walking difficult. It took me by complete surprise after such a positive pregnancy and birth and my world felt like it came crashing down around me.
The ensuing weeks were some of the hardest of my life. I spent every hour of every day googling prolapse as a diagnosis and trying to find any ounce of hope. It is difficult to articulate the emotion and psychological impact that a prolapse and prolapse symptoms evoke. It is perhaps the most intimate part of a woman’s body. A part of your body that has given you your baby, that empowers you to make love with your partner but that also plays a critical functional role in enabling your mobility, your posture, your movement and toilet health without you knowing it. Suddenly feeling excruciatingly uncomfortable, struggling with basic movement and having your pelvic organs displaced has a seismic impact on your physical and mental health. I am ashamed to say some days I felt like throwing myself off our apartment balcony and I find it hard to look back on those days and how many of my daughters newborn moments I lost to those dark thoughts.
The symptoms bring on a feeling of self disgust and loathing. You don’t know it’s possible to feel such a sense of shame at yourself or your own body. What you are experiencing is so unrecognisable it is difficult to comprehend, so you can’t make sense of it or find words for it, which makes it impossible to articulate and very hard to bring up with anyone. We are conditioned from a very young age that wee and poo are dirty and shameful things. When you have a prolapse your bladder and bowel, full of wee and poo get pulled into your vagina, which itself is an emotionally charged intimate and sensitive place. It is so uncomfortable that you can feel it when you are sat down and you can feel it when you stand up. Movement is traumatic as there is no relief. Everything feels wrong and
unbalanced. Constantly. You don’t want to walk and you feel completely unable to dance or jump or do any joyful energetic movements that you have taken for granted your entire life to date. Couple these physical symptoms with an overwhelmingly unsympathetic, unhelpful or just incompetent response from healthcare professionals and you have a condition that is traumatic, debilitating, and life changing in every way for a new mother at a time when you they are also adjusting to taking care of a tiny human.
For any problem I experience my nature is to desperately try and find solutions, so over the next 3 months I went to maternity triage several times to be examined, then a gynaecologist, then a private physician, then my GP, then a
pelvic floor physiotherapist, then a normal physiotherapist. They all told me that what had happened was normal after giving birth vaginally and I needed to accept what had happened to me even if it was, I quote “awful bad luck”. One blamed my constipation. One said all women will have this after birth. One said “I’m sorry this happened to you” and offered me local anaesthetic capsules for use during sex. One of them offered me a plastic shaped plug device called a pessary to “hold things in place”. I left these consultations speechless and distraught.
Then I found Anna. I still thank my lucky stars that I did. Every. Single. Day. From the moment I spoke to Anna she understood. She related so much of my experience and she explained in simple terms what was happening. I felt this unbelievable wave of relief and validation but most importantly hope. To hear someone recognise what was going on and refer to it as a birth injury was the first step in my healing. So I became hungry to understand more about Anna’s approach and what was happening to my torn perineal tissues and the scar tension that was in fact causing my symptoms. Anna’s approach combines empowering a woman with knowledge and information, teaching them self help via massage techniques, whilst treating their physical symptoms directly with her
myofascial release techniques.
At 4 months postpartum I had not seen Anna in person but just speaking with her on zoom gave me the hope and strength vital for surviving the next few months before seeing her in person. You really need that strength in the early days as a new mother when your day merges with your night and you can’t even lift your own baby out of the cot without feeling your internal organs descending into and outwards of your vagina. I don’t think I have ever lived a period of my life in such darkness. Given I had seen all these different healthcare professionals in person
who told me I needed to live with this, some days it felt hard to believe Anna was going to be able to help me. I would read Anna’s patient testaments on her website whilst sat on the toilet crying, traumatised by being completely unable to go or whilst endlessly breastfeeding my baby at 4am. The words gave me such hope. I read and re-read and re-read them. And when my partner was a little unsure of the need for us to travel with a newborn hundreds of miles to Leeds specifically to seek Anna’s treatment, I read the testimonies to him too.
My first session with anna was 3rd February. I will never ever forget it. She was compassionate, she was kind, she told me that I am the expert of my body. She listens attentively and uses her experience and intuition to locate the cause of your tension. She reassures with her words and she heals with her hands. Honestly she is magic in human form. I came away with almost instant relief from a symptom that had caused me great distress for months; feeling my own poo stuck in my vagina. For me she had worked a miracle in a 1.5 hour session. I wept uncontrollably in the car on leaving and I bought myself a hope necklace that I still wear everyday reminding myself never to give up on myself again. From that day I have been slowly returning to myself with her help. Over the course of 4 more sessions spread over 6 months Anna has completely reversed my prolapse all for a few slight symptoms (and I am still under her care). Thanks to her, I am able to walk miles, lift a now one year old, even jump,
skip and dance about when I’m feeling really crazy! Thanks to Anna we are now in a place where we are thinking about expanding our family. This time last year I thought that would never ever be possible. I have complete and utter trust in her work and that she will heal me completely.
Living through this during my postpartum year has left a monumental mark on me and once fully healed I intend to put my mind to shedding light on this experience that so many women live and suffer through but is not widely recognised or talked about. I will be indebted to Anna until my dying day and I shout about her work to anyone that will listen. If you are reading this and you can relate with my description of those early postpartum days or are getting fobbed off by healthcare professionals who tell you what you are experiencing is normal, you need to see
Anna. She will make you feel better again. She is an absolute giant in this world and whilst her approach may not be mainstream yet she is moving mountains and the world will know about Anna Crowle and her incredible care for
Having had a traumatic birth experience, I was recommended to see Anna. I’m so glad i did, I found Anna to be extremely professional and knowledgable in her field.
Anna explained everything in detail, took her time with me during treatments and put me right at ease.
My symptoms have improved greatly, I highly recommend Anna to any new mum who may be experiencing pelvic problems post birth.
Meeting Anna and her approach to treating prolapse has been an amazingly positive experience. It was wonderful to hear the words “This is to make you better”.
Even though our initial meetings were over Zoom due to lockdown restrictions this worked surprisingly well. Anna was able to make an assessment and demonstrate a way to improve my symptoms using massage and exercise. So, before our face to face appointments, there was a marked improvement in my prolapse.
Anna is so easy to talk to – her calm, caring manner instantly puts you at ease. Each meeting with her has given me a boost and a belief that this will get even better.
When I first saw Anna, I had seen two physios prior and had been prescribed lots of kegals. When these made my symptoms worse it was suggested I wasnt doing them right. It was frustrating, upsetting and it was taking over my life. It consumed my thoughts and I felt grief for the old me… Someone recommended Anna to me and I thought I had nothing to lose.
When I had the initial virtual consultation with Anna, she seemed to just get me. She knew what was wrong and my first face to face examination and internal release was like winning the jackpot. When I got off the couch and stood up my vagina felt light, the tension and heaviness had gone and it was amazing.
The after care has also been fabulous, Anna has answered my questions and seen me twice more since for the same treatment but it is working and I am feeling so much better. On my last visit, Anna actually said she could no longer diagnose a prolapse.
I highly recommend Anna!!!!
After two kids I was left in pretty constant discomfort and I had issues with urinary incontinence without mentioning my poor abdominal tone that made me look permanently pregnant.
During the appointments Anna made me feel at ease explaining the process step by step. I can happily say that after few sessions things are getting back to normal, something that I didn’t know it was possible. Anna is worth her weight in gold.
My symptoms have improved greatly, I highly recommend Anna to any new mum who may be experiencing pelvic problems post birth.
I heard about Anna Crowle’s women’s health physiotherapy practice through my pilates teacher, when Anna gave a talk to our class about the sort of work she does to treat pelvic organ prolapse. I had been on the verge of asking to be referred to a gynaecology consultant to discuss surgical options. I have been delighted to have the opportunity to have advice and treatment from Anna Crowle, and currently have abandoned the idea of surgical intervention. Anna has helped me learn self-massage techniques to alleviate many of the symptoms I have been experiencing. My first consultations were by zoom, and although it was a strange way to discuss quite intimate problems, Anna has an excellent way of explaining the process she was using for the consultation. She was thorough and attentive when getting my relevant details in order to understand my issues.
She was extremely clear and patient in the way she explained the techniques she suggested I tried. She dealt with my questions very skillfully and responded promptly to further clarifications I needed, both during the consultation and by telephone and email contact. I have had one face to face appointment with Anna, during the Covid-19 pandemic when such appointments were allowed. Anna clearly explained the protective measures she was taking in advance to provide the reassurance I needed. I would unhesitatingly recommend Anna as a women’s health therapist.
I started seeing Anna when my youngest child was 6 years old. After a traumatic first delivery and then the birth of a second larger child I had experienced years of needing to constantly go to the toilet, sudden urges to need the loo and when I did get there feeling like I hadn’t got everything out. I never would have admitted it but it really impacted on my self esteem. I worried that the symptoms were “my fault” because I hadn’t done enough pelvic floor exercises during my pregnancies and that I had now left it too late to do anything about it.
I needn’t have worried. Anna’s approach explains the anatomy around women’s bodies and helps you to understand why and how our bodies react to birth trauma (turns out that my lack of pelvic floor exercises had nothing to do with my problems!). I worked with Anna over a number of months and I have seen a huge improvement in my symptoms and, as a result, my self esteem. If there is anyone who is reading this and is worried that they have left it too late, or is feeling embarrassed about how child birth has left them my answer would be “Go and speak to Anna Crowle – she’s fab.”
I feel really lucky to have been able to access treatment with Anna. Making an appointment can feel daunting but I’m so glad I did.
I had an episiotomy scar that had never healed properly, leaving me uncomfortable with my body and experiencing pain after sex or exercise. I’d been told by my doctor that surgery was a possibility but really didn’t want to go down that route.
From the first session, Anna put me at ease. She worked with me to put in place strategies for things that I found difficult due to past experiences, and always communicated brilliantly with me.
I felt like she took time to understand me and my body, and the myofascial release work that she did made a difference from the first treatment. It only took a handful of appointments to make a really noticeable improvement in my symptoms.
I am so glad I booked that first appointment, and would recommend Anna without hesitation.
During my 4th pregnancy in January 2017 I suffered a collapse of the vaginal wall dragging my rectum down into my vagina. It was frightening and incredibly uncomfortable. I still had to give birth but was told I could have a normal vaginal delivery.
The prolapse caused me a lot of difficulty in passing stools, unable to empty my bowels properly and leaving my genital area swollen after passing a stool. Once I had given birth and recovered from the birth I was then ready to find out what to do about the prolapse. I was referred to a consultant who diagnosed a grade 3 rectocele and suggested I wait until I finish breastfeeding to have an operation to remedy this, however the operation would only last up to 10 years and therefore I would have to have it done again every 10 years. He also stated that he couldn’t guarantee another part of my vagina wouldn’t collapse after the operation.
I went to an NHS Physio for the next 4 months and did all the pelvic floor exercises given to me, the physio and consultant both seemed confused as my pelvic floor was not as bad as they expected ( having had 4 vaginal births). However the prolapse did not improve.
The prolapse had a remarkable effect on my personal life also as I felt very self conscious and did not want any intimacy with my husband. It took a toll on our relationship and left me stressed and anxious.
Seeing Anna was life-changing for me and I wish I’d gone a little bit sooner. After having my third baby (during lockdown) things were not right. I had a feeling of heaviness and
urgency. I kept giving it another week just hoping things would improve. A call with an NHS physio just advised me to do more Kegels and I felt huge amounts of guilt, shame
and “why me?” I was told by a Dr I had a cystocele and it was very small but the impact on my life was huge. I’ve always relied on running and sport for my mental health and
now felt this wasn’t an option and was scared of things getting worse. After one appointment with Anna everything changed – both physically and emotionally.
Anna told me I had a hypertonic pelvic floor and scar tissue was causing my issues. The guilt of thinking it was my fault for not doing enough kegels when pregnant disappeared and apparently some of the scar tissue was probably from an episiotomy in my first birth, so I stopped replaying everything in my third birth which I thought had caused all the upset. She did some very gentle release work and a week later I went on my first run in over a year – I felt great. She showed me how to do release work myself and I had two further appointments (but 90% of the healing was from my first session). I now occasionally get symptoms but using the massage techniques and resting for a day makes them disappear. I feel so grateful that Anna was able to treat me and just so happy I can get on with doing the things I want to in my life – thank you!
Anna’s treatment, and the hope that it gives, is nothing short of remarkable. I’d suspected the advice I’d been given by my GP “to do lots of kegels” wasn’t right and an examination with Anna confirmed this – my prolapse was being caused by an over-tightness on one side of the pelvis, rather than an overall weakness/failure of the pelvic floor – doing kegels would have actually exacerbated the problem.
Instead of heading down a path that would have actually made things worse, by meeting Anna, I discovered a way out of what had previously felt like an “unresolvable” situation. The treatment isn’t always pain-free, but Anna always works in a very kind, very matter-of-fact and fully-respectful way, so the treatment feels perfectly normal and professional, just like any other medical or physiotherapy treatment.
After a few sessions I already noticed a difference. The prolapse was much higher and much more central and well on its way to being resolved. I’m only part way thorough my treatment, but I am already feeling much better and much more hopeful. Anna’s perspective offers a viable possibility of reversing your prolapse, rather than simply learning to deal with the pain or discomfort, rather than facing things getting worse with time, or resorting to more drastic measures like surgery. I’d very much recommend a consultation with Anna to find out what is REALLY going on with your prolapse and to give you an opportunity to address (and potentially reverse) the underlying causes of the prolapse, rather than just doing what you can to deal with the surface symptoms.
I went to my GP with symptoms of a prolapse – she confirmed this and offered to refer me for “surgical options”, which I definitely wanted to avoid! Luckily I heard that Anna was developing non-surgical treatments. My symptoms improved immediately after the first treatment and have now cleared up. Anna explains exactly what she is doing and the basis of the treatment, and is very supportive.
After trying msk physio referred by my GP with no luck, I was given a recommendation from a friend to get in contact with Anna. I had various problems but the main issue was the pain in my leg which no-one was able to understand exactly where it was from. The prescribed exercises given to me made little difference. I was six months postpartum and nothing had changed. I had a difficult birth ending in ventouse delivery and an episiotomy. I lost some control of my pelvic floor; and found passing stools painful so had to be on laxido. Since I started the sessions with Anna, nearly all my problems have improved. We are towards the end of my treatment, with the pain in my leg almost healed. She was able to correctly diagnose that the pain in my leg was the result of my episiotomy, where the trainee doctor had stitched me up too tight after delivery. What Anna has done for me in such a short space of time is incredible and I can’t express how grateful I am to her.
I had been suffering from prolapse for a while and almost accepted the dreaded feeling of heaviness and the dragging down effect that is associated with prolapse. After a routine smear test, my GP suggested that I should consider surgery as an option. I didn’t like the thought of an operation and thought it was too drastic for me and decided to see Anna instead. I went in with an open mind and I can honestly say I was blown away with the outcome and didn’t think I would feel any benefits straight away from my first session which I did. I wish I had known about this treatment earlier and would not hesitate to recommend this to any women with this condition.
“I came to Anna after a friend recommended her. To be honest, at the time I really didn’t want any more ‘pelvic floor physio’, I was fed up of being messed about with in a very personal way, for very little gain. I was told I would never run again and couldn’t do any high impact exercise. Never mind that, I couldn’t even walk the dog down a hill (and sometimes on the flat) without the familiar uncomfortable, dragging, bulging sensation.
I am so glad I made an appointment; Anna was my last ditch attempt and she should have been my first. Anna has genuinely changed my life – it was so depressing not to be able to do ‘normal’ things like run after my kids in the park (or even walk fast after them – let’s be honest), stand for more than a few minutes or have proper bowel and bladder function…..now I feel things have really changed for me – my prolapses are now no longer the first thing on my mind when I wake and for most of the day thereafter. I have a plan (made possible by and with Anna) for how I will get my pelvic floor back to being the pre babies me and hopefully by next year I will be able to go for my first run in almost 6 years. Now that, is priceless. I will never be able to thank Anna enough for that.
Over the last ten years I have suffered from incontinence and in the last year have been diagnosed with both anterior and posterior prolapse.
I did some pelvic floor exercise under the supervision of an NHS physiotherapist, which improved my situation somewhat, but even with stronger muscles I was still experiencing incontinence.
I began searching for the next step and Anna Crowe was recommended to me as she works with women who have experienced prolapse.
The session involves myofascial release, in my case Anna has found some scar tissue possibly from the infection I had post-partum. The treatment also encourages the organs to return to the correct positioning.