Lynsey Bennett speaks about her hysterectomy experience

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CervicalCheck campaigner Lynsey Bennett has opened up about the impact of her hysterectomy in a bid to raise awareness about the importance of pelvic health.

In a chat with Laura Ward from LWF Women’s Health on her Instagram account, the Longford native spoke openly about how her hysterectomy affected her sexual intimacy.

After the procedure, the mother of two said she only started to realise the importance of Kegel exercises and pelvic health but felt there was little information out there for people going through that experience.

The 32-year-old added that has been just over a year since she spoke about Kegel weights on her social media and was surprised by the number of women who got in touch and said that they didn’t know anything about the importance of Kegel exercises.

“My vagina had been shortened so much as well from a radical hysterectomy. People don’t actually realise that there are different types of hysterectomy and mine was a radical one where they had even taken part of the urethra out,” she explained.

“It was very small and your body is constantly healing and the issue was that it would only be getting smaller and smaller. 

What really terrified me was when I was getting the radiation that leaves you even smaller.

Speaking on the difficulties post-surgery, she said: “Mentally you don’t realise how you’re going to fully deal and realise that you are not the same person that you were before you went in. You have to learn that you want to create a new you and not get hung up on being the old you.

“It can be very, very hard. And generally, sex is one of the big joys for a lot of people and that’s why it’s so hard.”

She said it is “so devastating” when something so intimate is taken away from you.

“And you’ve no support to properly learn how to build yourself back up to be able to get back to somewhat of a healthy sex life,” she added.

Ms Bennett said she had to build her confidence back up after undergoing the hysterectomy before she was even 30-years-old.

“I had such a healthy sex life before that and it was absolutely devastating that I had to build confidence back up in myself and you get very, very shy and obviously there is pain and what people don’t realise as well is that the likes of your Kegel exercises and minding your pelvic health can help with your bowels.

“It’s not just all about your female area. It’s not just about the vagina, it’s about your bladder, it’s about your bowels.” 

She said that this information is not readily available or shared, adding that she had wanted to set up a Zoom call where women could join and do their exercises as a group each morning.

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