If you’ve ever had a UTI, you’ll know that I’m not exaggerating when I liken it to the barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat from ‘Walking Dead’ being shoved up your nether regions and swung around with the reckless abandon of a Sandlot Kid.
Spare a thought, then, for ‘Girls’ star Zosia Mamet, whose own Cave of Wonders suffered through what “felt like I had the worst UTI of my life” for 6 years. SIX YEARS. AS IN, 2,190 DAYS.
Speaking at a recent women’s conference in California, the actress got real about her struggle with the surprisingly common and very painful condition known as pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD).
It affects one in three Aussie women, occurring when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or overly tight for reasons that range from recent childbirth to high-impact sports.
Mamet’s happy hole was miserable during sex – which felt like a “hot poker” was being shoved inside her – and was desperate for doctors to diagnose her with a chronic UTI just so there’d be an explanation for the pain she was experiencing.
“It was an incredibly long journey to figure out what was wrong with me,” she told the crowd. “I never thought I would want a UTI, but I wanted one so badly like a kid wants a puppy for Christmas because every time my test came back negative, it meant I still didn’t have an answer to what was causing my insane urinary frequency and unbearable pain.”
Medical professionals (mostly male, according to Mamet) continued to give her the bum steer when it came to a diagnosis – one even prescribed six weeks of an antibiotic for an STD that made her pack on the weight – until a female physician drew the connection between her symptoms and PFD.
It explained them all – the frequent, painful urination and pain during sex – and she managed to treat it with a combination of self-care and core-strengthening workouts like Pilates, which medical professionals recommend to help prevent the pelvic muscles slacking off.
Mamet’s PFD is under control these days, and her six-year search for the right diagnosis taught her an invaluable lesson about listening to your own body.
“My pain taught me everything,” she says. “We need to trust our bodies. Just the fact that we are feeling it makes it real.”
Photo: HBO / Girls.
If you recognise any of the symptoms in this story, you can call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 for free and confidential information and support. Always get a second opinion.