- Natalie Pudendal, 40, who lives in Virar, uses a wheelchair due to neuralgia
- Skincare esthetician developed vaginal pain three months after giving birth
- It is claimed that when UK doctors laughed at his condition, tears came to his eyes.
A mother refused proper help from the NHS for vaginal pain due to a difficult birth, having previously spent £50,000 trying to kill herself trying to get better.
Natalie, now 40, had a pudendal nerve entrapment – a rare complication of labor that damages and traps the main nerve in the pelvis – and five years later without a correct diagnosis and UK doctors laughing at her went to France for help.
“The last thing I thought about every day before giving birth in January 2016 was my vagina,” she says. It won’t even cross my mind. Since I have Selina, I think about it. It started with a minor irritation and turned into an extremely painful hell.’
Viral’s mother-in-law was left in a wheelchair, unable to stand, walk, sit, work, care for her daughter or have sex, and lived her life due to severe pain around her vulva and inside her vagina. Tried to finish.
Natalie (pictured), 40, who lives in Virar, has been left in a wheelchair after suffering from pudendal neuralgia following the birth of her daughter, Selina. Pictured: Flight to Paris
Natalie claims that she had no pain before the birth of her daughter and used to cycle, run and have sex with her husband, David. Image left: enjoying life before the pain, right: Natalie during pregnancy
Natalie’s symptoms of pudendal neuralgia began three months after Selina delivered via Venthouse. Pictured: Natalie Now
“When I was finally referred to a gynecologist and asked if it could be pudendal neuralgia – nerve pain – he laughed at me and said,” she says. I went away in tears. I could not tolerate nerve pain medication or the strong painkillers given to me by the NHS pain clinic and life felt bleak and hopeless.’
Natalie suffered a nervous breakdown and tried to take her own life in the desperation of ending her suffering in 2019.
Before Selina was there, Natalie regularly cycled, ran, worked out at the gym, and had sex with her husband, David — and didn’t feel any pain. Then her pregnancy lasted 10 days, and Natalie was induced. ‘I was walking in terrible pain, which in no time had gone from zero to horrific.’
During labor, the skincare esthetician gave an episiotomy, a small cut in the perineum — the tissue between the vagina and anus — to help prevent tearing. Daughter Selina was given birth via Venthouse, a suction cap attached to her head. Natalie’s symptoms began three months later in April 2016.
Natalie was unable to tolerate prescribed painkillers after being misdiagnosed with vulvodynia. Image: Eczema breakouts due to extreme pain
An NHS specialist eventually administered a nerve block after suspecting pudendal neuralgia, although Natalie claims the pain relief was temporary. Image: Pain relievers administered
Natalie had a nervous breakdown in 2019, when experts laughed at the question that her pain could be due to a trapped vein. Image: After the suicide attempt
Wheelchair-bound, Natalie decides to take an overdose of prescription painkillers. Pictured: Natalie and her husband
What is Pudendal Neuralgia?
Pudendal neuralgia may feel like a burning, crushing, shooting, or prickling pelvic area, may develop gradually or suddenly, and is often worse when sitting. It can get worse if left untreated. Tests include a physical exam, scan, nerve studies or nerve block injections.
Treatment may include avoiding things that make the pain worse, nerve pain medication, physiotherapy, local anesthetics and steroids, decompression surgery or nerve stimulation. Not all possible treatments are widely available on the NHS. It is estimated that one percent of the population suffers from pudendal neuralgia, with more women affected than men.
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“Knickers and jeans bothered me there, so I lived in linen trousers and skirts all year round,” she says.
‘The sensation around my vulva and in my vagina increased until it felt like my inner part was being pulled out. I saw my GP, who was sympathetic and helpful, but the specialist didn’t take my symptoms seriously.’
Three years after Selina’s birth, Natalie was misdiagnosed with vulvodynia (long-lasting vulva pain) and referred to an NHS pain clinic. She found it impossible to tolerate prescribed medications, including pain relievers, the nerve pain pills pregabalin and gabapentin, and the anti-depressants amitriptyline and Cymbalta. She paid for physiotherapy and acupuncture privately, but her symptoms worsened.
Eventually, an NHS specialist suspected pudendal neuralgia and administered a nerve block – an injection of local anesthetic for diagnosis, and temporarily calms the nerve. ‘It was transformative, but sadly it didn’t last,’ says Natalie.
Natalie’s pleas for further help fell on deaf ears, and experts laughed at her pain caused by a trapped vein. Natalie had a nervous breakdown in spring 2019 after being told she would never sit down again.
Wheelchair bound but unable to tolerate sitting, indescribable pain and no longer able to work or parent, Natalie took an overdose of prescription painkillers. Her worried husband broke open the door and took her to the hospital.
Natalie admitted that she was furious when her husband saved her from attempting to end his life when she rushed her to the hospital. Image: After the suicide attempt
In November 2019, Natalie flew to France, where a pelvic pain specialist ran a color ultrasound scan that revealed her pudendal nerve was trapped. Image: Dealing with pain during flight
Natalie said it was a relief to know the cause of her pain, while questioning why an NHS doctor had not run it…