PMSL: Or How I Literally Pissed Myself Laughing and Survived the Last Taboo to Tell the Tale

PMSL: Or How I Literally Pissed Myself Laughing and Survived the Last Taboo to Tell the Tale


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More than one-third of women are living with urinary incontinence. It's time to talk about it.

PMSL is one woman's story, providing a razor sharp perspective from the sharp end of a medical issue that affects 1 in 3 women but that remains shrouded in taboo and social stigma, an untold story of a common condition. It's heartfelt, raw and funny—but crucially it is the first memoir to look at incontinence, lifting the lid on what anyone affected can do to navigate their way through the wet-knickered wilderness and what we can learn about ourselves, individually, and as a society cowed by our shamed bodies and desperate for information and control.

When Luce Brett became incontinent at the age of 30 after the birth of her first son, she felt her life had ended. She also felt scared, upset, embarrassed, itchy, bewildered, dirty, shocked, broken, desolate, angry and ashamed. How the hell had she ended up there, the youngest woman in the waiting room at the incontinence clinic?

Charting Luce's journey to (relative) health and sanity PMSL also offers practical advice about how and where women can find help and support, with a final chapter directing readers to useful links and organisations.

It's not good enough for women to be told that post-birth they should expect their lives to be diminished along with their pelvic floor function, but to date no one has been brave enough to come forward and break the silence in such an acutely personal and public way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472977489
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 512,476
Product dimensions: 5.64(w) x 8.87(h) x 1.16(d)

About the Author

Lucy Brett was born in 1977 and learned about her nether regions from MORE magazine, other peoples' big sisters, Tampax leaflets and her mother's copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

She has spoken about her condition in print, online and on national radio, most recently on BBC Radio's The Naked Podcast, where she stripped with the hosts to talk about how leaking affected everything from her ability to enjoy a party to her sex life. World Continence Week conveniently starts on her birthday each year. @lucebrett

Table of Contents

Introduction Elaine Miller 1

Prologue: The Beginning - How did I get here? 4

Part 1 Pregnancy and childbirth

1 Speaking up 13

2 Childbirth - Expectations 23

3 Childbirth - Reality 34

4 Coming home 42

5 Six-week check 48

6 Damage assessment 60

Part 2 Aftermath - Who am I now?

7 Depression 73

8 Survival 82

9 Booze 90

10 Starting again 109

11 Pelvis 114

Part 3 Round 2 - Back for more

12 Childbirth - Again 121

13 Physiotherapy 125

14 Urogynaecology 136

15 History 148

16 Surgery 160

Part 4 The Final Taboos

17 Potty Training 177

18 Poo 182

19 Stigma 202

20 Sex 214

Part 5 Lessons

21 Feminism 223

22 PMSL 234

23 Men 241

24 Medics 250

25 Coping 261

Epilogue - The Ending: How Did I Get Here? 271

What If You Are Leaky Too? 280

Talking to Doctors about Your Private Parts - Written with GP Rachel Boyce 288

Getting Help and Information for a Broken body 294

Getting Help and Information for a Broken Mind 297

References 299

Acknowledgements 307

Index 309

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