I was sick of worrying I’d wet myself when playing with my kids so I got a £4k designer vagina, admits Nicola McClean

WITH her long blonde hair, model figure and picture-perfect family Nicola McLean’s life seems enviably glamorous.

But, like one-in-three British women, 40-year-old Nicola has been secretly battling an unglamorous condition – incontinence.

The mum-of-two found she couldn’t go for a jog or run around with her kids for fear of suffering from an embarrassing leak.

Sick of suffering in silence, the model decided to go under the knife, having a £4,000 “vaginoplasty” which promised to cure her bladder problems — and turbo-charge her sex life.

And she’s not the only one.

Vaginal rejuvenation, which is not offered on the NHS, is the world’s fastest growing cosmetic procedure.

While experts believe this rise has been partly driven by porn and women wanting to copy the unrealistic bodies on display, many women like Nicola have the surgery for health reasons.

She says: “It was no way to live. After two natural births, it certainly does change things.

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"I’ve wanted it done for years. It’s been getting worse as I’m getting older so I thought, ‘I need to do something about this now’.

“Having to worry that I’m going to wet myself when I’m just about to sneeze — I’m too young to live like this.

“I’d love to play with the kids on the trampoline, but I had to tell them I couldn’t because I’d wee myself.”

Vaginoplasty, popularised by celebrities, is one of the fastest-growing surgery trends around the world.

The procedure involves tightening the vaginal muscles to alter the length or width of the vaginal canal and is often done to increase sexual pleasure or prevent incontinence.

It is nicknamed the “designer vagina” and costs around £4,000.

Intimate health specialist Dr Shirin Lakhani says: “It is a rapidly expanding treatment area offering solutions to problems that, just a few years ago, those seeking such treatment would have been reluctant to even talk about.

“I’m seeing an upward trend in enquiries for treatments relating to this area.

"We’re in an age now where we don’t have to put up with symptoms that are having a direct impact on our life.

"Women shouldn’t be embarrassed to say they want greater sexual pleasure — and safe treatment of incontinence can be life changing.”

But are there any risks?

Dr Lakhani adds: “Any surgical procedure carries risks. Most of these are associated with anesthesia, bleeding, infection and scarring.”

One in three women is affected by bladder weakness, while in 2017, vaginal rejuvenation was named the world’s fastest-growing cosmetic procedure.

A 2020 US study found that 52 per cent of women who opted for the surgery did so because they did not like the appearance of their vagina, while 38 per cent cited sexual discomfort and 37 per cent wanted to improve their confidence.

Having to worry that I’m going to wet myself when I’m just about to sneeze — I’m too young to live like this.

Former Page 3 girl Nicola, who appeared in I’m A Celebrity in 2008 and Celebrity Big Brother in 2012, says she wants to break the taboo of talking about incontinence in younger women after childbirth.

It comes after she read about fellow reality star Gemma Collins, 40, saying her so-called designer vagina made her feel “mega-confident”.

The reality star said that her treatment, which was non-surgical, transformed her downstairs to “look like something you see in a movie”.

Nicola says: “The GC was speaking about it a while ago and I thought, ‘She hasn’t got any kids, I need to look into this’.

“Gemma said it was brilliant and I think she’s brilliant so it went from there.”

Reality star Kim Kardashian, 41, former Wag Danielle Lloyd, 38, and ex-EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook, 48, have all tried non-surgical vaginal lasering too.

A recent YouGov poll found three quarters of people believe incontinence only affects elderly women.

But the condition can strike at any age, with mothers typically worst affected.

Nicola says: “Incontinence after having children is a problem for lots of women, but no one wants to speak about it.

"They get embarrassed to admit it in case people think it means you’ve got a massive vagina or something. It’s not about that.

“My pelvic floors just aren’t what they used to be so any sort of pressure and I’m at risk.

"It must be lonely for some people being in that position and being too embarrassed to talk about it.”

Despite knowing surgery would be life-changing, Nicola admits it was not an easy decision.

But the thought of having to wear padded knickers in case of emergency pushed her towards an operation.

Incontinence after having kids is a problem no one wants to speak about.

She says: “Imagine being a glamour model who wears incontinence pants. It’s not a good look. That’s why I decided to get surgery.

“I thought, ‘Why not enjoy it while I’m young enough’.

“But I was nervous about getting it done. After the last surgery I had, which was lipo and boobs, I swore I’d never have surgery again. It was so gruelling to recover from — it took about a year. This wasn’t cosmetic though.

“I knew it needed to be done. I would have been more nervous if it was just to make myself look better. But this was to improve my lifestyle.

“The procedure was pain-free and the recovery has been absolutely fine.”

She adds: “My pelvic floor function is so much better, it’s like I never had children.

"I can now bounce on the trampoline with my kids again without weeing myself.

“Not only can I run up or down the stairs without risking an accident, I could run a marathon if I wanted. It’s changed my life.”

The op is said to work instantly, but it takes around six weeks to heal fully.

It meant Nicola put hubby Tom, 41, on a six-week sex ban — with their next night of passion circled in the diary.

She says: “It’s like having sex after childbirth. You’re scared in case you do any damage.

“Luckily everything was amazing. Tom thinks I was mad for doing this, but like with all my surgeries, I say, ‘You’ll love it when it’s done’

“But he is right, I’m absolutely nuts.”

Instead of surgery

LUCY ALLEN, Naytal’s Lead Women’s Health Physio, reveals how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles without surgery.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES: Your pelvic floor runs from your tailbone to the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis like a hammock and tightens back to front. To perform pelvic floor squeezes try tightening the back passage to hold in wind and lift it up and forward towards your bladder. Hold for up to ten seconds, rest for five seconds and repeat ten times, three times a day.

BIOFEEDBACK DEVICES: This is a training probe that connects to an app on your phone so that you can see what your pelvic floor is doing. This only needs to be used once a day for around 15 minutes. I recommend the Elvie trainer, £169, or Perifit £109.

FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: Hitting the gym or doing circuit training is a key tool. Movements such as squats, lunges and bridges all naturally engage the pelvic floor. Combined these exercises with good breathing control and you will see improvements. A pelvic health physiotherapist will be able to examine you and create the right programme for you and your goals.

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