• Sweden edition
 
Swede of the Week
Childbirth revolutionary spills her injured guts
Eriksson (L) and a historical childbirth scene. File photos: Private, TT

Childbirth revolutionary spills her injured guts

Published: 20 Feb 2014 15:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Feb 2014 15:20 GMT+01:00

Anna Karin Eriksson works as a nurse and writes on her blog Blixa that her job has allowed her to develop an undramatic view of her body and those of others. But that didn't prepare her for the effect of her second vaginal birth.

It would take alcohol, writing her own referral, and holding the dogma of "childbirth is natural" of the maternity health system to account for her to realize she was far from alone. 

The sensitive would do well to hit Ctrl + W now, for here are her symptoms: Eriksson cannot defecate without inserting her finger in her vagina and holding it against the membrane that separates it from the rectum. 

"At times when I've been constipated, I've even been able to feel the poop pressing into my vagina," she wrote in a blog post that would go on to go viral, accruing 12,000 likes. 

So what did she do? She got drunk and told her friends. And some of them said they had experienced the same thing. From there, Eriksson, who describes herself as a feminist nurse who long since retired her razor to gather dust on the bathroom shelf, took matters into her own hands and wrote herself a referral to a specialist women's clinic. The answer there that rectocele - the weakening of the membrane in question - was common, normal, and not dangerous did little to soothe her. Instead, it appears to have infuriated her. 

"Everything within pussycare is TOOOOOOTALLY NOOOOORMAL.... it's normal to rip from A to Z, it is totally normal to have a pocket of poop in your pussy, it's normal to become urine and fecal incontinent, it's normal that your sex life is screwed for life, and it's normal that half of all pussy-owners who give birth vaginally end up with permanent damage afterwards," Eriksson wrote in a diatribe that almost reverberated with the force of her typing

"Has the pussycare system ever seen a pussy that doesn't look tooooooootally nooormal?"

The sarcasm-laced fury earned her mostly praise in the comments section that quickly filled up with praise for her rancour and candour. 

The timing was also impeccable when it came to kickstarting a debate in Sweden about the physical toll on women who give birth. On Monday, Sahlgrenska University Hosptial researcher Maria Gyhagen said that staff in maternity care, or as Eriksson would have it  "pussycare", tended not to report all injuries that occur during child birth.

"We have a tendency to under-report and undervalue the injuries," Gyhagen told Sveriges Television (SVT) as she revealed research that one in two Swedish women will suffer some sort of birth-induced injury or damage in their lifetime. 

"In my research, where I looked at women who had given birth to one child, almost every second woman who had given birth vaginally had suffered some kind of difficulty," she said.  

Thus Eriksson's furious blog post gave a public face to anonymous statistics presented this week, and the nurse asked whether the situation shouldn't be changed?

"When you hear that there are women who are literally told that it's totally normal to have their ripped bowels hanging out of their ****, then you start to wonder," she wrote.

The answer, the mother-of-two wrote, was to start some kind of Pussy Revolution.

"But as we await this budding revolution and as I await my appointment with a gynaecologist to assess whether I'm eligible for an operation or not, maybe we can start talking about this. How are your pussies doing?" 

Eriksson also spoke with SVT, whose interview with the nurse achieved decent virality, that many of women who contacted her were quite young. And their answers ranged from ruptures "that make them feel mutilated"  to aching "sex-life destroying" scars and incontinence. 

"It isn't normal to wet yourself and not be able to jump or run or live a full life," she told SVT. "Some of the (women) who've written to me are 23 years old."

Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who - for good or ill - has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement. 

The Local/at (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

Science
Asteroids leave mark on Sweden
Astroids can leave marks like these. Photo: TT

Asteroids leave mark on Sweden

Some 458 million years ago, Earth was whacked in a double asteroid strike, leaving craters visible in Sweden today, space scientists have reported. READ  

New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN