Never heard of pelvic floor physiotherapy? You are not alone. However, pelvic floor physiotherapy can be an extremely useful rehabilitation for a variety of pelvic conditions.
Having problems with bladder or bowel leaks, a condition call incontinence? Pelvic floor physiotherapists can help with that. What about pelvic organ prolapse, where your uterus, bladder or bowel can drop into or out of your vagina? They help with that too. Experiencing pain somewhere in the genitals? Yup – that is also something they treat all the time. Pregnant or postpartum? There are lots of reasons to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. In fact, if it happens in the pelvis, then they probably help with rehabilitation.
What Can I Expect From A Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Appointment?
We start off all appointments by asking you about your health history. This includes a lot of questions about your pelvic health. Your symptoms, your bladder habits, bowel habits, where you feel pain, activity level, birthing and menstrual history, and whether your use medications or have had a surgery. No detail is too insignificant if you think it will help us. And trust us – we’ve heard it all.
We also need to perform an exam. This can be a vaginal or rectal exam. It really gives us the best idea of what is going on in your pelvic floor. Our job is to make you as comfortable as possible. However, you always have the choice to opt-out of an internal pelvic exam. We can still take a look, without doing the internal part, and we can even get some assessment done with underwear and pants on. Some people chose to wait a session or two before doing an internal exam. Others never really feel the need. We can still be very useful even if you are not yet comfortable with an internal exam.
Speaking Of An Internal Exam, What’s It Like?
An internal exam is a single-finger (we do not usually require a speculum for vaginal exams) exam. We are checking to see how the muscles of the pelvic floor are working. Can you squeeze them and relax them? Do they have good strength and endurance? Do they have good coordination? Any tender spots? Are your organs sitting in a good place? The internal portion usually takes 5-10 minutes, depending on each case and your comfort level.
Sometimes we think a rectal exam is a good idea – this is usually for people who are seeking treatment for rectal problems like fecal incontinence, anal sphincter injury, certain pain conditions or rehabilitating from certain surgeries or cancers. But remember – the choice is ALWAYS yours to decide how you want your assessment to be performed. We always consult with our clients and tell them exactly what an exam will involve and must get your written consent before moving forward.
What Happens After The Exam?
After we have collected information about your concerns and how your muscles are working, we give you a detailed explanation of what we found, and the course of rehabilitation that we recommend. And then you get homework! We make effort to not give you so much homework that it feels over-whelming, but enough to hopefully see some results. We expect that you will do your home exercise program, and we schedule follow-ups anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks after your original appointment.
ReConnect Health Centre
We are happy to provide pelvic floor physiotherapy services to the greater Moncton and Fredericton areas, in New Brunswick. Looking to schedule an appointment with one of our pelvic floor physiotherapists? Click HERE.
Interested in the other services provided at ReConnect Health Centre? Click HERE.