What is Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy?
Some physiotherapists have specific training and experience assessing and treating pelvic floor concerns. Assessments may involve a vaginal or rectal exam for women, or a surface perineal or rectal exam for men.
Pelvic Floor examinations: what to expect.
With a pelvic pain or pelvic floor concern, a perineal/vaginal or rectal exam may be recommended as part of your assessment and treatment. This type of examination would only be performed with your informed consent after a detailed discussion about your condition and assessment options. Should you consent to a perineal/vaginal/rectal examination, the examination and treatment would be performed with utmost privacy, professionalism and sensitivity. You may bring someone to be present for your examination.
What are common pelvic pain or pelvic floor concerns?
Do you leak urine during activity or with strong bladder urges? Are you always trying to find a bathroom or drinking less on purpose to avoid needing to urinate? Do you feel like you almost don’t make it to the toilet and that your bladder is in charge instead of you? Are you up several times at night to urinate? Do you have pain as your bladder fills? If you answer yes to any of these questions, improvement is possible. Leaking urine is never normal, although it is common. Bladder concerns are changeable. Time to take control of your bladder!
Are vaginal exams or using a tampon painful? Is sexual activity painful for you? Do you feel tension in the pelvic floor muscles but are not sure how to change this? Pain-free, pleasurable sexual activity is possible, even for women with vaginal pain.
Men also can experience pelvic pain, usually made worse by sitting for long periods, exercise or ejaculation, and often combined with urinary frequency. Once infections have been ruled out by a physician, working on pelvic floor issues can be helpful.
Is it hard to pass your bowel movements? Do you need to strain? Do you feel like you can’t fully empty your bowel? Do you ever have accidents with your bowel? Having effective bowel movements is definitely under-appreciated until problems start. There are many things you can do to improve your bowel movements.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
Women: Do you sense vaginal heaviness or pressure? Do you feel a bulge at the opening of your vagina? Pelvic floor training has been shown to be effective to improve prolapse. Maximize what you can do for this problem.
Do you have back, hip or pubic pain with standing up out of a chair, or sitting and standing for long periods? Or as you roll over in bed? Is bending and lifting painful and hard to do? Have you had problems with this since a pregnancy or delivery of your baby? Do you have a painful tailbone when you sit? Pelvic Girdle Pain is much more common than we realize. Many women have PGP that started in a pregnancy or delivery and never really went away. Men and women who have not had a pregnancy can also experience PGP. PGP is changeable, even after many years.