What to Expect at Your Pelvic Health Assessment
By: Kris Joyce, Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
There is increasing awareness that pelvic floor physiotherapy is necessary and helpful for all types of people. Physiotherapy treatment that is valuable if you experience pelvic pain, pain during sex, after child birth, after gender confirming surgery, cancer surgery, and for treatment of all types of incontinence.
Why aren’t we accessing it as much as we should?
Let me help you picture what happens during a pelvic floor physiotherapy assessment by sharing what typically occurs when you see a pelvic floor physio:
1. A lot of talking about personal stuff. How are your bladder and bowels working? What is sex like? What are you eating and drinking? Your pelvic floor physio is used to and comfortable talking about these topics. Trust me. We’ve heard it all. It’s ok if you aren’t comfortable – we’ll work through it together.
2. More talking and plan creating. When do you experience your symptoms? What is your lifestyle? how do you feel? What is important to you? Taking this all into consideration, we’ll set realistic goals together.
3. A physical assessment. We’ll look at how your whole spine, hips, knees, feet and ankles move. How you walk, what your posture is like, and how your tummy muscles work. We’ll look at it all.
4. Sometimes there is an internal exam. Pelvic muscles are tested internally vaginally and/or rectally. By inserting one or two fingers (which are way smaller than most penises or speculums at a doctors exam) we can assess your pelvic floor strength, feel for muscle activation, and scar tissue. This should not hurt, we hope this is painless or pain scaled less than 3/10. You are in control. We stop at anytime, communicating throughout. Your physical and emotional comfort are of utmost importance throughout this process. Don’t let your hesitation to have an internal exam deter you from accessing physio. We can do a lot without an internal exam.
The most important thing to remember is you are in control. We set and work towards your goals together. We set and work on your treatment plan together. We are a team in your recovery. At any time if you are no longer comfortable we change what we are doing so you are comfortable. If you have any other questions you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book online with me