Coming to see a women’s health physiotherapist (pelvic health Physiotherapist) often looks a little bit different to a regular physiotherapy treatment appointment for say your knee or shoulder. In an initial pelvic health appointment begin by asking LOTS of questions. It is really important to spend the time asking these questions in order to find out exactly what is going on for you and determine how we can help.
We like to ask questions about everything to do with the pelvic floor and how it functions in your body. This includes questions about bladder and bowel function, sexual function, prolapse symptoms, general health, exercise and questions regarding your current goals. Please do not feel embarrassed or shy about these questions, there is nothing we haven’t heard before and there are no silly questions or answers in our rooms.
After taking a detailed history, we will move on to the next part of assessment. Pending your concerns this may look quite different from person to person. For example, if you are experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy such as pelvic joints, a more traditional musculoskeletal assessment will often take place. In this assessment we will look at your movement patterns and find out the source of pain.
However, if you are experiencing concerns related to your pelvic floor (e.g. incontinence or prolapse) a pelvic floor assessment will likely take place. The gold standard method of assessing the pelvic floor is via an internal (vaginal) assessment. However, this will always only be completed with your consent and never has to be completed if it is not for you that day or ever. Your women’s health physiotherapist can discuss other options of assessment to find out what method suits you best.
Finally, after gathering information from the myriad of questions and physical assessment, your physiotherapist will discuss a treatment plan with you. This will be specific to your goals and often consists of a little bit of homework in the form of exercises. Initial sessions tend to last about 60minutes with review sessions running from 30mins to 60mins depending on what we need to review.