Pelvic health is so personal, and there is so much confusion on the subject, so I wanted to walk you through exactly what happens in a pelvic floor evaluation here at Heal at Home Physio.
Step One: History
When a client comes in for an evaluation, I always start by taking an extensive history. This includes asking questions about bowel and bladder function, sexual health, parity, diet, sleep, and pains in any other parts of the body, including the low back, hips, and sacroiliac joint. In other words, we talk and I get to know them and their health.
Step Two: Examination
After this, I select the appropriate tests and measures to complete. This typically includes looking at how well the client moves and how strong they are in certain muscle groups.
Step Three: Planning
We then discuss my findings and their goals and how we can best achieve them together. The client typically leaves with a couple of home exercises and a follow-up appointment so I can reassess for progress.
Optional: Internal Assessment
If I determine that an internal pelvic assessment would be beneficial or therapeutic for a client, I will discuss this prior to the appointment when I plan to perform that assessment. An internal exam is similar to a pelvic exam at the OBGYN, just with a different goal.
In this exam, I assess the level of tenderness at each layer of the pelvic floor, as well as the strength of a pelvic floor contraction. I also observe skin integrity, look for signs of pelvic organ prolapse, and for any scar tissue.
Of course the client can decline the exam for any reason, and they can ask to stop the exam at any time. They are always in control, and I am there to help them achieve their goals in a manner that they are comfortable with.
Should you see a pelvic floor physical therapist?
If you’ve had a child, struggle with urinary or fecal incontinence, urinary frequency, pain with sex, or prolapse, we recommend a pelvic floor evaluation with a certified physical therapist. If any of that describes you, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation by text, phone, or email.