If you are searching for information about Internal Pelvic Exams, then you know that your body is experiencing pelvic dysfunction. You may not know the exact diagnosis but have probably turned to Dr. Google in search of answers. If you are brave, you may have talked with some friends who have experienced the same issues. The problem is that while pelvic dysfunction is prevalent, most people don’t know where to get help for them.
Uncensored Pelvic Health
Buckle up! Because we are about to get candid about Pelvic Health Physiotherapy & Internal Pelvic Exams to debunk fears and clarify how you can get the help you need! If someone tells you pelvic dysfunction symptoms are, “just part of life –live with it” then that’s a fallacy. It takes courage to openly discuss pelvic issues and then to seek help. The good news? Pelvic health is treatable and should be addressed by a professional with the intent to resolve the problem. Read on!
The Mystery of the Pelvic Floor
I know, it seems mysterious, but really it isn’t. Your pelvic floor, pelvic organs, and pelvic muscles are all internal. You can’t see them like you can a bicep or knee. These muscles sit close together inside your pelvis and dysfunction in one area can lead to problems in neighbouring organs as well. Your pelvic area includes:
This group of muscles acts like a trampoline to hold your internal organs. In women, they also have the crucial job of supporting a baby during pregnancy. Together, the muscles support your pelvis, hips, and lower back. They also affect bladder control, bowel movements, and play a critical role in your sex life.
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists
Pelvic Health Physiotherapists specialize in the maintenance and rehabilitation of the pelvic floor as we age. A Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is the gold standard in care for pelvic dysfunction. They have been educated and trained to strengthen pelvic muscles and provide relief to those who suffer from pelvic dysfunction.
They also understand that talking about these issues can be difficult and sometimes embarrassing. Just keep in mind, they have been practicing in this specialty and are accustomed to talking about these issues so rest easy.
Just like any other doctor, your physiotherapist will keep everything you discuss confidential. In some cases, they may request to share information with other health professionals but will always ask your permission first.
Internal Pelvic Health Exams
The moment you’ve all been waiting for. . . An internal pelvic health exam is the gold standard for diagnosing pelvic health dysfunction. As we said, the pelvic floor muscles are hidden internally. If you want to get symptom relief, then an internal pelvic exam is the best way to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Your pelvic health physiotherapist will ask a series of questions about your pelvic issues and then address any of your concerns before even considering an internal exam. Your physiotherapist will ensure your privacy and ease before starting the exam.
- The pelvic health physiotherapist will then conduct an external exam and may ask you to contract your pelvic floor muscles so they can observe what is happening externally.
- An internal vaginal exam may then be performed. Using one or two gloved fingers to palpate the muscles internally, the physiotherapist can determine if there are any tight, tender, or prolapsed areas. You may be asked to contract and relax your muscles laying down and/or standing up.
- A rectal internal examination may also be performed similarly to the vaginal exam if your main issue is due to bowel issues or a tear from childbirth.
“Treating any other part of the body without touching the affected body part to see which muscles are tight, or weak, and how the joints move and glide would be completely unacceptable.” – Pelvic Health Solutions Canada
Common Physiotherapy Treatment Options after Examination
After having your full exam, a pelvic floor physiotherapist will be in a position to accurately prescribe a combination of the following to help resolve your symptoms:
- Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
- Bladder Training Strategies
- Diet and Fluid Modification
- Temporary Lifestyle Modifications
- Fitting for Physical Supports
- Pelvic Floor Diary (to track and monitor progress)
End the Taboo!
Please share this article with your female friends. We all deserve to have a healthy pelvic floor and live symptom and pain-free. This taboo topic is especially important for women because they are twice as likely to suffer pelvic issues than men due to pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. According to a study by the Office on Women’s Health, more than 4 in 10 women over the age of 65 have suffered from urinary incontinence.
**Remember, the only person who should be conducting an internal pelvic health exam is a physiotherapist who is certified and registered in Pelvic Health Physiotherapy. Pelvic Physiotherapy is a separate set of credentials and education.**
Book Your Pelvic Health Assessment Now!
If you reside in the Halton region, Denise Semple & Associates provides Pelvic Health Physiotherapy. Kathy Trinder is a Registered Physiotherapist with advanced standing through the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario as a rostered Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. Kathy has advanced education in pelvic health physiotherapy, orthopedic physiotherapy, visceral manipulation & cranial sacral therapy
Book now with Kathy or contact the clinic for more information!