Physiotherapists working in the field of pelvic health help women with a range of conditions including bladder and bowel concerns, bothersome heaviness and discomfort associated with pelvic organ prolapse, persistent pelvic pain and sexual pain.
Pelvic health concerns are common throughout all stages of life, but can be particularly problematic during the childbearing years and after menopause.
- 1 in 2 women who have had a baby experience prolapse
- 1 in 3 women who have had a baby will wet themselves
- 1 in 5 women experience pelvic or sexual pain
- 1 in 10 women suffer from poor bowel control
Nowadays, most people know that pelvic floor exercises (also known as ‘Kegels’) are recommended to treat a number of pelvic health conditions. However, the research shows that pelvic floor exercises are only effective if a trained pelvic health physiotherapist supervises the program. In fact, we know that;
- 1 in 2 women cannot effectively contract their pelvic floor when provided with written or verbal instruction alone,
- 1 in 4 women will use a counterproductive technique which can weaken the pelvic floor further,
- Not everyone with pelvic health concerns has a pelvic floor that is weak, pelvic floors can become too tight and traditional pelvic floor exercises aimed at strengthening the muscle can worsen such problems.
The world’s leading experts have recommended treatments provided by pelvic health physiotherapists (such as supervised pelvic floor muscle training and bladder training programs) as grade A recommendations (the highest level possible) for a number of conditions including;
- For all pregnant women (even those who are fully continent) to prevent urinary incontinence during pregnancy and after childbirth,
- As a first line treatment for any women experiencing urinary incontinence persisting three months after childbirth,
- For all women, regardless of age, experiencing urinary incontinence,
- To reduce symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.
The research well and truly shows that seeing a pelvic health physiotherapist can help women improve, better manage and in many cases, completely cure their problem!
There is strong evidence to support the role of physiotherapists with additional training in women’s and pelvic health to treat a number of conditions across all life stages – from more commonly known pelvic health issues affecting women such as incontinence and prolapse, to pelvic and sexual pain concerns and also for helping children and adolescents with bed wetting or other bladder/bowel control concerns.
We hope the information in this blog has been useful and should always be considered in conjunction with an individual assessment with your physiotherapist and/or other health care provider skilled in the area such as a GP or gynaecologist.
We would love to help you manage your concerns and get you back achieving your goals worry –free!