PELVIC HEALTH

Signs, symptoms, Women's Health Physiotherapists and support!

What is a Women's Health Physiotherapist?

Women's Health Physiotherapists are so much more than your regular physiotherapist. They have additional training in pelvic health and can treat a wide range of conditions through management, assessment and rehabilitation. They understand the complex and unique female anatomy and the effects childbirth and menopause have on women. 

Here are some examples of what a Women's Health Physio can treat:

  • Pregnancy related pain and/ or dysfunction (pre- and post-natal)

  • Abdominal separation (rectus diastasis)

  • Pelvic floor strengthening and coordination

  • Caesarean or perineal scar management

  • Hemorrhoids management 

  • Pessary fitting & management 

  • Pelvic girdle pain, back pain and instability

  • Urinary and faecal incontinence (leakage from both passages)

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Pelvic pain; pain with intercourse, vaginismus, pelvic examinations

  • Overactive bladder; excessive night time urination

  • Urinary urgency

  • Faecal urgency

  • Bowel emptying dysfunction and constipation 

  • Rectal prolapse

  • Post surgical rehabilitation  

  • Endometriosis 

  • Post-natal advice & education sessions 

  • Pudendal nerve pain (perineal nerve)

  • Rectal pain

  • Perineal injury; episiotomy, 2nd, 3rd & 4th degree tear follow-up and rehabilitation

  • Guided return to exercise programs and exercise classes ​

This is a brief guide of the kinds of issues and conditions Pelvic Health Physio's can treat and we encourage you to find one that suits your specific needs. 

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Signs and symptoms that something may not be right:

If you have ANY of these symptoms, please visit a Women's Health Physio

It is strongly advised that you see a Women's Health Physio roughly 6-8 weeks postpartum for a check up regardless of the type of birth you had. Vaginal and cesarean births can affect your pelvic, bladder and bowel health and early intervention is best!

  • Urinary or faecal incontinence  (leaking, weeing/excreting yourself at any time - ie. coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, exercising - while pregnant or anytime before/after)


  • Urgency or rushing to the toilet for either wee or poo


  • Little control of your bowel or wind

  • Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel


  • Feeling something uncomfortable in the vagina - ie heaviness, pressure, pain, stinging


  • Painful intercourse

  • Tailbone pain

  • Any kind of body aches or pains in pregnancy 

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How to do your pelvic floor exercises:

Everyday pelvic floor exercise


Disclaimer: This is a generic pelvic floor exercise routine and may not be right for everyone. To know what's right for you, please see a Women's Health Physio.

Find and mindfully connect with your pelvic floor 

Tighten or squeeze your vagina and back passage as if you are holding in wee or wind. You should feel a lift of that area upwards.

NB: Do not let your bottom cheeks, legs, or stomach muscles take over. No one should know your tightening your pelvic floor when looking at you. 

Hold it for approximately 5 seconds (make sure you keep breathing). Then let it relax. You should feel a release.

To make sure you have relaxed completely, take a big belly breath inbetween sets.

Repeat 10 more times


If you feel discomfort, no release or cannot contract or find your pelvic floor we strongly encourage you to visit a Women's Health Physiotherapist near you.



Additional Pelvic Health Resources

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The Continence Foundation of Australia is the national peak body promoting bladder and bowel health; incontinence prevention, management, education, awareness, information and advocacy. Check out their website for helpful advice!

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The Australasian Birth Trauma Association is a charity committed to reducing the incidence and impact of birth-related trauma whilst supporting affected women, families and even health professionals. They provide information, peer and mentoring support and advocacy for birth trauma. Birth trauma can be physical and mental.

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An organisation that encourages, advocates and educates on safe and friendly pelvic floor exercise. They have a FREE amazing app on all things pelvic floor and even a national continence helpline to answer all your questions and concerns!

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Stephanie Thompson, author of The Day My Vagina Broke - What They Don't Tell You About Childbirth, created a one-of-a-kind Ebook; Tips and Tricks for Living with Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Grab your copy if you have POP and it could be the difference in support and navigating your new life and body. 

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Bernadette Lack from @corenadfloorrestore is passionate about strengthening your core and pelvic floor and has created some epic programs and resources that are worth checking out. She even has daily zoom exercise classes perfect for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.

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This information was provided by Claire Ryan, a Women's Health Physiotherapist on the Gold Coast who has extensive education and experience in pelvic health, pregnancy, birth and postnatal recovery and general physiotherapy. Claire is a beautiful, friendly, informative and caring person who throws all of her passion and love into her work and we appreciate people like her!

You can find her here:

@powerpelvisphysio

The Living Well Studio, 

Burleigh Heads, QLD, 4220

&

Coast Colorectal Suites,

John Flynn Private Hospital, QLD, 4224