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
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
Bowel emptying dysfunction and constipation
Post surgical rehabilitation
Post-natal advice & education sessions
Pudendal nerve pain (perineal nerve)
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.
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
Any kind of body aches or pains in pregnancy
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.