We completely understand that it can be stressful going to your first Pelvic Health Physiotherapy appointment so we want to give you an outline of what to expect to help ease any apprehension that you might understandably have. We know that it can be quite nerve-wracking coming to your first appointment for a number for reasons:
1—You have no idea what is going to happen.
2—You might not understand how physiotherapy can help with your problem.
3—You might be nervous to talk about sensitive/personal issues.
We know this process can make you feel apprehensive so we want to explain the process, make you feel comfortable before you come in for your first visit and explain how we can help you.
So, what exactly is going to happen?
First off, when you arrive we are going to ask you to fill out some boring but necessary paperwork! This information will give us a better understanding of how we can best help you. After that, you will then meet one on one in a private consultation room with a physiotherapist to discuss symptoms and past health history. We will also ask you about your history of pregnancy, general health, activity level, and any other history of injury or pain that you have experienced. After chatting about your history, we will evaluate your posture, (back and hips) to determine if they are contributing to your symptoms.
At this point we will then (if you’re comfortable with taking this next step) ask you to undress from the waist down and we will perform a brief internal exam to assess the strength, endurance, and general functioning of your pelvic floor. Because of the location of these muscles, an internal exam is the best way to do this. ** Please note it is very important to us that you know, if you are not comfortable doing an internal exam during your first session it is not a requirement. After we assess your pelvic floor, together with your physiotherapist, we will go over the results of your assessment, as well as the plan and expected length of your treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is the internal exam similar to when I am assessed by the family doctor?
No, pelvic health physiotherapy is very different than an exam done by your physician or gynaecologist. First, we have much more time to do the assessment and second we do not use any big equipment (no speculum here!). Your therapist will walk you through what they are doing every step of the way to make sure you are comfortable at all times.
Why do I need an internal assessment?
Unlike your thigh or arm muscles that are easily visible, your pelvic floor muscles are inside of your body and just like those bigger muscles; they can develop weakness, trigger points, and “knots”. These dysfunctions can lead to conditions such as incontinence, pelvic floor prolapse, and dyspareunia (pain with intercourse). This is why the best way to assess these muscles is to do so internally so we can feel the strength, endurance, coordination and activity level of these muscles (under-active, hyperactive, in spasm), as well as any tenderness, soft tissue restrictions, or anything else that might be going on. Though there are some things we can assess and advise on without doing an internal assessment, it will not be as effective or successful in order to get you back to 100%!