When should I see someone about my pelvic floor?
If you have ever experienced any of the following:
Urinary leakage – small or large amounts, under high load or no load - urinary leakage is very common BUT NOT normal
Very frequent visits to the toilet through the day and/or night and it bothers you
The inability to resist the urge to empty your bladder with/or without urinary leakage
Unexpected loss of wind
Faecal soiling in your underwear
The inability to resist the urge to empty your bowel with/or without leakage
Having wipe yourself clean multiple times after a bowel motion
Vaginal heaviness, dragging, bulging or abdominal discomfort or low back pain
Feeling of instability around the pelvis
Long term pain in your back, pelvis or hips that just isn’t resolving with normal treatment methods (physio, chiro, osteo, massage etc)
An episiotomy or perineal tear during childbirth
Painful or tight pelvic floor muscles
Discomfort or pain with sexual intercourse
Difficulty with penetration or use of tampons
Pain in or around the genitalia
What does the physio do to assess my pelvic floor?
The most effective way to assess the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organ position in women is via a digital vaginal examination. In this way the physio can check that both sides and both layers of the pelvic floor muscles are working. They can also check for the presence of pelvic organ prolapse, any painful areas of the vagina, scarring or tightness/pain in the pelvic floor muscles and tailor a treatment programme to you to ensure that you reach your treatment goals in the most efficient time possible.
Can real-time ultrasound be used for the examination instead?
Yes it can, but it only gives a fraction of the information in comparison with the internal examination. Real-time ultrasound in women is used to indirectly view the pelvic floor muscles via the base of the bladder. The probe is placed on the abdomen just above the pubic symphysis and angled down towards the pelvic floor. When you contract the muscles of the pelvic floor, the base of the bladder lifts. To an extent you can tell if both sides are working properly but it gives no information about which layer is working, whether there is any pelvic organ prolapse or any damage to the muscles.
Do Men have pelvic floor muscles?
Yes they do! Most men look at me in disbelief when they discover they also have “those women’s muscles” and that they are equally important for them as for women, it’s just that there’s one less opening in it and a significant amount less chance of trauma! However, incontinence is very prevalent in the male population too especially with the rapidly increasing rate of prostate problems. The good news is that pelvic floor muscle training programmes work just as well in men as they do in women.
How do you assess men’s pelvic floor muscles?
Using the real-time ultrasound machine. In comparison to women, where it gives us very little information, in men we position the probe on the perineum (the area of skin between the testicles and anus). This enables us to visualise the 3 components of the male pelvic floor muscles working.
In some cases, if faecal incontinence is the main symptom, we may also perform a digital rectal examination to directly test the anal sphincter function.
Do I need a referral?
No, no referral is necessary to come for an assessment or treatment however, referrals are also welcome. If you are referred to us, we will work closely with your GP/Specialist/Referring Practitioner to enable you to achieve the best possible outcome.
Do you accept HICAP's, EPC's, DVA, Pension and Concession cards?
Yes we do.
If you have "extras" on your healthfund cover that includes physiotherapy, bring your healthfund card with you to your appointment. We then sweep it through the HICAP's machine and you just pay the gap.
EPC's are extended care plans that are provided by your GP for the management of chronic health problems by 2 or more providers. You pay for the appointment up front, then we sweep your Medicare card through the HICAPs machine and you will receive a rebate of $53.80 back from Medicare (if you have gone over your Medicare threshold for the year, this rebate will be larger).
For DVA, Pension and Concessions please bring your card in with you.
Can I bring my baby/child with me?
Yes! We have a box of toys, books to read and for the older kids, some crayons and colouring sheets.