1. You’ve recently had a baby – check the function of your pelvic floor and abdominals
The childbearing year is a vulnerable time for the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. The weight of the growing baby on the pelvic floor during pregnancy can challenge the pelvic floor muscles leading to symptoms of bladder leakage. Vaginal delivery, particularly if this is baby number 4 or more, the baby is heavier than 4kg or forceps were needed, can make you more susceptible to problems down the track. Stretching of the abdomen during pregnancy can lead to abdominal separation. For many women this recovers with time, some need some extra help with specific exercises. Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Louise Henderson offers a postnatal assessment to check how the pelvic floor and abdominals are recovering, provides advice on specific exercises for the muscles as well as safe return to general exercise.
2. You have problems with bladder control
This could be bladder leakage with downward pressure such as running, coughing or sneezing. Or perhaps a feeling of urgency that all of a sudden you have an urge to empty the bladder and may not make it to the bathroom on time. Or perhaps a combination of all these symptoms. The good news is that learning to do your pelvic floor exercises correctly from a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can lead to cure or significant improvement in up to 70% of cases.
3. You have symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse
This is when one of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus or bowel) has descended into the vaginal space. Symptoms may be a feeling of heaviness or a lump or bulge in the vagina. It may be difficult to use tampons or there may be a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel. As well as prescribing a specific pelvic floor exercise program, Louise can suggest other strategies to reduce the bother of a prolapse.
4. You have problems with bowel control.
This can include urgency to go in a hurry, difficulty keeping in “wind”, accidents with the bowel or the other end of the scale where you may be straining to empty or have a feeling of incomplete emptying. A recent change in bowel habits, pain or bleeding is a sign you should first consult your GP. If everything is clear, Louise can advise on other management options which may include pelvic floor exercises.
5. You have pain in the pelvic area.
Pelvic pain covers pain anywhere in the pelvis. It can include pain from endometriosis, pain associated with tampon use or intercourse, bladder pain or pudendal nerve pain (where nerve pain may be felt in the lower buttocks, perineum, genitals or anus and rectum). Again, a visit to your GP is recommended to rule out any pathology. A multidisciplinary approach including pelvic Physiotherapy has up to 80% success rate.
To book an appointment with our Women’s Health Physiotherapist at Body of Life Health Centre please call 02 9453 3046 today.